Many media outlets have exposed abuses and promised action, but the torture of thousands of civilians continues
December 25, 2022 at 5:03 PM
Ryan Addison lives in his home in Doncaster, 10 minutes from his mother, Sharon. He went to see the Blackpool illuminations last week, which is his three-hour drive from their town. In recent months he has been strolling the beaches of Cleethorpes, visiting his safari in Knowsley, his park, dining in the pub with his family and enjoying his lunch this Christmas. doing. Ordinary pleasures, like those enjoyed by millions of fellow citizens. But for this 33-year-old man of his, each is a significant step back to normalcy. Almost half my life was stolen by the state and I was even locked up in a safe hospital alongside violent criminals because of the UK “crime” of being autistic.
I first wrote about Ryan three years ago, when he was in solitary confinement, and made a statement about the suffering of people with autism and learning disabilities to those trapped in psychiatric hell. I was in the middle of a campaign highlighting suffering. Their story sent shivers down my spine. Citizens were mentally and physically abused with horrific human rights violations and were placed at the center of the National Health Service due to lack of social care. Parents said their children were medically bound, violently restrained, stripped of their underwear, fed from hutches like wild animals, and forced to sleep on the floor. He said they were traumatized for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, the Fat Cat Company made huge profits by inflicting atrocities on helpless communities.
Sharon, 63, told us that her life fell apart when Ryan was 17. She had three children of her own, but some of her youngest child’s behavior included being quiet and moody, disliking surprises, and throwing a tantrum if she went to school in a different way. The strange point of was seen. But he was also loving, kind, and had a wonderful memory. Then one day she found him standing in his bedroom with a razor blade in his hand and blood on his wrist. I was screaming for help, but it was still terrible,” she said.
She responded similarly to her mother in such a disturbing situation by seeking help from the NHS. Since then, she deeply regrets it. “I hate to say it, but one piece of advice I give parents is to never seek help from mental health services,” she says bitterly.
Doctors diagnosed depression and Ryan agreed to be placed in a specialist’s ward. However, all “experts” could not find autism in him. Sending such a person into a noisy and deprived environment inevitably escalated his mental struggles and spiraled out of control. This led to him being imprisoned in a forensic hospital for 12 years, even though he had never committed a crime. Cut off from his family, riddled with drugs that make his body swell and rot his teeth, and being restrained by staff, he was left with bruises and broken bones.
After Sharon mustered up the courage to tell me about her son, his story was picked up by other media outlets. She became a passionate campaigner to free him and other autistic men, women and children imprisoned in abused conditions. After being held for 15 years, Ryan was finally released from custody under the Mental Health Act in January, allowing him to return to a more normal life and begin to recover from the dreaded state-imposed stress. Now he lives with a team of caregivers in the community, and his “meltdowns” have been reduced from almost daily to once every three months he has.
“It’s so nice. He’s so happy,” said his mother. He’s been plagued with some cases, so it’s good to hear positive stories. But the number of people trapped is largely unshaken. Official figures put him at more than 2,000 people with learning disabilities or autism in English-speaking hospitals, but other data suggests a much higher number. More than 100 people have been detained for over 20 years.
“As a society, we have an obligation to get this right,” Matt Hancock told me before ditching politics and heading into the celebrity jungle. When he highlighted the incident, he was then held in solitary confinement for ten years, and a private hospital legally silenced his parents and threatened to kick him out.
A psychiatrist had found Tony “fit for discharge” in 2013, but authorities were unable to work out the correct treatment package. It was later found that the NHS had paid the company £650,000 a year to house him in one of his rooms with a side bedroom and toilet. He even asked me to change the TV channel.
Tony was finally released in October after 21 years, four months and three days in custody. Now he lives near their house. Last week he also went to see the local Christmas lights. “Tony loves being in his own home and having a dedicated staff,” said his mother, Pam. However, she fears that her expertise is still insufficient to meet his needs, especially since he remains “severely scarred” by the trauma of his prolonged imprisonment.
I hope he can reintegrate more fully with his community. I hope But, she said, and as Ryan’s case once again proves, how bureaucrats, doctors and politicians continue to add to such destructive barbarism and flagrant denial of human rights. Shame on you? This family suffered needless suffering from the scandal, which most agree is morally wrong, medically stupid, and financially wasteful.
For more than a decade, the media has made numerous revelations of abuses, vicious investigations, and promises of action, yet there is still a grotesque institutional inertia that has led to the torture of thousands of citizens. Christmas is a time of family and New Year is a time of hope. So when will this horror story end?