IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM BRIGHTON COUNTY COURT
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE LLOYD)
Monday, 4th November 2002
B e f o r e :
LADY JUSTICE HALE
|IN THE MATTER OF H (CHILDREN)|
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MS CLAIR JAKENS appeared on behalf of the Mother.
MR ANGUS WITHINGTON appeared on behalf of West Sussex County Council.
MISS KEELEY BISHOP appeared on behalf of the father.
MR ADAM SMITTO appeared on behalf of D.
Crown Copyright ©
4th, Monday November 2002
" ... they must go to the future welfare of the child, they must go to the issue of contact and they must go to the future case management of the child."
Although Miss Jakens, on behalf of the mother, has sought to suggest that there is not really an issue about the future of this child which would make these findings important for the future management of the child, that, to my mind, is not a point that can sensibly be raised. Even if this child is to remain with her grandmother for the rest of her childhood, there are bound to be questions about the amount of contact she should have with her mother, the sort of contact she should have with her mother, whether in due course anybody might contemplate reuniting her with her mother, whether she might go on a holiday with her mother. All sorts of questions of that nature, which can only be sensibly addressed in the light of a firm view of what the problem might be one way or another.
"This prescribing information does not enable one to say with confidence whether G was receiving overdoses of medication or not. This information could only have been obtained by checking the amounts of medication remaining in bottles in [the mother's] accommodation and this was not done."
But that observation has, of course, to be set against other observations, including those of the local witnesses and the observation of the social worker and the health visitor as to G's drowsiness; and we have been told that there has even been a remark by D about the mother using medication in order to keep G quiet. So that given that these matters deserve to be explored, it would be an artificial exercise to say that the second issue should not be explored along with the first.