Freedom to live and die where you choose is a fundamental human
right . Whatever the crimes of your nearest and dearest should not mean that an
elderly lady should be denied her freedom.
We have made efforts to release Mrs Caminita
who is an elderly Italian lady held by Bedfordshire Social Services. Click here to
read our letter to them. These were the authorities who once said that Mr. Stephen
Hill was well treated !
Mrs Caminita is a victim of authorities. We
have had evidence that she wishes to return home to Italy. This is written evidence
(in police statements) as well as taped
evidence which states she wishes to go home to Palermo in Italy. These wishes
have been denied by the British authorities.
She is held under the Mental Health Act and
considered as suffering from dementia. I dispute this fact given that there is no
evidence e.g. CT scans to verify this fact. In addition, it is alleged that Mrs
Caminita's son Mr Errante committed Grievous Bodily Harm. We have observed the
records and there has been no forensic report. The investigation and evidence is
circumstantial. Although we have asked the Bedfordshire Police to reconsider their
investigation, they have failed to do so. We are in the process of obtaining adequate
Mr Errante cannot therefore be considered
guilty by the mere virtue that the Bedfordshire Police have shown confidential
evidence to his own Italian Embassy implying that he is infact guilty. As we all
know, in criminal cases, evidence should not be shown to others before a trial. The
Italian Embassy has thus refused to represent Mr Errante. Mr Errante has always
professed his innocence and has campaigned to free his mother. It is not for us to
judge but merely to point out that a person who hates his mother thus causing
grievous bodily harm would not campaign so vociferously. He has set up his own
website at www.margherita-caminita.com . Although we do not support all his views, Mr
Errante is nevertheless entitled to his freedom of expression.
We have all the records, we have all the
evidence and we have attempted to obtain some support for Mrs Caminita.
1) We wished to go an see her . Under the
Mental Health Act and Human Rights Act 1998, she is allowed visitors. This was
2) We asked to be able to send her a birthday
present on her Birthday. We also asked to visit her to present this to her. We were
told that this would not be possible. We have this on taped evidence. Bedfordshire
Social Services know exactly which conversations were taped. In order to ensure the
present was delivered, we had to send it to the Bedfordshire Police who confirmed
delivery by email.
3) We contacted the Italian Embassy who were
unhelpful, obstructive and refused to assist their own citizen or even listen to
reason. To leave an elderly person imprisoned under the Mental Health Act would be
far easier than to even attempt to reach some form of compromise. The Italians have
the same facilities as us in Italy yet, Mrs Caminita is forced to remain is the UK.
She does not speak the language and is isolated. It is possible to transfer Mrs
Caminita to Italy and place her in a safe care home. This has been denied.
4) We cannot make representations in court on
Mrs Caminita's behalf because guardianship has been taken by Bedfordshire Social
Services. Applications are not accepted from third parties.
7) In conclusion, the so called charities who
are supposed to take care of the elderly have left the issue in our court . We have
had no intervention or assistance.
8) The worst of the best . THE MENTAL HEALTH
COMMISSION. Yes, we presented the evidence and they explained that because social
services had guardianship - we should go back to them !! (see letter from the MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION) How
about the word " useless" at protecting fundamental human rights of an elderly
person. We have their letters.
9) We have made efforts at instigating a new
evidence for Mr Errante. These are currently ongoing.
In the meantime, Mr Errante is a fugitive in
Italy. He has made representations recently in Italy. Again, we have been left with
no alternatives than to publicise these events. We have the evidence and we have
completed our intervention in the United Kingdom. The authorities deserve this
exposure due to the fact that they have forced an elderly lady who in my opinion does
not have dementia to be imprisoned in a strange country with no access to voluntary
organisations and no assistance from charities .
The only time she will be free is when she is dead . That is the
truth if we continue as we are.
BRITISH AND ITALIAN AUTHORITIES - CARING FOR
THE ELDERLY . This is our evidence for breach of fundamental human rights of Mrs
Caminita . It is something you or I have but Mrs Caminita is denied. We all sit and
wait for someone else to take action - this is the lethargy of the charities and the
organisations who are an embarrassment to the civil liberties of any human
Bedfordshire County Council
Dear Mr Mitchell,
RE: Mrs Caminita. Italian Citizen
Sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1998 .
Many thanks for your letter dated
2nd November 2000, which I only received today.
I have noted your comments.
a) You are correct in that I am a stranger to
Mrs Caminita but it is incorrect for you to assume I have " no connection with her ".
I understand she is an Italian citizen. The Italian Embassy is therefore ultimately
responsible for her welfare. As I made it quite clear to you in my previous
correspondence, Professor Aloj who has been instructed by the Ambassador Mr Amaduzzi
himself thought it appropriate that I made an initial visit to ascertain what Mrs
Caminita's wishes were.
I understand from your letter that you have
forbidden me to do this and stated Article 8 as your defence. Unfortunately, the
reasonable man or woman in the street is not prevented from having the opportunity to
state whether he or she wishes to meet a " Stranger ". You will note the reasonable
person under the Mental Health Act 1983 is permitted to have visitors if she so
wishes. I note that you have not visited her, yet have answered on her behalf.
Article 8 therefore cannot be enforced by yourselves given that the patient has a
right to Freedom of Expression Article 10, which you have in effect denied
Article 8 states
RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his
private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
I wonder whether the Social Services has
actually ensured that they have respected family life in the second section as quite
obviously you have denied her access to her family (naturally excluding Mr Errante )
when one could have easily negotiated similar accommodation facilities i.e.
preventing Mr Errante from visiting in her homeland ( Italy) . Does that not lead us
to believe that you yourselves have breached Article 8 itself preventing any family
b) You will also note that in the statement of
Mr Richard Gilbert on the 24th September 1998. He states that Mrs
Carminita 's own words were " She enjoyed the day but did not wish to stay. She
wished to go home - to Palermo ". This has been repeated on the taped evidence I have
heard and also by your own social workers in my last conversation. It is clear from
the evidence that Mrs Caminita wishes to go to Italy. I realise the dangers involved
and in addition it would not be to fanciful to suggest a section in her own country
and guardianship by the Italian Authorities preventing Mr Errante from seeing her
until he has stood for trial.
c) I understand your concerns about my motives.
I do not trust nor am not in league with Mr Errante. My sole concern is that Mrs
Carminita wishes to go home; I would like to see this achieved whilst also
maintaining her safety. I understand that the decision to section her was taken for
her own safety. I understand your reservations but I am working with the Italian
Embassy who will hopefully be writing to your shortly. My aim is to simply obtain a
care plan in Italy that is identical to the one here.
I find it rather strange that an Italian
national has been kept in the National Health Service when it is the responsibility
of the Italian government to ensure her rights are preserved and that she is
protected from her son who may or may not be guilty but I appreciate that at this
point her safety is paramount.
d) My intention has been to discover what her
wishes are. That is the reason I wished to see her. In addition, I wanted to ensure
she had everything she required.
e) I have attempted to persuade Mr Errante to
return for trial in this country. He has refused so far.
f) With respect to her Section under the MHA. I
am aware of her CT Scan result which does not show her to have Alzeimers or Multi
infact Dementia hence she is not progressively worsening in mental state. I gather
she possibly has senile dementia, which is part of the ageing process. In my
experience, simply having short-term memory loss does not warrant a section.
Nevertheless, she has a right to Article 5 i.e. her Liberty and Security.
By the obstructive and unco-operative behaviour
at present you have a patient under the MHA because of her son not because she is
insane and has behavioural problems. Professor Aloj and I have heard her speak
recently and she seems perfectly able to make her own decisions and wishes . This is,
as you know a breach of
i) Article 2 Right to life (a good quality of life and a chance for
ii) Article 5 Right to Liberty and Security
iii) Article 9 Freedom of Thought And Conscience
iv) Article 10 Freedom of Expression
v) Article 14 Prohibition of Discrimination, as she is over 60 years old you have
made no efforts to grant her liberty via the Italian Embassy.
h) It would also be prudent for you to note
that the MHA guidelines specified by MAZE (Stated by the highest authority on the
subject i.e. the Maudsley Hospital) states (Section 7) " The powers given to the
guardian are not capable of enforcement, but reply on co-operation of the patient ".
Hence your automatic refusal to my visit is against this section, as you have not
obtained consent from the patient.
" Guardianship does not provide legal authority
to detain a person physically in accommodation ".
As you know the person has a right to appeal to
the Mental Health Tribunal under Guardianship. As you have not provided her with this
information then I feel this lady will not know her rights.
In addition I will refer you to the Code of
Practice provided by the Department of Health which you have not adhered
a) The factors to be taken into account at
2.6 The patient's own wishes and view of his own needs.
b) 26.1 All detained patients are entitled to
maintain contact with and be visited by whomsoever they wish&. There are two grounds
for excluding a visitor and I do not fall into either.
c) 26.4 Every effort must be made to assist the
patient, where appropriate, to make contact with relatives, friends and
d) A Care Plan is desired.
e) 14.11 The statutory information should be
made available to them either in Braille or on tape. I suggest you provide her
information on her rights in a manner, which she understands as a matter of
In summary, my intention is to work with the
social services and the Italian Embassy to ensure this lady is taken home to Palermo
to secure facilities. In addition, I wish to endeavour to bring Mr Errante to this
country. We can either work together to ensure this lady's last days are what she
requires or you may choose to become defensive and obstructive and we continue this
in court. Mr Errante will therefore remain on the run.
I will leave the decision in your capable
hands. As you know a solicitor can easily be obtained for her via the courts due to
I look forward to hearing from you and one
hopes you will endeavour to work with me as opposed to being a cross purposes given
that Mrs Caminita is the one whose welfare we should both be working
Disturbing BBC Panorama special investigation into the horrific abuse suffered
by severley disabled and vulnerable patients at the Winterbourne View,
private hospital in Bristol
11 people, 8 men and 3 women all employees of Winterbourne were convicted and
LOOK EAST reports on
the involuntary euthanasia in the NHS