In a written judgement published on 23 November 2007, Sheriff Daniel Kelly QC of Perth granted Elsie Melville (59) two hours’ access a month to her four grandchildren, conditional on her not giving them sweeties. Elsie’s daughter Donna Russell (36) had refused her mother access because she regularly provided them with carrier bags full of sweeties and fizzy drinks. There was evidence that the two older children had had teeth removed, although it could not be shown that this was due to over-consumption of sweeties. Donna also suspected that a complaint by her mother had led to the SSPCA visiting her home in connection with two pet dogs also kept in the house. Mrs Melville admitted buying a big bag [of sweets] on Monday to last [the children] for a week, but said that now she would make them sandwiches and give them yoghurt when they came round to see her. The views of the four children on the matter are unknown. Scots Law News readers will recall that Scottish Ministers decided against giving grandparents any statutory right to access in what became the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 (see No 430).
Scots Law News being approving of attempts to cure the nation’s addiction to, not only sweeties but also fags and fatty foods (booze can be held over for more detailed consideration elsewhere), we were delighted to read of the latest prisoners’ human rights challenge to Scottish Ministers, which will, according to the Sunday Herald for 25 November 2007, be a claim that they cannot get the recommended five portions of fruit and veg per day – presumably inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 3 ECHR, but just possibly also a denial of the right to life under Article 2. The nanny state hoist with its own petard or health messages, we feel. But we also wonder how many lawyers get their daily rations of fruit and veg, never mind the rest of the population.