A Windsor mum is at the forefront of a new legal fight to end the detention of people with learning disabilities under the Mental Health Act - following this week’s shocking revelations on Panorama of abuse in a mental health hospital.

Caroline Hopton has two sons with autism, Oliver, 19, and 21-year-old Harry. She has teamed with a London family to launch a crowdfunding appeal to finance a judicial review challenging the detention in mental health hospitals of people like her sons.

Oliver spent years living away from the family in residential care facilities. He returned home in 2017 after alleged mistreatment in two consecutive facilities.

Caroline, 56, said: “Both Oliver and Harry have amazing talents.

“Harry designs anti-bullying tattoos, after he was bullied during secondary school. This has been a very cathartic process for Harry and has started to help him overcome the emotional pain that he carries from this time.

“Oliver is testament to the fact that a person with autism and/or learning disability can thrive when living with their family and being part of the community, as long as they are given the appropriate support, love and understanding. Since Oliver returned home he has changed beyond recognition. He is happy and flourishing and the anxiety-led behaviours of the past have virtually disappeared. I feel as though I have my son back, not just in person but in spirit.

“Oliver attends a day college which he absolutely loves and he lives at home with the support and love of his family.

“Although Oliver has no mental health condition, he could still be at risk of being inappropriately detained. The detention of autistic and learning disabled people under the Mental Health Act, in mental health hospitals and ATUs is a national scandal.”