(Court of Appeal; Thorpe and Wilson LJJ and Black J; 29 January 2008)
In the fact-finding stage of care proceedings the judge found that he could not conclude that there was no real possibility that the father had abused the child, and that there was a real possibility that he had. At a later stage the judge stated that, although he wished to, he could not reach the conclusion that there was a real possibility that a child in the father's care would be sexually abused by him, and that the mother would do nothing effective to prevent a child in her care from suffering sexual abuse; he was constrained by authorities requiring him to reach the opposite conclusion. The children's guardian appealed.
The appeal was dismissed, on the basis of settled authority; however, very difficult and important issues had been raised, and the children's guardian was granted permission to appeal to the House of Lords