This is a bit of a weird set of circumstances, although the nature of the facts behind it are not that uncommon.
Basically, in private law proceedings, a CAFCASS officer was about to share their report. A final hearing was listed for 3 weeks time, so everyone understandably wants to know what the CAFCASS report is going to say.
However, before the CAFCASS officer finished the report, they became aware via the police that there was a child protection investigation taking place about the father, the investigation being done by both English police in Dorset and New Zealand police – that’s obviously quite a logistical challenge, because of both the time zones and the accents. The police weren’t ready to as the Judge described ‘go over the parapet and confront the father and interview him’ and didn’t want him tipped off as to the nature of the allegations before doing so.
Obviously the CAFCASS officer can’t simply ignore that they’re now aware of an allegation that father has committed sexual offences against a child and that there’s a police investigation, but doesn’t want to jeopardise that investigation by tipping father off.
So, an application was made to Court for the report not to be shared, yet.
I don’t actually know what CAFCASS are supposed to say when they are chased up by the parents solicitors, since I don’t think they can actually say ‘there’s a court order that says we don’t have to share it yet’ because the obvious next question will be ‘why?’
(I did immediately wonder why the parents wouldn’t twig that ‘hey, I live in Dorset and father lives in New Zealand, and we’ve got a private law hearing at the end of May, is this about us?’, but the judgment was published AFTER the CAFCASS report was ordered to be disclosed)
This particular set of circs is unusual, but the whole ‘police know something but they don’t want it shared yet’ is not that unusual.
So, here’s a High Court authority if you want it.
G v G and Another 2018
And obviously you should buy my book, which is out now, and being reviewed (over charitably as ‘more enjoyable than Harry Potter’ and ‘From Dusk till Dawn meets Tracy Beaker’ – fair, I think)
BUT if you want a chance at winning a copy, come up with a good Suesspicious Minds type headline for this piece. I sat down assuming something with Kiwi or Dorset would come to me readily, but it didn’t happen. A signed copy to the answer I like best. Poor puns, pop culture references are the way to my heart. Or frankly, just tweet me at @suesspiciousmin with really good pictures of Natalie Dormer.
If you’ve read the book, please take five minutes to pop a review on Amazon. Because of the way their robot algorithms work, the more reviews I get, the more the book pops up on other people’s “Hey you might like this” bit. Also, I genuinely want to know what people think of it.