Humberside Police arrested a 73-year-old retired nurse who was trying to take her 97-year-old mother out of a care home after being unable to see her for nine months due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Leandra Ashton, a former Coronation Street actress, filmed her handcuffed mother, Ylenia Angeli, sitting in the back of a police car in footage that went viral on social media.
Filming her grandmother, who has dementia, sitting in the front of her mother’s car, Ashton said that she was being taken back “by force” to the care home in Market Weighton, Yorkshire, England.
“My mother has been arrested. My mother is in the back of the car here. She is a nurse. She is a fully qualified nurse who is wishing to care for her own mother. And here we have an incredible use of police time to take my 97-year-old grandmother back into a care home where she is deteriorating, where we haven’t been able to see her for nine months.”
She then addresses her grandmother, her voice breaking, and says: “Nan, I love you, and we’re going to fight for you.”
Breakdown of events
Ashton, 41, told The Sun on Thursday how she and her mother had “sprung” her gran from the home, and that while they were wheeling her out of the facility, they could see administrators calling the police.
“The lady opened the door at which point my mother used the flowers to barge her way in. She was just saying, ‘Don’t get in the way of me and my mother, let me get to my mother’.
“She just hugged her. Which was just heartbreaking. Then she turned around to see me outside, the care home were calling the police.”
“…She just carried on wheeling her out, very quietly, very calmly, nobody stopped us and we just wheeled her,” she said.
Police stopped Ms. Ashton and Mrs. Angeli, who were in separate cars, at a nearby garden center. Because Mrs. Angeli refused to return her mother, police arrested her. The mother was then dearrested, and the 97-year-old returned to the home.
Ms. Ashton later explained on social media that while the family has power of attorney for the senior’s finances, they do not have authority over her “wellbeing.”
Police confirmed the incident, with Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble saying that they had initially received a report of an alleged “assault”. Noble continued: “The care home had also reported that a woman who they were legally responsible for had been taken from the home by her daughter.
“Officers found both women along with a third woman nearby and informed them that they would need to return the lady to the home, as is their legal duty to do so.”
A nightmarish consequence of lockdowns
Ashton described it as a “Kafka-esque nightmare” and detailed how her family has been trying to raise a safeguarding concern report over her grandmother’s deterioration during lockdown, “but this was inexplicably dropped and ‘disappeared.’”
“When your voice feels lost in a labyrinth of bureaucracy, when you are informed by the police that you are not on your relative’s relevant paperwork(!!), when the system is so clearly failing, we have to stand up and reform it,” she said.
England went into a second lockdown on Thursday, with older Britons set to bear the brunt of continued restrictions that prevent visits from relatives. One 104-year-old in a Scottish care home pleaded last month to be allowed to visit her family, regardless of the pandemic.
“This is my right. Please help. It’s cutting me to bits,” Mary Fowler said. “I must see my kids. Time’s getting on for me. I must see my children and make things like they used to be. Please help me, help me. Please, please help.”
An 83-year-old Yorkshire grandmother, while being interviewed on the street by the BBC, bluntly said of the government’s lockdown policy: “I don’t give a sod. I look at it this way: I’ve not got all that many years left of me, and I’m not going to be fastened in a house when the government has got it all wrong.”