B e f o r e :
Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice
| Derbyshire County Council
A (by her Children's Guardian)
The father did not attend and was not represented
Teertha Gupta QC (instructed by Bhatia Best Solicitors) for the Mother
Charles Prest (instructed by A & N Care Solicitors) for the Guardian
Hearing dates: 3, 5 and 8 September 2014
Judgment date: 8 September 2014
HTML VERSION OF JUDGMENT: RE F (NO 2: WELFARE)
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Peter Jackson:
(2) A court may only make a care order or supervision order if it is satisfied
(a) that the child concerned is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm; and
(b) that the harm, or likelihood of harm, is attributable to -
(i) the care given to the child, or likely to be given to him if the order were not made, not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give to him; or
(ii) the child's being beyond parental control.
"harm" means ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another;
"development" means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development;
"health" means physical or mental health; and
"ill-treatment" includes sexual abuse and forms of ill-treatment which are not physical.
(1) He failed (and still fails) to recognise that Amanda's needs are separate and distinct from his own.
(2) In August 2010, he separated her from her mother and siblings, with the intention of doing so indefinitely, and in doing so deceived the mother. As a result, Amanda was deprived of contact with her mother until September 2014 and of contact with her siblings Rebecca and Harold (ongoing) and has never met her brother Isaac despite having been in the same country, South Africa, for two months from August 2012.
(3) He encouraged Amanda not to trust others, including her mother.
(4) His lifestyle and attitudes caused Amanda to be socially and emotionally isolated from her own family and from broader society.
(5) He travelled continually with her from April 2012 so that she had no home, friends or school.
(6) Amanda's education was significantly delayed in her father's care.
E+W(1) When a court determines any question with respect to
(a) the upbringing of a child;
the child's welfare shall be the court's paramount consideration.
(2) In any proceedings in which any question with respect to the upbringing of a child arises, the court shall have regard to the general principle that any delay in determining the question is likely to prejudice the welfare of the child.
(3) In the circumstances mentioned in subsection (4), a court shall have regard in particular to
(a) the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding);
(b) his physical, emotional and educational needs;
(c) the likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances;
(d) his age, sex, background and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant;
(e) any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
(f) how capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs;
(g) the range of powers available to the court under this Act in the proceedings in question.