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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

23 APR 2014

Re L (Fact-Finding Hearing) [2013] EWHC 4646 (Fam)

(Family Division, Eleanor King J, 21 March 2013)

Fact-finding hearing - Non-accidental injury - Care proceedings in relation to sibling

The judge found on the balance of probabilities that the father had caused the child's injuries and that the mother was guilty of failing to protect.

The full judgment is available below.

Care proceedings were initiated in relation to the now 8-month-old child due to the death of her older half sibling in 2011 following a non-accidental head injury. The child was currently living with the paternal grandparents under an interim care order.

In a fact-finding hearing the medical evidence was unequivocal and overwhelming to the effect that the older child, who suffered from cerebral palsy, was subjected to two serious assaults, the second of which caused his death. During the course of the hearing the parents accepted that evidence.

The father had problems with drug and alcohol abuse. He was prone to violent outbursts as evidenced by the domestic violence suffered by the mother. The mother's evidence was unreliable and she was prone to making things up. It was likely that on the day the child collapsed the father suffered a momentary loss of self control and assaulted the child.

On the balance of probabilities the father caused the child's injuries and the mother was guilty of failing to protect the child to a very significant and serious degree.

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Neutral Citation Number: [2013] EWHC 4646 (Fam)

Case No: FB12C00263

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

FAMILY DIVISION SITTING IN THE

BIRMINGHAM REGISTRY

The Priory Courts

33 Bull Street

Birmingham, B4 6DW

Date: 21/03/2013

Before :

MRS. JUSTICE ELEANOR KING DBE

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Between :

Birmingham City Council

Applicant

- and -

LB

1st Respondent

- and -

CL

2nd Respondent

- and -

SL and P L

3rd Respondent

- and -

L

4th Respondent

(through her Children's Guardian)

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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Miss Probyn (instructed by Birmingham City Legal) for the Applicant

Miss Foulkes (instructed by Birmingham City Legal) for the Applicant

Mr. Weston QC (instructed by DM Partnership ) for the 1st Respondent

Miss Lakin (instructed by DM Partnership) for the 1st Respondent

Mr. Vater QC (instructed by Greens Sols) for the 2nd Respondent

Mr. Garrido (instructed by Greens Sols) for the 2nd Respondent

Ms Hayward (instructed by The Family Firm Sols) for the 3rd Respondent

Mr. Bean (instructed by Anthony Collins Sols ) for the 4th Respondent

Hearing dates: 25th February 2013 - 21st March 2013

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The full judgment is available to download here.

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