A week-old baby was removed from parents after father is overheard making controversial comments about formula
A UK judge has just heard how social services took a baby boy away from his parents and into care after the father was overheard "praising the benefits of formula milk."
The case centred around a young couple in their 20s, who cannot be identified, but are according to the Telegraph both said to be suffering from 'mild learning difficulties and have been receiving assistance from adult social care workers for around a decade."
According to the Metro, the mother suffered from minor mental health problems and learning difficulties and the father had in the past been aggressive to others.
It was maternity ward medics at the hospital where the baby was born who overheard the father expressing some “unorthodox” views about the need to sterilise feeding bottles and alerted the local council and social services, an act that lead to the infant being removed from his birth parents and taken into care.
However, staff at the special care baby unit where the infant was cared for in the days after his delivery had expressed ‘no child protection concerns’.
Just before the baby was due to be discharged from hospital into his parents’ care, the council rushed to court and obtained an emergency care order.
However, in a damning decision by the High Court in London, a judge has now ordered Kirklees Council to pay the mother, the father, and the little boy damages, after revealing Kirklees Council breached the human rights of a both the baby and his parents.
According to the ruling, the council was found to have persuaded a judge to allow the baby to be taken into emergency care without his parents even knowing the hearing was going on.
The family judge was told that the parents were ‘on notice’ of the hearing and had ‘agreed’ to their baby being taken away from them.
But Mr Justice Cobb at the High Court in London said now the couple were in fact ‘unaware’ of the hearing and were ‘understandably very upset’ when they were told about it. As well as this breach, the council had also ‘forgot to notify Cafcass’ about the case so there was no lawyer present to represent the baby boy’s interests.
After more hearings, the baby was finally sent home to his parents about three months after his removal, and, according to Mr Justice Cobb, in the year since then, the boy had ‘continued to thrive in his parents care’.
He added: “There is no doubt in my mind, indeed it is admitted, that Kirklees Council breached the human rights of a baby boy and his parents. I am satisfied that the breaches were serious…the separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family life.”
Mr Justice Cobb awarded the couple and their son, who is now 15 months old, a total of £11,250 after ruling that Kirklees Council had breached their human rights and misled a judge in a bid to remove the child from their care.
The council was also told to pay a substantial of the £120,000 in legal costs run up in the case.
Read more about: