Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
Re R (Children) (Control of Court Documents) [2021] EWCA Civ 162
(Court of Appeal (Civil Division), King, Peter Jackson, Elisabeth Laing LJJ, 12 February 2021)Practice and Procedure – Disclosure of court documents – Sexual abuse findings –...
AG v VD [2021] EWFC 9
(Family Court, Cohen J, 04 February 2021) Financial Remedies – Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, Part III – Russian divorceThe wife was awarded just under £6m...
Become the new General Editor of The Family Court Practice, the definitive word on family law and procedure
The Family Court Practice (‘The Red Book’) is widely acknowledged as the leading court reference work for all family practitioners and the judiciary. We are currently recruiting a...
SCTS releases new simplified divorce and dissolution forms for Scotland
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has released new simplified divorce and dissolution forms of application. As a result of legislation repealing Council Regulation EC 2201/2003, the...
Welsh Government launches consultation on amendments to adoption regulations
The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on the proposed amendments to the Adoption Agencies (Wales) Regulations 2005 and the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (Wales) Regulations 2015....
View all articles

CARE: Re W (Care: Threshold Criteria) [2007] EWCA Civ 102

Sep 29, 2018, 16:30 PM
Slug : re-w-care-threshold-criteria-2007-ewca-civ-102
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Feb 20, 2007, 04:21 AM
Article ID : 85277

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Dyson and Wall LJJ; 20 February 2007)

Expert evidence at first identified clear evidence of anal abuse of the young child; national experts later concluded that there was no clear evidence of abuse. In a rehearing of the care application ordered by the Court of Appeal the local authority sought to establish significant harm, relying upon anal abuse by the father, an offender under Sch 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (a Sch 1 offender), on incidents of smacking, and on the mother's failure to protect the child, and to establish likelihood of future significant harm relying on risk of exposure to further abuse and the mother's inability to care for the child. The mother had terminated the relationship with the father and was now in a relationship with a man about whom the authority had expressed no concern. The mother had attended all the contact sessions, travelling some distance to do so; she had successfully completed an intensive parenting programme, obtained counselling and maintained contact with the community psychiatric team. The judge was not satisfied that sexual abuse had been established, but he did find that the father had smacked the child, constituting significant harm, that the mother had failed to protect the child, that there was a risk of future abuse, sexual and physical, and, relying heavily upon a report from a psychologist, that the mother was unable to care adequately for the child.

Ordering a further re-trial, the court noted that when a court found on the balance of probabilities that abuse had not taken place, it was difficult to see, as a matter of logic, how the other parent could then be held to have failed to protect the child against such abuse. None of the findings made by the judge warranted the conclusion that the child had suffered significant harm as a result of the mother's failure to protect her from sexual abuse, given that the judge had already found that the child had not been sexually abused. The mother's relationship with a Sch 1 offender might have suggested a likelihood of future significant harm, but did not do so without evidence that the mother would be likely to repeat the mistake. Although striking a child of 8 months with any blow, let alone a forceful one, was unacceptable parental behaviour, in the overall context the smacking incident was not sufficient to satisfy the threshold criteria; there was no evidence that it caused the child significant harm. In any event, physical abuse by the father could not properly have led to a care order, as the mother had terminated the relationship with the father, who had no contact with the child. There was force in the mother's criticisms of the psychologist's report; the judge had placed undue reliance on the expert's evidence and had not weighed properly the many positive factors in the mother's case. It was particularly regrettable and surprising that the expert had not been prepared to assist the judge by commenting on what others had observed; this was a sufficient derogation from the basic duty owed by an expert witness to cast doubt on the objectivity and soundness of the expert's evidence.

Categories :
  • Archive
  • Judgments
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from