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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

22 MAY 2012

CARE PROCEEDINGS:Re L (Psychologist: Duty to the Court)

(Family Division, HHJ Bellamy, sitting as a High Court judge, 20 December 2011)

A fact-finding hearing determined that the mother had caused some of the injuries suffered by the baby and that one or both parents had caused a number of other injuries. The maternal grandmother had cared for child following discharge from hospital and with the consent of the parents, but not of the court, moved the child to Ireland. The Irish court ordered the child's return to England.

 Following their return the parents had been allowed supervised contact and the father commenced staying contact at the paternal grandparents' home. The paternal grandparents, supported by the father, the local authority and the guardian sought a residence order. The mother supported the maternal grandmother's application for a residence order. The report of an independent consultant forensic psychologist report strayed into areas beyond her expertise including medical evidence regarding the child's injuries. The father claimed she had been biased towards the mother.

 It was unsafe to place any reliance on the report and it was in the child's best interests to reside with the father and paternal grandparents for 5 nights per week and the maternal grandmother for the other two. Supervision order in favour of the local authority granted for 12 months.

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