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 twelve 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 and South East.
West Sussex County Council v B
This is a judgment from the Family Court in care proceedings after proceedings were issued and parents accused of inflicting intracranial bleeding (by shaking). The medical evidence was such that the local authority applied to withdraw their applications and the children returned to the parents.
Re H (to be reported, case citation awaited)
After an infant collapsed in our client’s care and went into respiratory arrest, the father was accused of shaking him. Lengthy and complex medical evidence followed which lead to the conclusion that the father had not caused the injuries intentionally or in any loss of control. The father returned to the family home.
A five year old child referred to social services by her school following some excessive bruising. The proceedings were lengthy and involved several interveners who were also including in the potential pool of perpetrators for causing the injuries. Our client was cleared of causing the injuries.
A six week old baby was found to have bruising and several fractures. We represented the father and through medical evidence were able to demonstrate that he did not cause the injuries. The child returned to his care.
The parents were accused of inflicting a skull fracture. An accidental explanation had been given from the outset but was not thought to be sufficient to cause a fracture. Three children were removed from their care as a result. We successfully argued for the older children to return home during the proceedings. In identifying the right medical experts, the conclusion was clear that the fracture was accidental and the baby returned to the care of the parents when the local authority withdrew their applications for care orders.
This case involved the death of an infant whilst being cared for by her father. Proceedings went on for a long time due to the medical complexities and need to explore genetic issues which had arisen. Following the resumption of the fact finding hearing, the judge concluded that threshold was not met, that the local authority had not proved their case against the father and therefore he returned to the family home.
The mother (our client) was accused of poisoning one of her children and of having Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII, formerly Munchausen’s). After a complex fact find and risk assessments, our client now lives with all of her children, supported by her own mother.
Representing the father, both parents were accused of shaking their infant. We obtained medical evidence which meant our client was removed from the pool and was able to move back in with the children whilst the rest of the case was determined.
The parents were accused of inflicting a skull fracture to their infant daughter. We obtained medical evidence to show that the injury was most likely accidental and the local authority withdrew their application for a care order.
Re E (to be reported, case citation awaited)
Two children were removed from their parent’s care after the baby collapsed at home and had intracranial bleeding thought to be caused by shaking. The older child was struggling away from his parents and we managed to get him back to the care of his parents, supervised by family members. The baby remained with family carers and proceedings were complicated by a cancer diagnosis which necessitated more expert evidence than usual. Seven experts reported and many gave evidence during the fact find. Our client (mother) was cleared of any wrongdoing and although findings were made that the father had caused the injuries, they were caused inadvertently. The family were reunited.
Representing the father, we were able to show that an infant who sustained a skull fracture did so following an accident and that the fracture was not inflicted. The local authority withdrew their applications for care orders.
We represented a father in proceedings where both parents were accused of inflicting a fracture to their infant daughter. It was ultimately accepted that the fracture was caused during an accident and the family were reunited.
Two children were removed following repeated bruises being found on an infant child. Various medical tests had been done in the hospital with no cause being found. We obtained expert evidence from a geneticist who concluded that the infant had a disorder which pre-disposed her to bruising. Subsequently, the local authority withdrew their applications for care orders and the children returned home.
We represented a mother who, along with the father, was accused of shaking her daughter. Following complex medical evidence and a fact find it was found that the father had caused the injuries after the child had collapsed but not in a way that was in any way deliberate. The child returned home to the care of both parents.
The parents were accused of shaking their son after he collapsed at home in their care and was found to have intracranial injuries. The court concluded that our client had not caused the injuries and that the child could return to her care.
We represented a mother who was accused of shaking her daughter (along with the father). We obtained medical evidence which showed that the child had a pre-disposition to bleeding by way of a genetic disorder. This meant that an accident that had taken place that wouldn’t usually have been expected to cause the injuries was in fact the most likely cause. The court exonerated the parents and the child returned home.