Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice, London
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| Brighton and Hove City Council
|- and -
|- and -
|- and -
|- and -
(by Her Children's Guardian Theresa Seale)
Mr Graham Campbell (instructed by Railtons Solicitors) for the 1st Respondent
Mr Peter Horrocks (instructed by Spearpoint Franks Solicitors) for the 2nd Respondent
Mr Thomas Wilson (instructed by Goodman Ray) for the 3rd Respondent
Ms Clare Ciborowska (instructed by MW Solicitors) for the 4th Respondent
Hearing dates: 18th & 20th December 2017
Crown Copyright ©
Mrs Justice Theis DBE:
(1) An application for a British passport for TG. The application was made yesterday, and the passport is expected to be ready by 3 January 2018;
(2) Suitable arrangements for TG to receive the necessary immunisations, with the expectation that the last one will be given on 11 January.
(3) MGM plans to secure a Gambian passport for TG once they are back in The Gambia.
(4) If the court makes an SGO today MGM agrees to TG remaining in the care of the foster carer whilst the agreed transition plan takes place, building up the time she has with TG prior to the move to The Gambia.
(5) A SGO support plan has been agreed between MGM and the local authority whereby the local authority will make regular financial payments to MGM until TG is 18 years and provide other support as set out in the plan, such as managing contact between TG and her parents on any visits to this jurisdiction and providing financial support to enable MGM to make applications to secure her legal status in relation to TG in the Gambian courts.
(1) On arrival in The Gambia the best option is for MGM to apply for TG to be made a Ward of the High Court of The Gambia pursuant to ss191 – 197 (Gambian) Children's Act 2005 pending a hearing and determination of an application for a Guardianship Order in The Gambia. The wardship would be a temporary measure and for its duration the child would be directed to live with MGM and there could be orders providing some protection against removing the child from the care of MGM.
(2) MGM can also make an application for a Guardianship Order under the Children's Act 2005 ss 179 – 181. This application will, according to Ms Jahateh, take more time as it requires a welfare investigation to be undertaken prior to the court being able to make a final order. If such an order is granted in favour of MGM she will, as a matter of Gambian law, acquire parental responsibility for TG.
Family Court proceedings
(i) the volatile and aggressive nature of the relationship between the parents before she was born. They had said that they had separated at her birth but continued to see each other (despite agreements with the Local Authority that they would not);
(ii) The mother's abuse of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis; and
(iii) The father's misuse of alcohol and drugs.
Additionally, both parents had struggled to engage with social workers and so it
was very difficult to keep TG safe.
The position of the parties.