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(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Laws LJJ, 3 May 2012)
Appeal from a residence order in favour of the paternal grandmother in respect of a 5-year-old girl. The mother had cared for the child until the point the order was made but she alleged domestic violence by the father, suffered from mental health issues and she did not want the child to have any contact with the paternal family.
During proceedings the mother erupted and threatened to abandon the child although she never acted upon this. The paternal grandmother was then prompted to issue an application for a residence order which was granted by the judge.
The appeal was allowed and a retrial ordered. This was a very unusual case and the judge had been wrong to refuse to reconsider the history of the parents’ relationship in the context of the paternal grandmother's application for residence.