A British man with Down’s syndrome has won £10,000 compensation after being banned from having sex with his wife.
The ban on the 38-year-old was imposed after he and his wife applied for fertility treatment, but a psychologist said that the husband did not have the mental capacity to have sex.
The social workers even told his wife, who has been married to the man for the last seven years, that if she had physical relations with her husband she would be committing an offence that could be punished with a 14-year-jail sentence.
The couple, whose identity has not be revealed due to legal reasons, was ordered to abstain from sex until the man had completed a sex education course, The Independent reported.
But the man’s council delayed in providing sex education, the Court of Protection heard. Judge Sir Mark Hedley said the couple’s sex life came to an end for almost two years on 27 March 2015 after a counselling session with a psychologist.
“The consultant psychologist made it clear that [the man]needed a course of sex education to assist him to achieve the necessary capacity,” the judge said. “For reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained, the local authority failed to implement that advice despite requests and protracted correspondence.”
He added that the man’s condition has failed to make him understand why his wife of seven years was living away from him and the “impact of all this on [him]is not difficult to imagine”.
“This case is unusual; indeed thus far it may be unique in being applied to a settled, monogamous and exclusive married relationship,” Hedley said, ordering the local authorities to pay £10,000 compensation for failing to provide the sex education course for more than a year.
The man began the course in June 2016 and was assessed as having the capacity to consent early in 2017.
“Many would think that no couple should have to undergo this highly intrusive move upon their personal privacy yet such move was in its essentials entirely lawful and properly motivated,” the judge said.-IBT