24 AUGUST 1985, Page 16

One hundred years ago

The case of 'Hillman v. Crosskey,' which has just been tried at Lewes, brings out the defects of the existing Lunacy Law in a way which is all the more striking because of the entire good faith with which every step in it seems to have been taken. If an evidently sane man had been imprisoned at the order of interested relatives, supported by false certificates, it might have been said that no law can provide with certainty against intentional and plan- ned evasion. But in the present case the law cannot be defended on any ground of this kind. Everything has been done in the most open and straight way. The doctors who signed the certificate thought that Mr Hillman required to be put under restraint.

Spectator, 22 August 1885