His Honour Judge Glenn Brasse.
Where there are Children Act 1989 (CA 1989) proceedings in which there is a child victim of serious non-accidental injury or sexual abuse and these are linked to criminal proceedings many months or even more than a year can elapse between the child being interviewed under the Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) procedure and being cross-examined in the criminal trial. Self-evidently this cannot be in the child's best interest nor can it serve the interest of justice. Where the child is in foster care awaiting permanent placement a move will usually be unhelpful to the child until the criminal trial is over. The child might have been seriously abused by a parent against whom he or she will have to give evidence. That experience will be traumatic. The child will need time to recover before moving on.
In the CA 1989 proceedings the evidence of the child would have been admitted as a video recording. The interview would have been conducted by sympathetic and trained personnel. The child would rarely be required to appear in the witness box for cross-examination...
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