||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 36 (Apr)
|| EWCA Civ 380
||Court of Appeal, Civil Division
Lord Judge CJ, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR and Lord Justice Mcfarlane
||S Cobb QC and J Gray (instructed by Stockton on Tees Borough Council) for the local authority.
||P Storey QC and M Todd for the first respondent.
||Judith Rowe QC and B Boucher-Giles for the second respondent.
||3 April 2012
Child - Care - Local authority - Court finding mother and previous partner causing serious injuries to deceased child - Court unable to identify which was the perpetrator - Mother later having children in different family unit - Local authority instituting care proceedings - Proceedings dismissed on basis that court unable to use previous evidence to satisfy relevant threshold criteria - Local authority appealing - Whether court erring - Children Act 1981, s 31.
Child Care. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal of the local authority against a decision dismissing its application under s 31 of the Children Act 1981 to put the mother's children into care, where the only evidence in the proceedings came from a previous set of care proceedings which identified her and a former partner as being perpetrators of serious harm against a child in their care, but was unable to establish which of them had perpetrated that harm. As the historic finding did not amount to a finding on the balance of probabilities that the mother had been the perpetrator, the s 31 application would be dismissed.
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