Judge: Hayden J
Citation:  EWCOP 17
The judgment in Re NB  EWCOP 17 concerns a hearing on 7 May 2019 at which Hayden J considered the position of a married couple where doubts had been raised as to the wife’s capacity to sexual relations. There had been a previous directions hearing in March 2019 following which there had been extensive press coverage which centred around remarks reported of Hayden J as to a husband’s “right to sex” with his wife. Hayden J observed that it appeared that in consequence of the publicity the husband had become frightened, had gained the impression (apparently in consequence of poor advice given by a local solicitor) that he was likely to be sent to prison, had left the flat he shared with his wife, and had disengaged with the proceedings.
The hearing before Hayden J therefore only involved Counsel for the applicant local authority and Counsel for the Official Solicitor as the wife’s litigation friend. Hayden J’s recitation of the arguments, his concerns, and his proposed course of action was as follows:
As Hayden J seeks to navigate the way through, it is of importance to note that the Court of Appeal was considering its judgment in the case of Re B (Capacity: Social Media: Care and Contact)  EWCOP 3, the hearing having been on 14-15 May and including consideration of the judge’s findings in relation to B’s capacity in relation to sex, along with residence and access to social media.