(Family Division; Munby J; 11 April 2008)
During supervised contact between the parents and the baby the parents had a physical fight with each other, in the course of which the mother allegedly threw the baby a distance of 18 inches to the contact supervisor.
A s 34(4) order refusing to allow the mother contact with the child was a very drastic interference with the relationship between mother and baby at an early stage in care proceedings, and required extraordinarily compelling reasons. The child's safety imperatively demanded that the court make such an order in this case, although it would be too drastic for such an order to last until the final order. The s 34(4) order would expire on the date of the case management conference, giving the mother another chance to show that she could put the child's needs before her own problems. The proceedings were transferred back to the county court as no longer justifying High Court involvement.