Lancashire County Council have been given the responsibility of caring for a former sex worker who has significant memory problems.

The woman, who is in her 40s, is living in a specialist secure unit, a judge has been told.

At a virtual hearing in the Court of Protection on Tuesday, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, Mr Justice Hayden heard that the woman, who is also HIV positive, could not retain information for longer than a matter of minutes.

She had a history of drug addiction, had made suicide attempts and had suffered a brain injury.

The judge said the woman could not be named in media reports of the case, and that Lancashire County Council now had responsibility for her care.

During the hearing Mr Justice Hayden was asked to consider issues relating to the woman’s mental capacity to make decisions about her care, and heard evidence from specialists.

The judge, who is based in London, concluded that she did not have the capacity to make decisions relating to the management of her HIV problem.

Another judge concluded that placement in a specialist secure unit was in her best interests.