Birmingham City Council v SK [2016] EWHC 310 (Fam)

19 FEB 2016
(Family Division, Keehan J, 19 February 2016)

Public law children – Child sexual exploitation – Injunction made against alleged perpetrator – Alleged perpetrator wrongly identified – Application to withdraw application

The local authority was granted permission to withdraw its application for injunctive relief.

When the 15-year-old girl was assessed by the local authority as being at risk from child sexual exploitation it issued care proceedings and applied for an injunction against the alleged perpetrator of the CSE, LG. The injunction was granted on the basis of evidence gathered by the police and the local authority.

Within days of the injunction being granted it became evident that there had been a lack of communication and/or misunderstanding between the police and the local authority. LG had been wrongly been identified as a possible perpetrator. The local authority immediately applied to discharge the injunction against LG. The application was granted and the local authority and the police were ordered to explain how such an error could have occurred.

The local authority and the police had now devised an agreed protocol covering all stages of the investigation of child sexual exploitation. That comprehensive protocol would greatly reduce the risk of an alleged perpetrator being wrongly identified.

Submissions were providing on the differing views set out in London Borough of Redbridge v SNA [2015] EWHC 2140 (Fam) and Birmingham City Council v Riaz and others [2014] EWHC 4247 (Fam), [2015] 2 FLR 763 but in the absence of the local authority seeking any form of injunction there was no need for the court to determine the matter.

This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the children and members of their family must be strictly preserved. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.

Case No: BM15P08274

Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 310 (Fam)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
FAMILY DIVISION


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 19/02/2016


Before:

THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE KEEHAN

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Between:

BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
Applicant

- and -

SK
(By her Children’s Guardian)
Respondent

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Ms Lorna Meyer QC and Mr Stefano Nuvoloni (instructed by Birmingham City Council) for the Applicant
Mr Piers Pressdee QC and Ms Jacqueline Wehrle (instructed by Glaisyers Solicitors) for the Respondent

Hearing dates: 20 January 2016

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Judgment 


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