Jul 27 2012 By Carl Gavaghan and PA
An autistic man from Uxbridge who was unlawfully detained in a care unit and not allowed to return home has settled his damages action against Hillingdon Council for £35,000.
Mr Justice Kenneth Parker approved the payment to 22-year-old Steven Neary at London's High Court yesterday (Thursday).
He said: "I am satisfied this is a proper order to make."
Mark Neary, who had not been in court, told the Gazette this morning (Friday) he felt it was good that the case had finally been settled.
He said: "I found out about it at 10pm last night as I had been working all day.
"I'm pleased as the money will be put towards Steven's future and we are also planning to go on a family holiday finally.
"It is a relief now as the damages case has been dragging on for more than a year now so for it to be done now is a good feeling."
Last year, the Court of Protection - which deals with issues surrounding vulnerable people - concluded that Hillingdon Council's use of a 'deprivation of liberty' authorisation unlawfully deprived Mr Neary of his freedom.
It heard that Mr Neary's father, Mark, felt powerless over a care dispute with Hillingdon which began after his son went into a 'positive behaviour unit' in December 2009.
Mark Neary said he viewed the move as temporary and thought his son would be home by late January.
But, the council said care staff had concerns about Mr Neary's 'challenging' behaviour and weight, and that the move was intended to be for a longer period.
In the end, Steven Neary stayed at the unit for nearly a year, returning to his father's home in December 2010, following a court order.
Hillingdon Council's deputy director of social care, health and housing, Moira Wilson, said: "The council is pleased a settlement has been reached, which is satisfactory to the judge and the Neary family."