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(Family Division; Holman J; 26 November 2008)
The child was admitted to hospital in a state of collapse. The medical evidence was that the child had sustained injuries on three separate occasions while in the care either his father or his mother. The father's elder child, by a different mother, had collapsed 10 years earlier, dying in hospital, but at the time experts had not agreed the cause, attributing it to either a serious brain trauma or a rupturing aneurysm in the brain. The local authority applied to expand the threshold criteria in the care proceedings to include the cause of death of the elder child. The case was transferred up to the Family Division.
At the proposal of the judge, the local authority withdrew its application, on the basis that the county court judge could revisit the cause of death of the elder child if he or she felt that such a determination was necessary for the assessment of the overall risk presented by the father.