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R (Mwanza) v LB of Greenwich [2010] EWHC 1462 (Admin)

The claimant was an illegal overstayer who tried to use a s3 admission eight years earlier to obtain free accommodation. (1) An after-care service under s117 must be a service that is necessary to meet a need arising from a person's mental disorder. It does not cover any and all services simply because those services do or may prevent deterioration of relapse of a mental condition. Employment and ordinary accommodation are common needs which do not arise from mental disorder, although mental disorder may give rise to a need for assistance in finding them. However, as a matter of law, ordinary accommodation could fall within s117, although it is difficult readily to envisage any practical examples. (2) On the facts, there could be no duty under s117 to provide what was sought. (3) In any event, eight years earlier a lawful decision had been made to discharge the s117 responsibilities of the local authority and the Trust, so no s117 duty arose. (4) Furthermore, it would be inappropriate to extend the time for this judicial review claim by eight years: the claimant was aware of the discharge decision and had taken no action. (5) The claimant was not in need of "care and attention" under s21 National Assistance Act 1948, as he was looked after by his wife and only needed accommodation. (6) In any event, the council were forbidden from providing s21 assistance because neither he nor his wife had leave to remain and refraining from providing assistance could not arguably breach their human rights.

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Hearing dates: 7/6/10

Judgment: 15/6/10

Before: Hickinbottom J

Nick Armstrong (instructed by Fisher Meredith LLP) for the Claimant

Ms Jenni Richards (instructed by Katherine Watson, Principal Lawyer (Law and Governance), London Borough of Greenwich) for the First Defendant

Andrew Sharland (instructed by Jim Kilgallen, Senior Lawyer (Education), London Borough of Bromley) for the Second Defendant

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