TWO local authorities have been told by magistrates that they must stop "shilly-shallying" over the welfare of a mentally-impaired man 18 years to the day since the accident that led to his problems
Lancashire Social Services and Hull Social Services have been in legal wrangles over taking responsibility for 26-year-old Karl Swain.
Karl, of Blackburn Road, Great Harwood, fell through a factory roof in Hull, aged nine, on 15 September, 1988, which plunged him into a coma.
He now suffers from temporal limbic abnormality, which causes him to be impulsive, uninhibited and unaware of how to control himself.
He moved to Hyndburn six years ago but now neither council will accept responsibility for Karl's care as his condition is not recognised under the remit of social services.
Technically, doctors say Karl is not brain-damaged and he does not have a mental illness or physical or learning disabilities.
Magistrate Janet Anderton said: "Something has to be done. This has to be resolved and we can't keep shilly-shallying about the whole thing.
"We have to say that it has to be sorted out and then the onus is on the authorities to get it done.
His father, Les Swain, is now calling for there to be a change in national policy for Karl's condition to be recognised by local authorities, so he can get help looking after Karl, who he is afraid will get into more serious trouble with the police.
Mr Swain said: "He deals with things on a daily basis that we all take for granted. He does things without thinking of the consequences and it's only after the event that he thinks.
"I want brain injuries to get the recognition they deserve. If my boy is so special and rare, why isn't anybody doing anything to help?"
He added: "We sit at home isolated and feel like we are the only ones going through this. I'm sure there are other parents feeling the same as us but they have given up."
Karl appeared before the magistrates last Friday charged with affray.
Claire Fanning, prosecuting, alleged that on 31 May, at 4pm, paramedic Rachel McCauley and her partner Matthew Pickering were called to the home of Karl's girlfriend, 20-year-old Dawn Simpson.
Ms Fanning said: "Miss Simpson was in some distress, hyperventilating. She indicated she had been in an argument with her boyfriend, the defendant, and that she was now having breathing difficulties.''
Following concerns that his girlfriend would need hospitalisation, Karl allegedly picked up a knife and held it above his head.
Following a struggle the ambulance crew managed to push Karl out of the door and prevented him coming back in the room. The knife was later discarded in the hallway and Miss McCauley put it in her bag for safekeeping
Ms Fanning said: "He was very upset and was crying."
An application to lift a night-time curfew, stating Karl has to sleep at his parents' address on Blackburn Road, was refused after the court heard he had already breached it.
The case was adjourned until Friday 29 September.
Following the hearing Mr Swain said: "He doesn't come under mental health, learning disabilities or physical disabilities.
"He is actually mentally impaired.
"The responsibilities are being argued over because it's all down to money. Why is a person's life always down to money?
"The fact is he looks as normal as anything but it's what you can't see that counts."