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Carer gets supervision order to help look after husband properly

By Court Reporter

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AN elderly woman banned from seeing her husband after she force-fed him with water will be able to share in some Christmas celebrations with him.

The ban was imposed after Gloria Dunnet (70) last month admitted a charge of culpable and reckless conduct but it was lifted at Wick Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

The court was told, previously, that a support health worker observed Mrs Dunnet forcing water from a glass into her husband Andrew Dunnet's mouth at their home at Auchorn Farm, Lyth on September 30.

Fiscal David Barclay stated: "She was trying to get him to swallow the water when in reality she was preventing him from breathing normally with his mouth full of water and his nose held."

The fiscal said it was fair to say that Mrs Dunnet was "doing her best" to look after her husband as his carer, but others involved in his welfare were concerned that the accused was not interacting with their guidance to the extent they would like."

Mr Dunnet has a number of medical difficulties which required considerable input from health professionals in addition to his wife's efforts.

Mr Barclay added: "Perhaps the accused needs to be a little bit more receptive to the ideas and suggestions the health and social workers can bring to the table in terms of Mr Dunnet's long-term requirements."

Mrs Dunnet had been banned from seeing her husband since her previous court hearing last month as a condition of bail, and was staying with a member of her family in Wick.

Sheriff Andrew Berry, who saw a background report, told her: "I don't want you to be endlessly away from your husband but the situation has to be managed.

"What I want to do is to try to minimise the extent to which the court is involved in your life. I am going to impose a supervision order with a conduct requirement for a 12-month period to give you help and support in moving forward.

"It will give you contact with your husband when approved by a social worker."

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