Feb 21, 2022

Elderly man who broke his ‘sweetheart’ out of aged care home avoids jail

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Ralph “Terry” Gibbs received a seven-month suspended jail term in a Perth court yesterday after he was found guilty of removing 84-year-old Carol Lisle from a Mandurah aged care facility in January of this year.

According to court documents, police believe that Mr Gibbs put his partner’s health at risk when he assisted 84-year-old Carole Lisle into his car and fled her nursing home without permission on January 2.

After fleeing Ms Lisle’s Mandurah nursing home, the pair spent two days on the run as they drove more than 1500km through outback WA before being located at the Northern Territory border.

Ms Lisle, who lives with both dementia and Parkinson’s disease, required urgent medical attention after the incident.

Mr Gibbs was initially charged with deprivation of liberty and endangering life but eventually pled guilty to the lesser charge of unlawfully detaining a mentally ill person.

It was revealed that the couple had been in a 15-year relationship and actually lived together on the Gold Coast before Ms Lisle’s goddaughter brought the elderly woman to Perth.

Outside of the court, Mr Gibbs told reporters that his “little sweetheart” had been taken to Perth by her goddaughter while Mr Gibbs was recovering from an illness in a Cairns hospital. 

Mr Gibbs now fears that he will never get to see Ms Lisle again after a restraining order was put in place to prevent Mr Gibbs from having any contact with his former partner.

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  1. That is absolutely cruel to do that to the man and especially done while he was unwell.. They have no heart, and I wonder about the lady’s rights considering she was living in a long term relationship prior to being in nursing home.
    For that family to take it to court instead of working through issues again …what can I say.
    I look at this through the eyes of someone who also is prevented because of “one size fits all”.

    1. Perhaps the lady was living in the community with him as her carer and there was no legal document that empowered him to act on her behalf. If she had no capacity to live alone this would have required her admission to an aged care facility and someone would have to be appointed as her representative. The god- daughter may have taken on the responsibility to ensure her care and safety.
      There is no doubt the gentleman was very sad but it may have been a necessity for the lady. It is a reminder to all that we need to have something in place so that if we loose capacity to make our own decision, there is some thing to guide our future care, eg Enduring Power of Attorney.

      1. Terry did have Enduring Power of Attorney for Carol. However the so called “god daughter”took Carol (and her Jewellery box) without Terry’s permission to Perth while Terry was in hospital recovering from a virus. Terry’s EPA was not recognised in WA. Carol passed away earlier this week without seeing her beloved Terry or having an opportunity to say goodbye. Terry was killed the next day in a car accident while travelling back to their family home in Cairns.
        Two lives lost and families devastated. Terry is no longer here and able to tell his story, but many others will !

    2. Yes this is absolutely tragic and would not have occurred if it were not for the self serving greed of the so called “god daughter” who saw monetary gains in her deceitful actions to keep two people apart who loved each other dearly. Terry’s worse fears came to fruition on Tuesday when Carol passed away, he was forbidden the opportunity to saw goodbye to his sweetheart- Terry learned of Carols passing while travelling back to their beautiful family home without his beloved by his side, he was tragically killed in a car crash before making it home. Two lives lost and families devastated all because of the actions of one horrible human being with purple hair ! Let common decency prevail and allow them to be placed to rest together.

  2. Have love for this elderly couple who can teach us the true meaning of love. And unite them for what ever time they have left.
    I hope my Darling comes and rescues me if I’m put away with out his knowledge.
    Naughty God Daughter . Shame on you

  3. This is so sad. Why is it that some people feel they are entitled to take over someone else’s life because they are old. To remove her to a different state and put her in a home is just so controlling. If she was caring for her in her own home herself it might have a small degree of understanding, but effectively she has been placed with strangers and taken away from the only person who effectively loved her so much he wanted to care for her in her fragile state. The goddaughter’s actions have the stench of money surrounding them. So sad for the couple.

  4. That is disgusting to deprive an elderly man of not being able to see the woman he loves. She may die soon and the man will be heartbroken.

    Who amongst us thinks, they have the right, law or no law, to deprive people and especially the aged who have everything taken or ripped off them, the right to tell them how to live or who they can see. This man did what he thought was right. Why should he be punished for loving and caring for an elderly woman who no one cares about and is shut up in a nursing home deprived of her rights and her freedom to chose? She most certainly would live longer in a loving caring relationship with a man who loves her.
    We have to step aside and let the elderly live their lives the way they want. Our interference only causes extreme distress and suffering. Who wants to be in a nursing home? No one. Ask those that are interned there against their will.

  5. So sad. I hope that when I get to that age there will be more compassion and understanding for elderly folk, and more respect for their social connections and needs . Not everyone wants to be locked up in an aged care facility to be “safe”. I can see that Terry whisking Carol away would cause grief (and we don’t know all the circustances), however, to put a restraining order on him seems totally unfair and downright cruel to both of them.

  6. There had to be a better solution, surely.

    Is this aged care or deprivation of liberty. There are only two people who come out of this story with any credit. Romeo and Juliet.

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