2018

Case History

Due to the confidential nature of Children Act proceedings I am unable to provide names of cases or full details. The below anonymised cases provide a snapshot of the work I have personally undertaken over the last ten years. Where a case has been reported in the Law Reports the citation is given in bold. I represent mothers, fathers, grandparents and other carers (boyfriend etc) all over England and Wales from Manchester and Newcastle to the midlands, London and Kent

Re H (Children) [2018] EWFC 61

This lengthy High Court matter involved allegations of non-accidental head injury (or shaken baby syndrome). Our client, the mother, was cleared of any wrong doing but unfortunately the involvement of the criminal court (she was still being prosecuted) and the fact that she lost the family home meant that there was a significant delay in the children returning home. The then President of the Family Division gave judgment giving guidance when issues such as this arise.

Re G

At the conclusion of a 12 day fact finding hearing, the local authority applied to withdraw their applications for care orders, conceding that they could not prove their allegations of shaken baby syndrome against the parents. The court commented on the rigorous examination of the evidence that took place and found that the evidence did not support any suggestion that the intracranial bleeding was inflicted; instead the court was clear that the origin was benign.

Re Y

We represented a grandfather who regularly looked after his grandson. It was established that the child suffered from osteopenia and that the force needed to cause the fracture in question was within the limits of normal handling. Subsequently, the local authority withdrew their applications for care orders.

Re B

After allegations of shaken baby syndrome and a lengthy fact finding hearing, our client was exonerated and able to resume care of the children.

Re T

Our client, along with the father, was accused of causing numerous fractures to her infant daughter. We were able to clear the mother of any wrongdoing and now she is caring for both of her children again.

Re M

Proceedings were issued after a child was admitted to hospital after a seizure. He was found to have subdural and retinal haemorrhaging and the parents were accused of shaking him. After lengthy proceedings it was accepted by the court that the father had caused the injury inadvertently. After some work around risk it was established he was low risk and the parents were able to resume care of their son.

Re C

We represented the mother who, along with the father, was accused of shaking her baby. After a ten day fact finding hearing exploring some medical complexities such as EDS, the local authority were unable to establish threshold. The child returned home the following day.

Re R

This case involved the death of a two year old child. Cause of death was unknown but some bruise raised concern over non-accidental injury. Through independent medical instruction, we were able to demonstrate natural causes prior to any fact find and subsequently the local authority withdrew their application for a care order in relation to the surviving sibling.

Re G

Proceedings were issued in relation to two children following the infant being found to have bruising and numerous fractures.   Our client was exonerated and resumed care of both children.

Re K

This matter involved an appeal to the Court of Appeal after a series of procedural irregularities meant that the parents were no longer receiving a fair trial. The case was remitted for a re-hearing before a High Court judge.

Re L

Representing the mother, accused of fracturing her baby’s arm, we were able to demonstrate through independent expert instruction, that there was in fact no fracture and therefore no basis for the local authority to be involved with this family. The local authority withdrew their application for a care order.

Re K

After spending many months under a child protection plan due to concerns around repeated bruising, proceedings were issued and we represented the mother. Given the number of people who cared for the child when bruising was discovered (including medical professionals) it was clear that a medical disorder was the likely culprit for this bruising. We were eventually able to secure a report confirming that EDS was the most likely cause of the bruising. The local authority withdrew their application for a care order.

Re P

This mother had been involved in proceedings years ago which resulted in a finding of non-accidental injury against her. On having another baby, the local authority issued proceedings. We sought expert risk assessment to establish that the risk was low and manageable. Following a programme of safeguarding the mother was allowed to be unsupervised with the baby and now has another baby too.

Re T

Proceedings were issued in relation to two children following allegations that the mother suffered from FII (previously Munchausen’s syndrome) and that the father was implicit in this behaviour. Proceedings such as this are often protracted but it was clear that the children were doing well in their parents care and that the evidential basis for FII was poor. The local authority withdrew their applications for care orders.

Re Y (Fact Finding), Re [2018] EWFC B20 (27 April 2018)

We represented the father who was at home alone with his baby when he became unconscious. The father had tried to assist him when he had choked on some milk. At the conclusion of a lengthy fact finding hearing, it was accepted that the father’s actions were in an attempt to revive the child and threshold was not me.

Re C

This mother was accused of shaking one of her infant twins. We were able to establish that there was a relevant genetic mutation at play which predisposed him to bleeding. On that basis, the local authority withdrew their applications for care orders.

Re T

Proceedings were issued following a baby collapsing at home in the father’s care. Our client, the mother, was cleared of any wrong doing fairly early on and was able to resume care of the child whilst the court determined the rest of the case.