An ex-Coronation Street actress’ mum was arrested after trying to take her 97-year-old gran out of her care home before lockdown.
Leandra Ashton, who played Saskia Larson on the soap, shared agonising footage of her mum being handcuffed, while her dementia-stricken grandmother sat in the car during the incident in East Yorkshire on Tuesday.
Retried nurse Ylenia Angeli, 73, had not seen her dementia-stricken mother for nine months due to the coronavirus pandemic and wanted to care for her at home.
Humberside Police later confirmed it had withdrawn the arrest and allowed Ms Angeli to return home with her elderly mother after the heartbreaking scenes.
Leandra posted the distressing clip of her mum being packed into a police patrol car on Facebook, calling for relatives to be treated like ‘key workers’ to avoid such situations happening to anyone else.
The former actress and yoga teacher wrote how the the family had been trying for months to take her gran home, after growing frustrated with window visit-only policies.
Leandra tries to reassure her gran who is sitting in the front of the family car.
“Nan, I love you and we are going to fight for you,” she says.
She cries as her mum is put in the police car, and can be heard to say as she films: “I’m not fine. It’s ridiculous, it’s my grandmother, we want to be with our grandmother.”
Ylenia replies to her: “I love you, come here. Stay strong.”
Leandra’s gran had been resident in the care home in Market Weighton for around a year.
In her post, actress and yoga teacher Leandra said: “Yesterday my 73 year old Mum, pushed into the care home to hug my 97 year old Grandma who has dementia. She then quietly wheeled her out.
“My Mum, is a trained nurse and wishes to care for my Nan at home.
“We only have Power of Attorney for my Nan’s finances. Not for her wellbeing.
“Before lock down we could over come this by visiting my Nan regularly.
“Now we can’t. My Mum was arrested because she refused to take my Nan back to the care home.
“It feels like we are living in the worst Kafka-esque nightmare. People in masks coming to take your relative away from you.
“I find myself for the first time in my life on the wrong side of the law.”
Leandra added that she had “tried to go through all the official channels” by writing to MPs and Public Health England.
She said: “We raised a ‘safe guarding’ concern at the beginning of lockdown due to my Nan’s clear deterioration but this was inexplicably dropped and ‘disappeared’.
“When she became ill at the care home and was admitted to hospital we asked that she not go back.
“Yet she was discharged from hospital behind our backs and without our consent.
“When you are faced with irrational responses your actions become irrational.
“When you are repeatedly told ‘we’re just following the rules’ and those rules have kept you away from your loved one for about 8 or 9 months, you question those rules.
“When the rules – like so many in this period of our history – are purporting to be in place to ‘protect’ but yet are causing untold damage to physical and mental health then you start breaking the rules.”
Police later said they had initially responded to reports of an ‘assault’ at the home.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble of Humberside Police said: “We responded to a report of an assault at a care home in Market Weighton in East Yorkshire at 11.15am yesterday.
“The care home had also reported that a woman who they were legally responsible for had been taken from the home by her daughter.
“Officers found both women along with a third woman nearby and informed them that they would need to return the lady to the home, as is their legal duty to do so.
“The situation was distressing and emotional for everyone and the woman did not want her mother to be returned to the care home staff.
“The officer in attendance had to ensure that that everyone was safe and in particular the 93-year-old lady who was frail and vulnerable and so made the decision to briefly restrain the 73-year-old woman until the situation was calm and under control.
“Officers then returned the elderly lady to the home.
“The 73-year-old lady was then immediately unrestrained, de-arrested and allowed to return home with her daughter.
“She and her daughter thanked the officers for the way they had dealt with the incident.
“We understand that this is an emotional and difficult situation for all those involved. We sympathise with all families who are in this position and will continue to provide whatever support we can to both parties.”
Leandra’s husband James McKenna said following the incident his mother-in-law had been treated well by officers despite the distressing circumstances of her initial arrest.
James, from York, said: “The police were very compassionate, they saw and understood the predicament and we can’t fault the way they acted.
“It’s an ongoing issue with the care home that’s caused us to take this action.”
A spokesperson for the care home said: “We have been told not to comment.”