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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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Re F (A Minor) [2016] EWHC 2149 (Fam)
Date:25 AUG 2016
Third slide
Law Reporter
(Family Division, Hayden J, 18 August 2016)

Public law children – Evidence – Mother misquoted and misrepresented by consultant clinical psychologist

The judge found that the court could not rely on the conclusions of the consultant clinical psychologist.

In the course of care proceedings the mother was assessed by a consultant clinical psychologist. His report made adverse recommendations against the mother. During her assessment sessions the mother had made recordings which demonstrated that the expert report had substantially misquoted and misrepresented her. She now sought a number of findings including false reporting, inaccurate quoting designed to present her in a negative light, fabrication of conversations and deliberate misrepresentation.

The judge found that extensive parts of the report purported to be direct quotations from the mother which were nothing of the kind. They were, in fact, recollections and impressions created by the expert which were attributed to the mother.

Although his work was widely respected and the judge found he was genuinely motivated to help, on this occasion he had disregard for the conventional principles of professional method and analysis, displayed a zealotry which he should recognise as a danger to himself and his clients. In this case, the court could not rely on his conclusions.

Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 2149 (Fam)
Case No: SE16C00036

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
FAMILY DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Date: 18/08/2016


Before :


MR JUSTICE HAYDEN


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In the matter of Re F (a minor)

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Taryn Lee QC (instructed by Howells Solicitors) for the Mother
Karl Rowley QC for the Local Authority Fenella Morris QC (instructed by BLM Solicitors) for Dr Harper
Jonathan Cohen QC (instructed by Bury & Walkers LLP) on behalf of the Children’s Guardian

Hearing dates: 15th, 16th & 17th August 2016

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Re F (A Minor) [2016] EWHC 2149 (Fam)

Judgment