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(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Elias LJJ, 8 November 2012)
The parents of two children were classed as vulnerable. One child lived with the mother and the other lived with the paternal grandmother. The father made an application through the Official Solicitor to have contact with the child living with the mother.
Contact between the child and her father was considered to be of potential benefit but the logistics of facilitating contact was problematic. The father suggested he could have contact while the child was visiting her grandmother who could act as one of two supervisors. He guardian had not considered that suggestion prior to preparing the report. The father's application was refused. He appealed.
The appeal was allowed. While the court was slow to interfere with first instance decisions there was concern that the judge had failed to explain why the most practical option had not been assessed. The matter was remitted for rehearing.
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