F and J (Children)  EWFC B231
I represented the father in proceedings involving their two children after the youngest had collapsed and been found to have subdural and retinal haemorrhaging as well as two fractures. After several arguments to secure a number of medical experts and a 15 day fact finding hearing, the parents were cleared of any wrong doing and their children returned home.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2015/B231.html
This mother was accused, along with the father and both sets of grandparents, of causing three fractures to her infant son. These proceedings were lengthy and complex due to the medical issues involved (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and other genetic issues). The judge eventually found that the parents were telling the truth and did not harm their baby. They were both exonerated and resumed care of their son.
The parents were accused of shaking their baby after he stopped breathing. Hospital investigations revealed intracranial bleeding and encephalopathy. We obtained expert evidence that was favourable to our client and at a fact finding hearing she was exonerated.
I represented a mother following allegations that she had caused three rib fractures, a humeral fracture and bruising. After thorough investigation she was removed from the pool of perpetrators and resumed care of her daughter.
Following the collapse of her infant daughter, subdural and retinal haemorrhaging was found and this mother was accused of shaking her baby. We fought to obtain the right experts and following a fact finding hearing the mother was removed from the pool of perpetrators and collected her baby immediately from foster care.
Findings had previously been made that two metaphyseal fractures were non-accidental. The child was rehabilitated to my client’s care with a safeguarding plan to manage the risk. However, we applied to reopen the findings. Further medical experts were instructed and a re-hearing took place. The outcome was that both parents were exonerated of any wrongdoing.
Extensive bruising was found on a young infant which led to allegations of NAI. My client was removed from the pool of perpetrators and her children were returned home.
The parents were accused of causing non-accidental injury (fractures) to an infant. After expert evidence, my client was removed from the pool of perpetrators. Later, after a fact finding hearing, the mother was also cleared of any wrong doing.
The mother was accused of causing a skull fracture to her young daughter. By exploring the mother’s own medical history we were able to obtain a diagnosis of EDS. The mother was cleared of causing the fracture and her daughter was returned to her care immediately.
I represented this father after he and his wife were accused of causing significant bruising to a 4 year old. It was shown that the child suffered from a medical disorder that was likely to make him more prone to easy bruising. It was agreed that the children could return home.
The parents were accused of shaking their daughter but through expert evidence we were able to demonstrate that the bleeding on the brain had been caused by a genetic problem coupled with a witnessed fall. The parents were cleared and reunited with their children.
I represented these grandparents who were included within the potential pool of perpetrators for causing two fractures. After a fact finding hearing, they were cleared of any wrong doing. The parents were also cleared and the children returned home.
The parents were accused of shaking their baby. Expert medical evidence revealed that the fall described by the parents was plausible and the local authority withdrew their application for a care order.
I represented a father with proceedings involving allegations that he and the mother had cause a skull and two rib fractures. Although findings were made against them, we were able to secure expert risk assessment which lead to a rehabilitation of the children to their care under a safeguarding plan.
Findings had previously been made against this mother that she was in the pool of perpetrators for shaking her daughter. The children were placed with the maternal grandparents under a special guardianship order. Due to the changes made by the mother and the high quality contact an application was made to discharge the SGO. This was successful.
Findings had previously been made against my client that he had caused intracranial injuries and fractures to his infant son. Relying on new medical evidence, we were able to successfully demonstrate to the court that the findings were unsafe and that the matter should be reopened.
The local authority sought a care order in relation to a young child after extensive and unexplained bruising was discovered on his face. After various expert reports, the local authority agreed that the child could return to his parents care without the need for a fact find (a risk management plan was put in place).
I took over the representation of this mother after the original fact finding hearing had been aborted. Both parents were accused of shaking their infant son. We managed to instruct further medical experts and through an 11 day fact find were able to demonstrate that mother did not cause the injuries. She was exonerated fully and the child returned to her care. The judge specifically noted that the result may have been very different for her (i.e. she may have remained in the pool of perpetrators) if she had not changed solicitors.
This case, in which I represented the mother, involved allegations of shaken baby syndrome against both parents. The child fell of a bed whilst in father’s care and started to have seizures. An ambulance was called and the child was resuscitated at hospital. Investigations revealed subdural and retinal haemorrhages. This case deals with some significant advances in medicine involving chronic (old) subdural haemorrhages as well as a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which increases a child’s vulnerability to bleed or bruise. Both parents were exonerated and their son was swiftly returned to their care.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2014/B1.html
Findings had been made that two metaphyseal fractures were non-accidental. The child was rehabilitated to my client’s care with a safeguarding plan to manage the risk. However, just prior to the conclusion of the case, I became aware (through two other cases I was involved in) of some research and a change in the view of some experts as to how a metaphyseal fracture was caused. We applied to reopen the fact finding hearing and were successful in this application. More expert evidence is being gathered and there will be a further fact finding hearing later this year.
Re JG  EWHC 479 (Fam)
I represented the sibling of an infant who had died. Some very complex medical evidence was subject to long debate, particularly in relation to eye injuries and axonal injury (internal neck injury).
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2014/479.html
This High Court trial involved allegations of shaking against the parents and my client, the grandmother. We were able to demonstrate, after a 10 day fact find, that my client was not responsible for the injuries.
Re X and Y (CHILDREN: DISCLOSURE OF JUDGMENT TO POLICE)  EWHC 278 (Fam)
This lengthy case concerned serious non-accidental injury and a difficult issue about what, if anything, should be disclosed to the police and CPS.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2014/278.html
Lancashire County Council v R & W  EWHC 3064 (Fam)
This is a High Court Judgment following a fact-finding hearing concerning a child who had suffered a serious head injury where the local authority claimed that the father had deliberately injured her but he claimed that the injury was accidental. Both parents were exonerated.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2013/3064.html
Re A (A Chlid)  EWHC 3502 (Fam)
This judgment is from the re-trial of Re M which involved a father (my client) with learning difficulties who was accused of shaken baby syndrome. Mr Justice Baker gives guidance on how to progress a case when a parent has a learning disability.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2013/3502.html
Re L and M (Children)  EWHC 1569 (Fam)
This case, in which I represent the father, is the retrial of a finding of fact hearing heard last year (following a successful appeal). Additional medical expert evidence assisted the court.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2013/1569.html
My client and the child were reunited after risk assessments showed she was not a risk to the child. This difficult case involved a 9 day fact finding hearing at the conclusion of which both parents were found to be in the pool of perpetrators in relation to the causation of two metaphyseal fractures. Although the child has now returned home, an application to reopen the fact finding hearing is pending in light of advances in medical knowledge surrounding metaphyseal fractures.
The parents were accused of shaken baby syndrome during lengthy proceedings which ended with the mother being cleared of causing any harm.
At the conclusion of a 6 day fact finding hearing, the father was cleared of any non-accidental injury or failure to protect in relation to the allegation that he had caused a skull fracture to his young baby.
Re J (children) (care proceedings: past 'possible perpetrators' in new family unit)  All ER (D) 232 (Feb)
The question for the Supreme Court was does a previous Court finding that one or both of two individual caused significant harm to a child constitute a ‘finding of fact’ in subsequent proceedings aimed at determining whether there is a real possibility that other children will suffer harm in the care of one or other of those individuals? The Supreme Court held that a finding of a real possibility that a person had harmed a child in the past was not, by itself, sufficient to establish the likelihood that that person would cause harm to another child in the future. Accordingly, by itself, an earlier finding of harm could not be relied upon to establish a likelihood of harm in the future for the purposes of s 31 of the Children Act 1989.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2013/9.html
Re M (a child) (oral evidence: vulnerable witness)  All ER (D) 272 (Nov)
The parents were accused of shaken baby syndrome. Following Our client suffered from learning difficulties and was assisted by a litigation friend. Findings were made that he had caused the injuries. Due to concerns about the way the trial had been conducted (despite our objections at the time) we appealed these findings. The appeal related to breaches of father’s article 6 rights (right to a fair trial). The Court of Appeal overturned these findings and ordered a re-trial (taking place in June); they emphasised that case management must not at any point override the duty to ensure a fair trial and the need to guarantee whatever support is necessary to compensate a disability.
Re M  EWCA Civ 1710
An infant was found to have fractures (the most ‘spectacular’ skull fracture ever seen by four eminent experts (and three rib fractures). Current medical knowledge was unable to explain what had happened to this child but the very real concern was that there was some underlying bone problem and that this was not non-accidental injury. The trial judge found that the parents were lying and that the injuries were NAI but following an appeal lead by us, the Court of Appeal overturned the findings of NAI and ordered a re-trial before a High Court Judge (taking place in May).
At the conclusion of a three week fact finding hearing, the mother was cleared of causing the death of a six month old infant. The High Court Judge was clear that she was a good mother who had done nothing wrong nor failed to protect her child.
These parents were accused of non-accidental injury in relation to two children (one with historic bruising, the other with metaphyseal fractures). We were able to establish that the older child suffered from a transient blood disorder (causing bruising from normal handling) and that the fractures to the younger child occurred during an accident. The Judge found the parents ‘entirely blameless’ at the end of a five day fact find.
Re J (Children)  EWCA Civ 380
Appeal by the local authority against the dismissal of care proceedings in respect of three children where the facts relied upon by the authority were findings in earlier proceedings involving the mother in which the perpetrator of harm to her child (death) had not been identified. The appeal was dismissed with the Lord Justice’s noting the pressing need for the issue of significant harm and threshold to be considered by the Supreme Court. The matter is due before the Supreme Court in December 2012.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/380.html
Shortly before a three week fact finding hearing was to begin, the local authority withdrew its applications for care orders. This decision came after numerous medical experts ruled out abuse as the cause of the injuries, instead highlighting that the extreme prematurity can cause the same features seen in shaken baby syndrome.
Re JS  EWCH 1370 (Fam)
The parents were accused of shaken baby syndrome. Over the course of a 15 day fact finding hearing six medical experts gave evidence. The Judge concluded that my client was not responsible for causing the injuries. This case is notable for how it succinctly summarises the law and the court’s approach to medical evidence.
Read the full judgement at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2012/1370.html
My client was fully exonerated and the children returned to her care immediately following a 15 day fact finding hearing involving allegations of non-accidental injury.
After being accused of non-accidental injury, the court found that my client had shaken the infant in a genuine attempt to resuscitate her. The family was reunited with no public law orders.
The parents were accused of causing a skull fracture and metaphyseal fractures. The parents were fully exonerated following a lengthy fact finding hearing that concluded a short fall had caused the injuries. The family were reunited immediately.