CARE: CL v East Riding Yorkshire Council, MB and BL (A Child) [2006] EWCA Civ 49

28 FEB 2006

(Court of Appeal; Wall LJ and Coleridge J; 7 February 2006) [2006] 2 FLR 24

In care proceedings it was necessary to define with clarity precisely what the local authority was inviting the court to find, especially in a split hearing. The burden was on the local authority to establish that the child's injuries had been non-accidentally caused. The occurrence of accidental injuries was not sufficient to satisfy threshold criteria; serious accidental injuries might occur in the care of conscientious and competent parents. In so far as the judge had found that the threshold criteria had been met because one of the parents was responsible for injuries which were possibly accidental, she was wrong to do so. However, a failure to protect a child following accidental injuries would be relevant to the threshold criteria.

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