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21 DEC 2015

Re X (Children)(No 3) [2015] EWHC 3651 (Fam)

Re X (Children)(No 3) [2015] EWHC 3651 (Fam)

(Family Division, Sir James Munby P, 16 December 2015)

Public law children – Care proceedings – Allegations of the mother being a radical extremist – Mother attempted to remove children to Turkey – Fact-finding

The President concluded that the local authority had not proved its case in respect of allegations of the mother’s radical extremism and the children would be restored to the mother’s care.

The mother of four children had attempted to take her family to Turkey when she was arrested at the airport along with the maternal aunt, uncle and grandmother. Emergency protection orders were granted and the children were placed with foster carers.

The local authority threshold statement listed a range of concerns including that the mother intended to travel to Syria to join with ISIS militants. Significant materials had been found at the mother’s home. The mother disputed that the threshold had been crossed and refuted the suggestion that she was a radical fundamentalist. However she shifted her position on several occasions and accepted that she had not been fully open and honest with professionals. She asserted that she had actually travelled to Turkey to meet and possibly marry a man which she claimed provided a reason for certain items being in her luggage.

The President found that there were two factors of particular importance pointing in opposite directions. The mother had not proved her case in respect of her intended marriage which meant that the only explanation she had proffered for the items being in her luggage fell away. The local authority had not proved that the material found at the mother’s home had the significance suggested or that she was a radical or extremist. Weighing all of the matters, although there remained suspicion about what the mother had been doing, the court was unable to conclude that the local authority had proved any part of its case and the children would be restored to the mother’s care.

This judgment was handed down in open court

Case numbers omitted

Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWHC 3651 (Fam)



Civil and Family Justice Centre

Vernon Street


Date: 16 December 2015



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In the  matter of X (Children) (No 3)

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Mr  Simon J G Crabtree (instructed by the local authority) for local authority A

Mr Karl  Rowley QC (instructed by Stephensons Solicitors LLP) for MX (mother of X1, X2. X3, X4) 

Miss Ayeisha  Khandia (of Fountain Solicitors) for FX (father of X1, X2, X3, X4) 

Miss Linda Sweeney (instructed by AFG Law) for GX (the children’s guardian of X1, X2, X3, X4)


Hearing dates: 20-23 October 2015

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