It's now the end of October and Steven had been held in the Unit for 10 months. The council had just accepted a tender from a hospital in Wales for Steven's long term care and, unbeknown to us at the time, had submitted an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed Steven's welfare deputy. That would have given them the power to carry out their plan without any chance of redress from us.
Steven had taken to sitting on his own in the dining room to watch the telly. He found the communal living room too stressful. I suspect everyone else was in the living room watching the X Factor and Steven saw his window of opportunity. He was in his pyjamas and he didn't even stop to put on his shoes. He bolted out of the front door, unlocked the front gate, crossed two main roads and was found about 25 minutes later in the car park of a transport cafe. None of the staff on duty realised the significance of this but the cafe was at the top of the road where we used to live. They didn't realise that Steven was about five minutes away from freedom.
The following day, Steven told me his plan:
"Steven Neary was going to Julie Neary's house.
Julie Neary will speak to Mark Neary on the phone
Mark Neary will take Steven home in the car"
A few weeks beforehand Steven had failed a mental capacity assessment. Pah! I think he'd constructed a genius plan, that very nearly came off.
It certainly marked a huge change and from that point on, things moved very quickly in our favour.
A few months ago, I met a screenwriter who has read my book and said that the "escape" scene would be one of the pivotal scenes of a film - with a Take That soundtrack to the scene.
So, here we go. Watch the clip and try and picture Steven in his pyjamas, making his great escape.