(Family Division; Ryder J; 28 January 2010 and 15 March 2011)
The parents were in an abusive relationship in which the father physically harmed the mother. A fact-finding hearing found that the mother had intended to, and did, smother her own child while in public ward, although she did not intend to kill the child. The resultant brain damage left the child severely disabled.
The father's relationship with the child was very important and must be promoted. The same was true of the paternal grandparents. On balance the judge considered the maternal grandparents would be able to work with the professionals and others and realised that conflict would cause the child significant harm.