Judge frees granddaughter-hug OAP

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Published: Wednesday 31st December 2014 by The News Editor

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A 72-year-old woman jailed for hugging her granddaughter in breach of a court order banning contact has been freed by a judge.

Kathleen Danby appeared in custody today to make a case against her three-month jail sentence, handed down earlier this year at Birmingham’s Court of Protection.

In April, a judge sent the pensioner 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, of Orkney, to time already served, Judge Sally Dowding said: “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.”

Mrs Danby’s solicitor, Sarah Huntbach, said her client, dressed in a large red overcoat, “sincerely apologised” for being in the town where her granddaughter now lives.

She said the pensioner was there for the day “to meet a friend” and, as she waited outside a pub, her granddaughter – who has a learning disability and emotional difficulties – approached her.

“She did not intend or want to be in breach of these (court) orders, or dishonour the court in any way”, said Mrs Huntbach.

While not accepting that she intended to meet her granddaughter, Mrs Danby “apologised for any nuisance that has arisen as a consequence”.

Judge Dowding said it was “very sad” that Mrs Danby had “failed to comply” with the court orders, which evidence showed had had “a detrimental effect” on the granddaughter’s behaviour, “with consequences serious and profound”.

However, she said it was Mrs Danby’s right “to purge her contempt” before the court.

The spirited pensioner has been in custody since her arrest on Sunday in Liverpool, where she had been enjoying a performance by comedian Ken Dodd.

She was escorted in to court by four security officers, and wearing handcuffs, but smiled and looked around as she entered.

Published: Wednesday 31st December 2014 by The News Editor

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