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Mother urges end of tube feeding so daughter can have ‘natural and dignified’ death

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A mother wants the High Court to make orders withdrawing tube feeding from her daughter, who has been in a persistent vegetative state for almost 10 years, to allow her die a “natural and dignified” death and cease a “miserable existence”.

Doctors agree the condition of the young woman, a ward of court aged in her 20s, is permanent, incurable and will not improve, High Court president Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told. She has no cerebral brain function, no capacity for awareness, no control over her body, spastic quadriplegia and suffers severe seizures.

The mother, who became upset at stages during her evidence, said her daughter had been full of life and laughter, very private about her body and would “absolutely hate” to be in the position she is.

While doctors say she does not feel pain, her body is clearly under great stress, her seizures are “horrendous” to watch, she makes screaming sounds resembling crying and her condition is deteriorating.

After her daughter suffered massive brain injury 10 years ago, doctors advised there was no hope of recovery but the mother decided at that time peg feeding should continue in the hope of some recovery and because she feared her daughter would “starve to death” if peg feeding was stopped.

She had read about people recovering from severe injury and hoped for “a miracle”.

“You learn very quickly we don’t live in Hollywood,” she said.

When her daughter marked another birthday four years ago and her friends had stopped coming to see her, she said: “It hit me she will never ever recover and I decided I would help her leave this miserable existence.”

She had not come to that decision lightly but considered the best thing for her daughter is to allow her a death that is “as peaceful as possible”.

“She has done her penance and is in limbo, she’s neither in this world or the next. I believe her soul is gone and it is just her body that is being kept alive. The spark is gone.”

She was also concerned doctors say her daughter will soon need surgery to address issues arising from skin tightening which would be invasive and would not change her underlying condition.

During a conversation years ago with her then-teenage daughter following several suicides of young people, the mother told her, due to concerns the girl might be glamourising suicide, that some who attempt suicide do not die but are left severely incapacitated.

Her daughter replied she would never want to be brain-damaged in a wheelchair or in nappies and, if that happened to her, to let her die.

The mother said, while she did ask 10 years ago that the feeding tube not be withdrawn, she felt she had insufficient information at the time and there was insufficient discussion with her, including about pain management. The hospital was very good but she felt people “pussyfooted around” and did not set out the “bare facts” and what the future would hold.

In evidence, a sister of the young woman also fully supported the orders.

Her younger sister had been “full of life”, had “the biggest smile” and was a great singer, she told the judge. She is now living a “horrible” existence and it was “heartbreaking” to see her enduring “horrific and terrifying” seizures. “She has no dignity, none whatsoever.”

Living through the Covid-19 pandemic has given more perspective on the true nature of her sister’s plight, she said. “We feel bad because we can’t move 5km but she can’t move at all.”

Ms Justice Irvine, who manages the High Court wardship list, has to decide, on foot of the evidence and the law, whether or not to make the orders.

Various family members are in court. The woman’s birth father has had little involvement in her life but her stepfather of many years supports the application.

Opening the application, Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, with Patricia Hill BL, said this was a case no mother would ever want to bring but his client had come to court to assert her daughter’s constitutional rights.

The daughter’s career and travel hopes were all sadly eliminated by an incident in summer 2011, he said. The mother, who still does not know precisely what happened, got a phone call saying her daughter had had a fit and was on her way to hospital.

The girl had suffered a very serious heart attack, her heart stopped for 45 minutes, she had further heart attacks and was in intensive care for 22 days on a ventilator. She was not expected to survive and the family agreed the ventilator should be switched off. However, she began to breathe on her own and was fed by tube on consent of her family, a situation that continues.

The Constitution recognises the sanctity of life and the presumption of taking all steps to prolong life, he said. However, there is no “absolute” duty to preserve life at all costs and her family wanted her to be allowed a natural and dignified death.

The hearing continues on Thursday.

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Evo Industrial acquires London warehouse (GB)

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Bradda Capital has sold a prime last-mile logistics site in southeast London to Evo Industrial for over €9.3m (£8m). The 3.4-acre site, One Church Manorway, is located in an established industrial area in Erith and has significant development potential. In September 2020, Bradda obtained planning consent to demolish the current 37,662ft² warehouse and to construct a new 60,687ft² facility with a BREEAM sustainability rating of “Very Good”.

 

David Phillips, managing director of Bradda Capital, said: “We are delighted with the level of bidding interest in the site, which reflected the strength of the logistics real estate market. It is an investment that we bought 10 years ago for income with an eye on the growing demand for warehousing in the London area. With leases at expiry, we realised the potential for adding significant value by securing planning consent for a much larger facility of more than three times the volume”.

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Inside six of the most unusual homes for sale on Rightmove

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A £10million mansion with its own vineyard that produces 100,000 bottles of wine a year and a former nuclear bunker costing £50,000 feature in the most unusual homes picked by property website Rightmove.

All six of the most unique homes for sale on the property website made the list for their standout features.

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘It’s such a joy to be able to share these wonderfully unusual properties with the rest of the nation. 

‘From a former nuclear bunker on the south coast to an apartment with a cinema in an underground cave, each one is totally out of the ordinary.’

Here are the six most unusual properties for sale on Rightmove…

1. Former nuclear bunker, Folkestone, £50,000 

Included in the list of most unusual properties on Rightmove is this former Royal Observer Corps nuclear bunker

Included in the list of most unusual properties on Rightmove is this former Royal Observer Corps nuclear bunker

The bunker has a monitoring post with rooms several metres underground, and was built by the Ministry of Defence in 1971

The bunker has a monitoring post with rooms several metres underground, and was built by the Ministry of Defence in 1971

Could you live here? The property in Folkestone has main road access, while the bunker remains in good structural condition

Could you live here? The property in Folkestone has main road access, while the bunker remains in good structural condition

A robust property: Rightmove has described the bunker as 'one of the most impenetrable properties' on its website

A robust property: Rightmove has described the bunker as ‘one of the most impenetrable properties’ on its website

The property is in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Kent coastline, with views across the sea towards France

The property is in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Kent coastline, with views across the sea towards France

It’s one of the most impenetrable properties on Rightmove – and this former Royal Observer Corps nuclear bunker in Folkestone is available to buy.

It has a guide price of £50,000, but it is being sold auction via Miles & Barr estate agents, with properties at auction often being sold for more than the initial asking figure.

The bunker includes a monitoring post with rooms several metres underground, and it was built by the Ministry of Defence in 1971.

It is in an area of outstanding natural beauty, opposite the North Downs Way walking path, with views from the site across the sea towards France.

2. Two-bed flat in Nottingham, £325,000 

From outside, there is no indication of the unusual features contained within this two-bedroom flat in Nottingham

From outside, there is no indication of the unusual features contained within this two-bedroom flat in Nottingham

Steps lead down to the lower ground floor flat, which is currently on the market for £325,000 estate agents Liberty Gate

Steps lead down to the unusual lower ground floor flat, which is on the market for £325,000 estate agents Liberty Gate

Unique entertainment space: The flat includes its own underground cave that doubles up as a private home cinema

Unique entertainment space: The flat includes its own underground cave that doubles up as a private home cinema

The flat is part of the St Marys Gate House development, which was originally built as the French Consulate

The flat is part of the St Marys Gate House development, which was originally built as the French Consulate

The cave cinema boasts reclining leather armchairs, a ventilation and heat recovery system and a sizeable wine chiller

The cave cinema boasts reclining leather armchairs, a ventilation and heat recovery system and a sizeable wine chiller

Mixing the old with the new: The flat has a modern kitchen with some clever lighting and exposed brickwork

Mixing the old with the new: The flat has a modern kitchen with some clever lighting and exposed brickwork

This two-bedroom flat includes its own underground cave that doubles up as a private home cinema.

The cave cinema boasts reclining leather armchairs, a ventilation and heat recovery system and a sizeable wine chiller.

The property is being sold via estate agents Liberty Gate, with a guide price of between £325,000 to £335,000.

3. Four-bed house, St Leonards-on-sea, £1.25m 

The perfect pad to party at home? This colourful property in East Sussex has an interesting carnival theme

The perfect pad to party at home? This colourful property in East Sussex has an interesting carnival theme

The St Leonards-on-sea house is being sold via M&W Sales and Lettings, with an impressive asking price of £1.25million

The St Leonards-on-sea house is being sold via M&W Sales and Lettings, with an impressive asking price of £1.25million

The property is called The Bath House: The detached house has four bedrooms, and was once a Victorian Turkish bathhouse

The property is called The Bath House: The detached house has four bedrooms, and was once a Victorian Turkish bathhouse

The house has a bright interior: There are chandeliers hanging from wooden beams and bright red velvet corner sofas

The house has a bright interior: There are chandeliers hanging from wooden beams and bright red velvet corner sofas

Fancy a game? The main living area includes its own bowling alley with a large clown face light display hanging above it

Fancy a game? The main living area includes its own bowling alley with a large clown face light display hanging above it

This colourful property in East Sussex has a carnival theme and includes its own bowling alley in the main living area.

There are chandeliers hanging from wooden beams, bright red velvet corner sofas and ‘dodgem’ artwork on the walls.

The detached house has four bedrooms, and was once a Victorian Turkish bathhouse – hence its name today is The Bath House. It is being sold via M&W Sales and Lettings, and has an asking price of £1.25million.

4. Three-bed house, London, £6.5m 

The London property was designed by Sir David Adjaye, the same architect who designed actor Ewan McGregor's home

The London property was designed by Sir David Adjaye, the same architect who designed actor Ewan McGregor’s home

Not your typical home in the capital: The property in Kings Cross has three bedrooms with unusual features

Not your typical home in the capital: The property in Kings Cross has three bedrooms with unusual features

Making a splash: The main bedroom suite of this London home comes with an enclosed narrow swimming pool

Making a splash: The main bedroom suite of this London home comes with an enclosed narrow swimming pool

Not a single white tile in sight: The swimming pool area has grey tiles with a black painted ceiling and walls

Not a single white tile in sight: The swimming pool area has grey tiles with a black painted ceiling and walls

The Kings Cross property is on the market for £6.5 million and is being sold via estate agents Sotheby's International

The Kings Cross property is on the market for £6.5 million and is being sold via estate agents Sotheby’s International

The main bedroom suite of this house in the heart of London comes with an enclosed swimming pool and private steam room.

The three-bedroom property was designed by Sir David Adjaye, the same architect who designed actor Ewan McGregor’s home.

The Kings Cross property is on the market for £6.5 million and is being sold via estate agents Sotheby’s International.

5. Six-bed mansion with a vineyard, Wales, £10m 

As well as its own vineyard, this sprawling six-bedroom mansion has an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court

As well as its own vineyard, this sprawling six-bedroom mansion has an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court

Plenty of open space: Ancre Hill Estates, near Monmouth, in Wales, boasts an enormous 137 acres of land

Plenty of open space: Ancre Hill Estates, near Monmouth, in Wales, boasts an enormous 137 acres of land

The vineyard set-up is being sold as part of the property and it produces  an impressive 100,000 bottles of wine a year

The vineyard set-up is being sold as part of the property and it produces  an impressive 100,000 bottles of wine a year

A chance to enjoy the Welsh countryside: The stunning property is being sold for £10million via Savills estate agents

A chance to enjoy the Welsh countryside: The stunning property is being sold for £10million via Savills estate agents

Ancre Hill Estates, near Monmouth, includes 29.5 acres of vines and supplies wine to some of the world's top restaurants

Ancre Hill Estates, near Monmouth, includes 29.5 acres of vines and supplies wine to some of the world’s top restaurants

The mansion includes a swimming pool surrounding by a patio with plenty of seating areas to entertain at home

The mansion includes a swimming pool surrounding by a patio with plenty of seating areas to entertain at home

Fancy owning your own vineyard? This property in Wales could fit the bill as it produces 100,000 bottles of wine a year.

Ancre Hill Estates, near Monmouth, is tucked away in the Welsh Borders and boasts an enormous 137 acres of land – including 29.5 acres of vines – and supplies some of the world’s top restaurants, including to French chef Raymond Blanc.

Ancre Hill has been recognised in some of the top international wine competitions in the world and won the Bollicine del Mondo in 2012 when its 2008 Sparkling Wine was voted the best White Sparkling Wine in the world. 

At the heart of the estate is a sprawling six-bedroom mansion, which has an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court. The property is being sold for £10million via Savills estate agents.

6. Houseboat, London, £2m 

This luxurious houseboat once belonged to the French star Edith Piaf who used it on tours around France and Europe

This luxurious houseboat once belonged to the French star Edith Piaf who used it on tours around France and Europe

A quick translation of the boat's name: The houseboat is called Flamant Rose, the French for Pink Flamingo

A quick translation of the boat’s name: The houseboat is called Flamant Rose, the French for Pink Flamingo

A piece of history: The boat has been based at a mooring at St Katherine's Dock marina in London since the late 1990s

A piece of history: The boat has been based at a mooring at St Katherine’s Dock marina in London since the late 1990s

The historic charm of the yacht is felt throughout, with plenty of unique features on show, such as this ship's wheel

The historic charm of the yacht is felt throughout, with plenty of unique features on show, such as this ship’s wheel

This luxurious houseboat, named Flamant Rose – French for Pink Flamingo – once belonged to the French star Edith Piaf, who used it on tours around France and Europe.

The boat has been based at a mooring at St Katherine’s Dock marina in London since the late 1990s, and it is now available to buy for £2million via estate agents Sotheby’s International.

Keen to own your own houseboat? It is on the market for £2million via estate agents Sotheby's International

Keen to own your own houseboat? It is on the market for £2million via estate agents Sotheby’s International

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Search continues for Dublin man missing in US Rocky Mountains

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US park rangers are searching for a 27-year-old Dubliner missing in Grand Teton National Park in the state of Wyoming after his car was found at the start of a hiking trail.

Cian McLaughlin, who studied at Dublin Institute of Technology and works as a snowboard instructor at Jackson Hole in the Rocky Mountains, has not been seen for almost a week.

The Dublin man was reported missing on Sunday morning by Teton County Sheriff’s Office. His car was later found at the start of a hiking trail in the 310,000-acre park.

The National Park Service, the US government agency leading the search for Mr McLaughlin, said he was last seen in the town of Jackson last Tuesday afternoon.

He failed to report for work in Jackson on Thursday and the local sheriff’s office received a missing-person report late on Saturday night.

Grand Teton National Park was contacted early on Sunday when the sheriff’s office received information indicating that Mr McLaughlin may be hiking in the park. A spokeswoman for the National Park Service (NPS) said that park teams with search dogs were out searching the park for the missing man.

She said that Mr McLaughlin is believed to have headed out for a “day hike” without a backpack with him but that “no one knows where he intended to go or where he did go”.

His car was located at Lupine Meadows Trailhead on Sunday morning at an elevation of 6,732ft. The NPS spokeswoman said that there is still snow in the park at about 8,000ft.

Ground-search operations

“Aerial reconnaissance and ground-search operations were conducted in high probability areas in the park on Sunday, June 13th, in search of McLaughlin with no evidence or leads about his whereabouts. Search operations will continue early Monday morning, June 14th,” said the NPS.

In a public appeal, the NPS called on anyone travelling in “backcountry” inside the park since last Tuesday to come forward if they have any information about Mr McLaughlin.

The Dubliner’s Facebook page says he started working at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort last December and that he previously lived in the French ski resort of Chamonix.

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