Elderly Sheffield widower was manipulated and physically abused by younger woman, report finds

An elderly widower was manipulated by a younger woman who went on to physically abuse him, a Sheffield report has revealed.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 12:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th February 2020, 12:03 pm

The sad details of the case of the windower, referred to as ‘Mr C,’ were highlighted in a report by Sheffield Adults Safeguarding Partnership.

Mr C lost his wife suddenly and began spending time with a younger woman who was known to the police for a variety of criminal offences and misused drugs and alcohol.

Despite being elderly, he began taking illegal drugs and drinking alcohol on a regular basis as well.

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File photo of an elderly man. Picture: PA

The woman was suspected of manipulating Mr C and he was coerced into having strangers in his home who caused anti-social behaviour.

He had often accused the woman of physical abuse, but when the police were called he would deny these allegations.

There were safeguarding meetings to try to protect Mr C but he was assessed as having the capacity to make decisions, although many deemed these unwise, around his financial affairs, care and relationship with his female friend.

The woman eventually left after she physically assaulted Mr C and the police removed her from his property.

The safeguarding report says agencies worked well together to tackle the situation.

Mr C later said: “I felt safer when professionals were coming around all the time. I was happy that the GP was checking on me, it was my friend that didn’t want me to go to the appointments.”

The report says previously individual services did not know enough about the concerns and risks due to a lack of sharing information and felt powerless.

But an email group was set up and there was daily communication between professionals so they could respond quickly to Mr C’s needs and the risks.

Services shared expertise and accountability, which made them more effective, and there were assertive and consistent responses from professionals.

The report says professionals should take time to understand how coercive control works, especially with intimate relationships.

And services should recognise how important it is to work together and to have effective communication with other agencies.