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My Cases

Due to the confidential nature of Children Act proceedings I am unable to provide names of cases or full details. The below anonymised notable cases provide a snapshot of the work I have personally undertaken. Where a case has been reported in the Law Reports the citation is given in bold.

Case Name / Party Represented / Location Main Issue Summary/ Outcome
Re B (2016)

 

Mother

 

 

Location: South Coast

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking). The parents were accused of shaking their youngest child who was found to have subdural and retinal haemorrhagingThe chid was also noted to have benign enlarged subarachnoid spaces (BESS).  The experts all agreed that on balance there was a chronic subdural haemorrhage and birth could not be excluded as a cause of this.  Further, that the BESS could predispose to subdural bleeding following a minor incident and subsequently the acute blood was likely to be the result of the child falling over.  Subsequently, the local authority sought to withdraw their applications for care orders.
Re S (2016)

 

Mother

 

Location: London

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking). We successfully defended the mother against allegations of shaken baby syndrome.  She was exonerated of caused any hard to her child and the returned to live with the child immediately whilst father undergoes risk assessment.
Re B (2016)

Mother

Location: North West

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking). Both parents were accused of shaking one of their children after intracranial injuries were found.  We represented the mother who was cleared of any wrongdoing. 
Re A (2016)

 

Mother

 

Location: North West

Fractures I represented a mother in proceedings relating to her son.  The father had had an accident with the children causing an injury to his leg, later revealed to be a femoral fracture.  Further investigations revealed two other fractures.   After a fact finding hearing the mother was removed from the pool of perpetrators.  The father underwent assessment and their son was returned to their joint care.
Re R (2016)

 

Mother

Fractures This mother was accused of causing an old and a new fracture to her son’s arm.  The new fracture was explained by an accident at home but the mother could not account for the old fracture.  After some robust exploration of the medical evidence the expert radiologist said there was no old fracture and the local authority withdrew their applications for care orders.
Re H (2016)

 

Father

 

South West

Fractures and bruising I represented a father in care proceedings involving his two young children.  The youngest had been found to have several rib fractures as well as bruising.  After exploration of the medical evidence and an in-depth parenting assessment the children were returned to their parent’s care.
LB Hounslow v M and F [2015] EWFC B214

 

Father

 

Location: London

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking) The parents were accused of shaking their son after he collapsed at home following an accident in which he fell over.  Various medical experts were instructed to assist the court in relation to the injuries (subdural and retinal haemorrhaging as well as encephalopathy) and various family members had to intervene within the proceedings.  After a 10 day fact finding hearing the judge accepted that the child had had an accident and nothing more.
F and J (Children) [2015] EWFC B231

 

Father

 

Location: West Midlands

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking) and fractures 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.
Re P (2015)

 

Mother

 

Location: South East

Fractures 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.
Re G (2015)

Mother

Location: West Midlands

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking) The parents were accused of shaking their baby after he stopped breathing.  Hospital investigations revealed intracranial bleeding and encephalopathy.  The baby was removed to foster care whilst proceedings were ongoing.  We obtained expert evidence that was favourable to our client and at a fact finding hearing she was exonerated.
Re P (2015)

Location: North West

Fractures 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.
Re G (2015)

Mother

 

Location: London

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking) 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.
  Re R (2015)

Mother

 

Location: Midlands

Re-hearing re fractures 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 the both parents were exonerated of any wrongdoing. .
Re C (2015)

Mother

Location: South East

Bruising Extensive bruising was found on a young infant which lead to allegations of NAI.  My client was removed from the pool of perpetrators and her children were returned home.
Re K (2015)

Father

 

Location: London

Fractures 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.
Re P (2015)

Mother

 

Location: South East

Skull fracture 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 court would now allow an EDS expert to be instructed and instead used an endocrinologist (who accepted a lack of knowledge of EDS when giving evidence).  In any event, threshold was not met and the mother was cleared of causing the fracture.  Her daughter was returned to her care immediately.
Re G (2015)

Father

 

Location: North West

Bruising 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.
Re S (2015)

Mother

Location: East Midlands

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking) 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.
Re J (2015)

Paternal grandparents

 

Location: South

Fractures I represented these grandparents who were included within the potential pool of perpetrators for causing two fractures.  They had had sole care of the baby in the relevant time frame.  After a fact finding hearing, they were cleared of any wrong doing.  The parents were also cleared and the children returned home.
Re H (2015)

Mother

Location: East     Midlands

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaking) 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.
Re S (2014)

Father

 

Location: South West

Skull and other fractures 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.
Re G (2014)

Mother

 

Location: North East

Discharge of SGO 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.
Re W (2014)

Father

 

Location: North West

Reopening findings of NAI 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.  More expert evidence is being gathered and there will be a further fact finding in the new year.
Re H (2014)

Father

 

Location: Wales

Bruising 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).
Re L (2014)

Mother

 

Location: North East

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaken baby syndrome) 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.
Re B (A Child) [2014] EWHC B1 (Fam)

 

Mother

 

Location: Midlands

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaken baby syndrome) 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.
Re R (2014)

Mother

 

Location: North West

Reopening findings of NAI 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 [2014] EWHC 479 (Fam)

Child

Location: South West

Infant death I represented the sibling of an infant who had died during this extensive fact finding hearing. Some very complex medical evidence was subject to long debate, particularly in relation to eye injuries and axonal injury (internal neck injury).
Re O (2013)

 

Grandmother

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaken baby syndrome) 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) [2014] EWHC 278 (Fam) Non-accidental injury and disclosure to the police This lengthy case concerned serious non-accidental injury and a difficult issue about what, if anything, should be disclosed to the police and CPS.
Lancashire County Council v R & W [2013] EWHC 3064 (Fam)

 

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaken baby syndrome) 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.
Re A (A Chlid) [2013] EWHC 3502 (Fam)

 

Father

Allegations of non-accidental head injury (shaken baby syndrome) 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.
Re L and M (Children) [2013] EWHC 1569 (Fam) Allegations of non-accidental head injuries (skull fracture and rib fractures) 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.
Re R   (2013)

Mother

Allegations   of non-accidental injury (metaphyseal fractures) My client (mother) and child are reunited full time after risk assessments show she is 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.

 

Re H   (2013)

Mother

Allegations   of non-accidental head injury (shaken baby syndrome) Child returned to my client’s care in lengthy care proceedings during which mother was cleared of causing any harm to the child.

 

 

Re M   (2013)

Father

Allegations   of non-accidental injury (skull fracture) 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) [2013] All ER (D) 232 (Feb)

 

Mother

Supreme Court Judgment (perpetrator   of harm) The issue   for the Supreme Court was does a previous Court finding that one or both of   two individuals 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.

 

Re M (a child) (oral evidence: vulnerable   witness) [2012] All ER (D) 272 (Nov)

 

Father

Court of   Appeal.  Allegations of non-accidental   head injury (shaken baby syndrome) Following   allegations of NAHI I represented a father within a 10 day fact finding   hearing. He 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   [2012] EWCA Civ 1710

 

Father

Allegations   of non-accidental injury (fractures including extensive skull fractures) An infant  was found to have fractures (the most ‘spectacular’ skull fracture ever seen   by 4 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).

 

Re B (2012)

Mother

Infant   death At the   conclusion of a three week fact finding hearing, the mother was cleared of causing the death of a 6 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.
Re W (2012)

Mother

Allegations   of non-accidental injury (fractures and bruising) 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 5 day fact find.
Re J Part 2 (2012)

Mother

 

Re J (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 380

Court of Appeal judgment (infant   death) 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.

 

Re G (2012)

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) and extensive fractures 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.

 

Re JS [2012] EWCH 1370 (Fam)

 

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (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.

 

Re J (2012)

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) My client was fully exonerated and   the children returned to her care immediately following a 15 day fact finding   hearing.
Re L (2012)

Father

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) My client had shaken the infant in a   genuine attempt to resuscitate her.    The family was reunited with no public law orders.
Re M (2012)

Mother

Skull fracture and metaphyseal   fracture Full exoneration following a lengthy   fact finding hearing that concluded a short fall had caused the   injuries.  Family reunited immediately.
Re C (2011)

Father

Fractures Following a positive risk assessment   after (disputed) findings of NAI were made, the family were reunited.
Re J Part 1 (2011)

Mother

Infant death (NAI) in previous   proceedings The Court dismissed the local   authority’s application for care orders.    Local Authority to appeal (see above).

 

 

Re A (2011)

Mother

Fractured tibia Following firm allegations of NAI,   the care order applications were withdrawn after expert evidence established   the ‘obvious’ cause of the fracture was a witnessed accident.

 

Re K (2011)

Step-father

Infant death Complex   and lengthy care proceedings conclude with the step-father being able to   return home with the mother and child following serious findings of   non-accidental injury.

 

Re G (2011)

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) A   full High Court re-trial (to last 8 weeks) is ordered in relation to findings   of non-accidental injury (shaking) and failure to protect after legal   argument and new evidence is considered.

 

Re R (2011)

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) We   were able to establish the timing of the infant’s collapse and exclude my   client from the pool of perpetrators. The infant was rehabilitated back to   her care following full exoneration in relation to the injuries and any   failure to protect.

 

Re R (2011)

Father

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) My   client was fully exonerated at a fact finding hearing in which it was   established that the child had become unconscious following an accidental   fall and was then subject to a resuscitative shake. The children returned   home immediately.

 

Re K (2011)

Child

A minor I   represented a 15 year old child in protracted residence and contact   proceedings following a successful application to allow him separate   representation (from that provided by the Children’s Guardian). In line with   his wishes, much more extensive contact was achieved.

 

Re H (2011)

Mother

Fractures The   local authority eventually withdrew their applications for care orders and   the family was reunited after it was established that the father had caused   the injuries during a witnessed accident in which too much pressure was   inadvertently applied.

 

Re R (2010)

Father

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) The   local authority withdraw their application for a care order (having alleged   that the parents violently shook their child) after expert evidence was   produced confirming that an accident witnessed by mother was the cause of the   injuries.

 

A Local Authority v A (No 2) [2011] EWCH 590

 

Mother

Allegations of smothering This was a High Court judgment relating to placement of a disabled child with grandparents.  This was the first case of ‘hot-tubbing’ (having all experts present to give evidence together).
Re C and D (Children) [2010] EWHC 3714 (Fam)

 

Mother

Fractures and bruising This   judgment is from the fact finding hearing which sought to establish whether   six week old twin girls had suffered non-accidental injuries. The local   authority failed to satisfy the court on the balance of probabilities that   any of the injuries were non-accidental and subsequently their applications   for care orders were dismissed. The court considered the discharge of the   burden of proof, unreliable expert evidence, the need for good quality   photographs and for skilled representation in care proceedings.

 

Re S (2010)

Mother

Fractures It   was alleged the parents had caused serious fractures to the long bones. Both   parents were fully exonerated following vital expert evidence presented to   the court that there were in fact no fractures at all but a normal periosteal   reaction.

 

Re A (2010)

Paternal Aunt

Infant death I represented   an aunt within prolonged and complex care proceedings relating to   non-accidental injury and the death of an infant. Our client wished to   establish contact with the children; this was successfully obtained.

 

Re G (2010)

Father

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) After   extensive investigations by way of expert instruction, the local authority   withdrew their applications for care orders at the start of the fact finding   hearing. A key issue here was hydrocephalus and other significant health   problems due to extreme prematurity.

 

O-M (Children) [2009] EWCA Civ 1405

 

Mother

Fractures (appeal) This   judgment is from the Court of Appeal following an application to appeal the   trial Judge’s refusal to allow expert instruction in the field of genetics.   Expert instruction was deemed necessary due to an older sibling suffering   from a genetic disorder causing fractures with minimal trauma. The appeal was   dismissed but the Court of Appeal gave directions to enable the instruction   of a geneticist.

 

Re H (2009)

Mother

Factitious Illness

(Munchausen’s)

Lengthy   care proceedings involving allegations of ‘Factitious or Induced Illness’   (previously known as Munchausen’s). The baby had been removed at birth but   was able to return home to his parent’s care once it was established that my   client, the mother, did not pose a significant risk to him.

 

Re S (2009)

Father

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) Proceedings   concluded after a long and complex fact finding hearing in which we were able   to produce expert medical evidence that clearly demonstrated there was no   non-accidental injury. The local authority could not establish threshold and   withdrew their applications for care orders.

 

Re L (2009)

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) Despite   findings being made that the father shook the child following a failed   attempt at resuscitation, the children were successfully rehabilitated to   both parents’ care with my client (the mother) acting as a safeguard.

 

Re D (2009)

Mother

Allegations of non-accidental head   injury (shaken baby syndrome) We   were able to demonstrate, using expert medical evidence, that the child suffered from a rare blood clotting disorder and was therefore susceptible to   bleeding following very minor trauma. The children were returned immediately   following judgment after a 10 day fact find.

 

Re C (2008)

Father

Infant death Care   proceedings following allegations that the mother had killed another child. We   successfully secured a residence order in favour of my client (the father) in   respect of his daughter.