A (a child : fact-finding) [2021] EWFC B29 (18 March 2021)

This was a fact-finding hearing in care proceedings brought by the London Borough of Waltham Forest in respect of a 5 year old child, the fact-finding took place before Her Honour Judge Reardon. Nkumbe Ekaney QC and Steven Ashworth represented the mother who was assisted by an intermediary. Pamela Warner and Costanza Bertoni acted for the child through her Children’s Guardian. Sam Momtaz QC represented the father’s partner as first intervener. This is the second set of care proceedings for this child.

Due to the complex nature of the case and the adherence with the ground rules regarding the mother who required regular breaks, the fact-finding lasted 15 days. Alongside the history of bruising injuries to the child consideration was given to the mother’s allegation of rape by the father. Oral evidence was heard from 13 witnesses including the family, social workers, the manager at the nursery and the deputy head teacher at a second nursery, the child’s treating clinicians and expert evidence from the child’s paediatrician.

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