Jailed grandmother demands apology

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Published: Thursday 1st January 2015 by The News Editor

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A 72-year-old woman jailed for meeting her granddaughter in breach of a court order has demanded an apology after claiming she was “treated worse than a dog” while in custody.

Kathleen Danby also believes she deserves to be compensated for her ordeal after spending two nights in prison and a third in a police cell before her three-month sentence was cut to time already served.

Mrs Danby, who was sentenced in her absence by a Court of Protection judge in April after breaching an order not to approach her granddaughter, told the Daily Mail she now felt shattered and very weak.

Claiming to have been left injured after being man-handled during her time in custody, the pensioner told the newspaper: “I want an apology from Derbyshire County Council and compensation for my ordeal and the ordeal my granddaughter has had to go through.”

The pensioner, who was arrested on Sunday while attending a Ken Dodd concert in Liverpool, alleges that she was denied pills for liver disease.

Mrs Danby was freed at Birmingham’s civil court yesterday after apologising to a judge, paving the way for a reduction in the three-month jail sentence.

However, outside court the defiant grandmother described a lengthy ordeal which had seen her being driven on a 200-mile trip between court and prison.

Wearing a large red coat, Mrs Danby said she found it difficult to believe the lengths to which the authorities had gone to bring her before the family court.

In April, a judge sentenced Mrs Danby to prison in her absence after watching CCTV evidence of her greeting the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with a hug outside a pub.

Reducing the sentence of Mrs Danby, from Kirkwall on the island of Orkney, Judge Sally Dowding told the pensioner: “I am satisfied she fully appreciates the difficulties of her position and what she must do, and I am confident she will comply in future.”

Contempt of court proceedings were brought against the pensioner by Derbyshire County Council, which is responsible for looking after her granddaughter.

The local authority alleged Mrs Danby was in breach of court orders made in September 2013, and January and April 2014.

Those orders banned Mrs Danby from having any communication, save a single supervised monthly phone call, with the teenager.

Judge Dowding said it was very sad Mrs Danby had failed to comply with the orders, which were imposed after a court heard that the pensioner had had a “very adverse effect” on her granddaughter.

The Prison Service declined to comment directly on Mrs Danby’s case, but it is understood her medication was verified for her to take during her time in custody.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We ensure that suitable facilities are provided for elderly prisoners and that individual healthcare needs are met.

“We always follow appropriate security procedures when administering medication.”

Published: Thursday 1st January 2015 by The News Editor

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