Court orders Public Guardian to protect woman from predators

A COURT has ordered The Public Guardian be appointed to protect a vulnerable intellectually disable Bundaberg woman from falling victim to callous predators.

The QCAT judgement was handed down in June and published on the Supreme Court Library Queensland website.

The application for an appointed guardian was made to QCAT by the area operations manager of the service provider whose organisation provides support to the woman.

It was stated the woman had an intellectual disability, was very vulnerable and easily persuaded by other people to make decisions that are not in her interests.

It was also stated the woman was at risk of harm and exploitation by men she met on the internet and then met in person due to her keenness to be in a relationship at almost any cost, which in the past had included her dignity, financial and emotional well-being as well as her physical health.

The evidence given to the Tribunal was that the woman had been meeting men over the internet on a dating site and had usually limited her activities to talking on the phone.

However she changed the interaction she had with these men and started to meet them face to face.

In the week when the application for an interim order was filed, the woman arranged to meet a man who was travelling from Bundaberg to meet her.

Evidence provided to QCAT was that she had told her support workers that she intended to pay for the train fare for this man and his brother and intended to pay for a hotel room for the man.

She told support worker that the man had proposed to her over the phone and she had accepted his proposal and she would be supplying the engagement and wedding rings.

The evidence satisfied the Tribunal that the woman had placed herself at risk of harm in making arrangements to meet up with a man she had met on an internet dating service and whose marriage proposal she had accepted.

The Public Guardian was appointed guardian for the woman for a three month period for matters including the woman's accommodation decisions, with whom the woman has contact and/or visits, her health care and the provision of services.

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