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Car crash, Hot Tub, (wish they had a) Time Machine



I’m sure there are boring cases that come into the list of Her Honour Judge Lazarus, but I’m yet to read one.


She opens this cracker with the line




  • “ I likened it to arriving at the scene of a car crash, and wondered what one could do about it. This situation should never have arisen. It’s caused huge tension, including within any recommendation, and I’ve tried to keep X at the centre of it. ” This evidence from the independent social worker effectively summarises the key issues in this case.



Which, you’ll agree, is a belter.


Perhaps this opener is better

“Once upon a time, in a place now known as Montana, dinosaurs roamed the land. On a fateful day, some 66 million years ago, two such creatures, a 22-foot-long theropod and a 28-foot-long ceratopsian, engaged in mortal combat.”

Click to access 16-35506.pdf



 And this might be my favourite line in any judgment

Dr Muir Wood asked her in cross-examination why she did not simply Google the word “prick” and she answered with admirable succinctness: “Because it would have shown me porn and penises

Martinez (t/a Prick) & Anor v Prick Me Baby One More Time Ltd (t/a Prick) & Anor [2018] EWHC 776 (IPEC) (11 April 2018)


But the opener here is indupitably a cracker.



Z v Kent County Council (Revocation of placement order – Failure to assess Mother’s capacity and Grandparents) [2018] EWFC B65 (18 October 2018)


I’ll try to capture the background quickly and simply.


In December 2017, a different Judge made a Care Order and Placement Order in relation to a child, Z.


Z’s mother had some significant mental health problems and had spent time (including during the proceedings) in a psychiatric unit.


Early on in the 2017 case, people became concerned that mother might not have capacity to instruct a solicitor (i.e didn’t understand enough about what was going on in the case or what Courts were etc to be able to tell their solicitor what to do. If you have capacity, you can instruct your solicitor to ask for what you want – even if it doesn’t have much chance of success, that’s your right. If you don’t have capacity, someone else – often the Official Solicitor, will decide what the solicitor should ask for on your behalf)


The Court gave directions for mother to be assessed to see if she had that capacity. The mother was also insistent that her parents (Z’s maternal grandparents) should not be assessed as carers. She did not attend that assessment. The Court (not HHJ Lazarus, the initial Judge) made a series of orders basically saying that UNLESS mum attended a cognitive assessment she would be deemed to have capacity by the Court. She did not.

Mum told her solicitors, just before the final hearing, that she agreed to Z being adopted, and a Care Order and Placement Order were made.


(That’s important, because the Court didn’t ever actually resolve whether mum had capacity to instruct her solicitor to agree to adoption. Agreeing to adoption is very rare in care proceedings – sometimes parents decide not to oppose the plan, but in 25 years, I’ve only seen one parent actually consent to adoption in care proceedings. It ought to have rung some alarm bells about whether mum really understood what she was doing)


To make matters worse, as Z’s maternal grandparents had been shut out of the case in accordance with their daughter’s wishes, they did not find out that Z existed until FOUR DAYS AFTER the Placement Order was made. Z had been placed, 3 weeks before that, with foster to adopt carers who wished later to adopt Z.


When the maternal grandparents put themselves forward as carers for Z, everyone accepted that they were capable of caring for Z, AND IF they had been considered within the care proceedings, the Court would almost certainly have placed Z with them under a Special Guardianship Order and not gone the adoption route.


The grandparents applied to revoke the Placement Order and for the Court to make a Special Guardianship Order for Z, placing her with the grandparents.

What HHJ Lazarus was faced with was then a competing argument between the maternal grandparents, and the prospective adopters (who had been caring for Z for 11 months, with the intention always of adopting her)


The prospective adopters, Q and R, gave evidence together in the witness box :-




  1. Q and R were sworn and gave evidence together, in a process known colloquially as ‘hot-tubbing’. This was proposed by me and agreed to by all parties as a sensible and effective time-saving device, and I consider that in the process I gained a good impression of each of them and of them together as a couple.


[See, although my titles are madness, yet there is method in’t. I know a hawk from a hand-saw.]


Oh, by the way, R was the step-aunt of the child’s older siblings, so it was a quasi family placement, so not just a straight fight between family v adopters.


The case, as well as the nightmarishly difficult task of deciding what was best for Z, raised two important issues of law


  1. What happens when a parent is thought to lack capacity, but they don’t cooperate with the assessment that would answer that question?
  2. If a parent refuses to allow relatives to be considered as potential carers, is that the end of it, or is there a responsibility on the Local Authority to consider them anyway if the only other plan is adoption?



  • What happens when a parent is thought to lack capacity, but they don’t cooperate with the assessment that would answer that question?



There’s some lovely analysis here, set out carefully and precisely.






  1. c)       Under section 1(2) of the Mental Capacity Act “ A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he lacks capacity ”. This is more generally known as the ‘Presumption of Capacity’. My underlining points out a critical, and often misunderstood, element of this provision


(WordPress has lost its underlining function, so I’ve put the judicial underlining in red)




  1. d)       Sections 2 and 3 set out the factors to be considered in determining whether or not someone lacks capacity, and are not directly in issue here. However, section 2(4) provides: “ In proceedings under this Act or any other enactment , any question whether a person lacks capacity within the meaning of this Act must be decided on the balance of probabilities .”


  1. e)       It is well established and follows from the wording of those provisions:

–         the Presumption is an important starting point;


–         however information may raise a question whether a person lacks capacity and so lead that Presumption to be questioned;


–         such a question is to be decided on the balance of probabilities by reference to the relevant factors in sections 2 and 3;

–         it is therefore a matter of fact to be determined on evidence by the court;


–         the Presumption is thus rebuttable, and may be rebutted if lack of capacity is established by that determination.




  1. f)       The philosophy and purpose behind this Presumption is not a matter for detailed explanation in this judgment, but one significant intention is to prevent inaccurately assuming lack of capacity in apparently vulnerable individuals without it being properly established on evidence. It is emphatically not there to obviate an examination of such an issue.   Nor can it have been Parliament’s intention to place a vulnerable person in danger of their lack of capacity being overlooked at the expense of their rights by a slack reliance on this Presumption, and as is made clear in the law I refer to below.


In short, whilst deciding that a person lacks capacity requires a judicial decision and evidence, that doesn’t mean that where you have doubts about a person’s capacity you just go with the presumption unless there’s a cognitive assessment to say otherwise.





  1. k)       Medical evidence is “ almost certainly ” required for the purposes of establishing lack of capacity.   In Masterman-Lister v Brutton and Co (Nos 1 and 2) [2003] 1 WLR 1511 at paragraph 17H Kennedy LJ said: “ even where the issue does not seem to be contentious, a district judge who is responsible for case management will almost certainly require the assistance of a medical report before being able to be satisfied that incapacity exists ”.






  1. l)           But what should be done if there is no expert evidence available?    


In Carmarthenshire County Council v Peter Lewis     [2010] EWCA Civ 1567 Rimer LJ was considering an application for permission to appeal against a decision in which the first instance judge had made an order that “ unless the applicant allowed an examination of himself by a particular specialist by a specified date, he was to be debarred from defending the claim ”. The purpose of the proposed examination was to assess capacity. In that case, the applicant did not allow the examination, and at the final hearing, the first instance judge determined the claim against him without further consideration of the issue of capacity. On appeal, Rimer LJ said this:


“ In my view the problem raised by this case is as to how, once the court is possessed of information raising a question as to the capacity of the litigant to conduct the litigation, it should satisfy itself as to whether the litigant does in fact have sufficient capacity. I cannot think that the court can ordinarily, by its own impression of the litigant, safely form its own view on that. Nor am I impressed that the solution is the making of an “unless” order of the type that Judge Thomas made. The concern that I have about this case is that an order may have been made against a party who was in fact a “protected party” without a litigation friend having been appointed for him ”.



  1. m)       In Baker Tilly (A Firm) v Mira Makar [2013] EWHC 759 (QB) the Respondent refused to co-operate in an assessment of her capacity. The Master hearing the case at first instance made his own assessment, based on the information available to him, that the Respondent lacked capacity. On appeal to the High Court, Sir Raymond Jack noted the dictum of Rimer J (above) that the court cannot ordinarily , by its own impression of the litigant, safely form its own view of capacity. But he also noted that “ In most cases where a question of capacity has arisen the person whose capacity is in question has co-operated with the court and the court has been provided with the assistance of appropriate medical experts ” and that “ counsel has not found any case where the court has had to resolve a situation as has arisen here where the litigant has refused to co-operate in an assessment of their capacity ” (paragraph 8). In the case then before him, having taken into account further information not available to the Master, he came to the opposite conclusion as to capacity. But it is noteworthy that there is no suggestion that the Master should not have attempted the exercise, or could have properly left the issue of capacity unresolved.






  1. n)         In Re D (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 745 the issue before the appeal court was whether the court at first instance had failed properly to determine whether or not the mother had litigation capacity at the time proceedings were heard.



King LJ said this at paragraph 30: “ Evidence from a suitably qualified person will be necessary as to the diagnosis [cf. section 2(1) Mental Capacity Act]. This will usually be someone with medical qualifications. … ”.



And at paragraph 56:


“ This case does however perhaps provide a cautionary tale and a reminder that issues of capacity are of fundamental importance . The rules providing for the identification of a person who lacks capacity, reflect society’s proper understanding of the impact on both parent and child of the making of an order which will separate them permanently. It is therefore essential that the evidence which informs the issue of capacity complies with the test found in the MCA 2005 and that any conflict of evidence is brought to the attention of the court and resolved prior to the case progressing further . It is in order to avoid this course causing delay that the Public Law Outline anticipates issues of capacity being raised and dealt with in the early stages of the proceedings .”


In that case the Court of Appeal described the steps that had been taken at first instance to establish capacity as a “ serious procedural irregularity ” but declined to order a fresh capacity assessment and a retrial on the basis that the mother was not adversely affected and no practical difference was made to the hearing or outcome as a consequence. The court validated the proceedings retrospectively.



  1. o)       There therefore remain, to some extent, tensions between the dicta in the Court of Appeal cases referred to above, and arising between:



–           on the one hand the absolute necessity to determine an issue of capacity, as a matter of fact, with the assistance of expert or other medical opinion, and as a matter of urgency;



–           and on the other hand, the possible absence of an expert or other medical opinion through the parent’s non-engagement, refusal to attend assessments, or due to a failure to provide information by the relevant medical sources.



  1. p)       There does not appear to be a clear and authoritative decision that provides guidance with direct reference to this problem. It cannot have been intended that proceedings should be hamstrung and in stasis by an inability to determine this issue in the absence of co-operation with medical assessment or availability of medical evidence.



  1. q)       However, the key may be in the words ‘ ordinarily ’ and ‘ almost ’ in the Carmarthenshire and Masterman cases, and the word ‘ likely ’ in PD15B paragraph 1.2 which appear to give some leeway.



  1. r)         Paragraph 44 of the updated 2018 Family Justice Council guidance states: “ A parent may decline professional assessment. In those circumstances, it will be for the court to determine the issue on the best evidence it has available. ”



  1. s)         This may enable courts faced with this challenge where there is no expert or medical assessment evidence to meet the absolute requirement that capacity issues must be fully addressed and determined, and to do so by reaching appropriate pragmatic evidence-based decisions, while ensuring that both the overriding objective and the protected party’s rights are fully in mind.



  1. t)         Such a determination could be based on a careful review of the other relevant material that may be available, such as a report from a clinician who knows the party’s condition well enough to report without interviewing the party (if available and appropriate), other medical records, accounts of family members, accounts of the social worker or other agency workers who may be supporting the parent, and occasionally direct evidence from a parent. [2]    



  1. u)       Any such finding made without expert assessment evidence that leads to a declaration of protected party status due to lack of litigation capacity could always be reviewed upon expert evidence being obtained to suggest that the finding was incorrect, and by ensuring that the question of assessment is regularly revisited with the protected party by their litigation friend, their solicitor and the court. Such a review and correction is anyway the case where a party has regained capacity and the issue is addressed with the benefit of an updating expert opinion.






  1. v)       What can be derived as following from the above statutory provisions, guidance and case law as clearly impermissible or inappropriate, and would likely lead to a failure to apply the required procedural approach and lead to breaches of that party’s Article 6 and 8 ECHR rights? :



–             failure to grasp the nettle fully and early,



–             ignoring information or evidence that a party may lack capacity,



–             purporting to ‘adopt’ the Presumption of Capacity in circumstances where capacity has been questioned,



–             making directions addressing the capacity issue, but discharging them or failing to comply with them and thereby leaving the issue inadequately addressed,



–             failing to obtain evidence (expert or otherwise) relevant to capacity,



–             use of ‘unless’ orders,



–             similarly, using personal service or ‘warning notices’ on that party,



–             relying on non-engagement by that party either with assessments or the proceedings,



–             proceeding with any substantive directions, let alone making final orders, in the absence of adequate enquiry and proper determination of the capacity issue,



–             treating a party as having provided consent to any step, let alone a grave and possibly irrevocable final step, where capacity has been questioned but the issue not determined.







There’s a long and careful analysis of the principles with sources (which I’d recommend as vital reading for any lawyer or professional grappling with the issue of whether to consult with family members where the parent is dead-set against it but where adoption appears a realistic outcome if suitable family members are not found.) But here are the conclusions.



  1. s)         The legal and best practice framework and local policies set out above are a small summary of a much wider range of authorities, statutory provisions and guidance. In combination, the following principles can be derived:



–             Unless a child’s welfare requires it a child’s interests are best promoted by living with their family.



–             Interference with the living arrangements for children by a Local Authority must pass a threshold. If there is insufficient evidence to establish that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm the court, at a Local Authority’s invitation, cannot interfere with a child’s living arrangements.



–             Where it becomes clear to a Local Authority that a child is at risk of suffering significant harm there is a duty under section 17 Children Act 1989 to provide services to a child to try to allow them to live within their family.



–             When public law proceedings are contemplated and removal of the child from their primary carer is a realistic possibility the Local Authority should identify at the earliest opportunity if there are wider family and friends who may be able to care for the child, for example from their own records.



–             A referral to a Family Group Conference should if possible be made when proceedings are contemplated. One of the purposes of the Family Group Conference is to identify if there are wider family members who can offer support or care for the child.



–             Where capacity is an issue the Local Authority should consider if an advocate is necessary to assist a parent.



–             If a Family Group Conference referral is refused legal advice should be sought. Any parental objection to wider family members being assessed or involved in proceedings requires scrutiny.



–             Identifying alternative carers for a child should if possible take place during the pre-proceedings process under the Public Law Outline, failing which it should be raised with the court once proceedings are issued.



–             Once in proceedings the Local Authority still has a duty to continue identifying wider family members who may be assessed to care for the child. This is part of the duties required of Local Authorities to promote the child’s welfare.



–             A child’s right to respect for private and family life may include the right to know wider family members who have not been part of the proceedings and may not have met the child.



–             When adoption is being considered the Local Authority has a duty to ascertain the wishes and feelings of relatives regarding the child and the plan for adoption.



In this case




  1. o)         I acknowledge that there may be good reasons on occasions for other family members not being approached, but these need to be understood rather than glossed over. And, while there is case law relating to certain extreme examples where the question of who should be contacted about or made parties to family proceedings has been considered, there does not appear to be authoritative guidance on the type of circumstances as arose here in relation to Family Group Conferences.



  1. p)         Here, given the concerns over Y’s capacity the Local Authority should at least have been alert to consider very carefully her failure to put forward any relative. Reliance on her exercise of parental responsibility cannot sit together with the Local Authority’s own concerns about her capacity, without further careful enquiry.






  1. Errors, traps and temptations that should have been avoided :


(Can I please say how much I like these helpful subheadings in the judgment – albeit that I can only imagine how cringe-making it must be for those involved in the proceedings to listen when a Judge announces that as a chapter title…)



  1. I)                     Relying on Y’s purported exercise of parental responsibility in saying that she did not propose the maternal grandmother as a potential carer. In particular where she was thought to lack capacity, this is not a step that somehow relieves or prevents the Local Authority from considering what steps needed to be taken to meet its duties to consider other family members.



  1. II)                   Believing the Presumption of Capacity replaces or obviates the need for the court to determine the issue of litigation capacity on evidence as a matter of fact, or entitles the parties or the court to ignore a capacity problem, particularly where there were worrying recent accounts of Y being significantly unwell. It is simply a rebuttable assumption and a starting point. Any suggestion that capacity is in issue should lead to the opposite approach, namely to take steps that would enable the court to determine whether the assumption remains in place or lack of capacity is established.



III)                 Ignoring glaring evidence or information suggestive of lack of capacity. This is an abrogation of responsibility to acknowledge the implications of such information, albeit it is easier to shut an eye to it in order to avoid its inconvenient effects on the case, particularly where a case outcome appears obvious or a solution is readily to hand.



  1. IV)               Relying on Y’s non-engagement or non-attendance at hearings, or employing ‘unless’ orders as a basis for progressing the case and discharging directions critical to the question of her capacity. A vulnerable person who may be a protected party due to lack of capacity may well find it difficult or impossible to engage or attend without the appropriate support or identification of her status and appointment of a litigation friend. This compounds a breach of her Article 6 rights.



  1. V)                 Personal service and warning ‘Notice’ – these steps make no sense in law or natural justice if Y lacked capacity, and simply seem to lack common sense. What might such steps or notices actually mean to a vulnerable person who lacks litigation capacity?



  1. VI)               Discharging directions critical to the determination of the capacity issue, and not complying or following up on non-compliance with those directions. This is case management failure with direct consequences for the procedural propriety of the case.



VII)             Making permissive directions to obtain the treating clinician’s certificate of capacity, rather than mandatory and time-limited directions.



VIII)           Treating Y’s wishes and feelings obtained by the Social Worker and over the telephone with her solicitor as a capacitous decision consenting to very grave and complex and potentially irrevocable orders, compliant with section 52(5). Her diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder and alcohol dependence were well known. Directions had been made that she should be subject to capacity, cognitive and psychiatric assessment, but had not resulted in any assessments nor other medical information being provided. There was no adequate information before the court to assist with any question of her abilities or suggestibility or understanding.



  1. IX)                 Her position was erroneously described as ‘consent’ and named as such in the order, when it was not put forward as formal consent in the Position Statement prepared on her behalf, and the exercise of considering whether her consent should be dispensed with by undertaking a welfare-based consideration of the checklist factors was not done, despite her solicitor flagging it up.



  1. X)                   As the Social Worker and Children’s Guardian acknowledged, the parties became caught up in the ‘excitement’ of having found a solution for X’s placement that avoided stranger adoption, and so lost sight of wider issues that had been overlooked.



  1. XI)                 The temptations of a precipitate approach, naturally abetted by the lure of completing a case within the required 26 weeks time-limit, and by the existence of ‘a solution’ for X which tempts professionals and the court not to address the harder, wider or longer questions which might cause any delay, leading everyone to push ahead to final orders despite serious procedural irregularities.



XII)               No party, representative nor the court spotted or voiced or prevented or corrected the series of avoidable errors around failing to address a key issue which had riddled the case from the outset, and the case was allowed to progress and ultimately extremely serious final orders were made on the back of those serious procedural irregularities. This collective shared failure seems something akin to group-thinking or peer pressure or a gross shared example of confirmation bias.





This is already a piece which is far too long, but in terms of the final decision, HHJ Lazarus decided that Z should stay with Q and R (the step-aunt) who had originally intended to adopt her, but under a Special Guardianship Order, and that there should be a Child Arrangements Order giving contact between Z and the grandparents.   The reasoning is too long to set out here, and it must have been a very difficult task – readers who are interested are referred to the judgment paragraphs 51 onwards. There was the involvement of an independent social worker whose evidence was very helpful to the Court in reaching the decision.



About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

16 responses

  1. What a load of nonsensical jargon!
    In the old days if capacity was in doubt a judge would ask an applicant if he or she knew what a court was and if so what was to be decided;Anyone giving a sensible answer to those questions would be deemed to have capacity………

    Nowadays a perfectly sensible person(like the 94 year old spinsterand ex midwife, had her lifetime savings of £75,000 swallowed in fees for the court and for the “official solicitor ” whom she detested and did not want to represent her. She said so repeatedly and eloquently from the well of the court but was nevertheless legally robbed by the “Court of
    She had an expert report to say she was lucid and intelligent but the judge preferred the evidence of the” hired gun” chosen by the court which effectively stopped herfrom giving any evidence !
    In the case Under discussion quite probably the mother NEVER gave consent to the adoption at all;Her lawyer probably did so on her behalf and stifled her protests by pretending she had no capacity ! That is guesswork on my part but I have seen this happen too often to rule it out in the case descibed!

    • In the COP October 2007Mr Justice Charles in his judgment stated “in a recent decision of my own…….leading counsel then instructed by the OS accepted. in my view properly, that the product of the procedure generally adopted in this case was a SHAMBLES……..What seemed to be ignored in this jurisdicton is the identification of the need to prove underlying facts to enable the court to make a properly informed decision……… I was in Court for this judgment (it is in the public domain) I left the Court that afternoon unable to understand how this case was ever able to proceed. Ian, have you any explanation for this – other than the obvious one that the COP is corrupt The Case continued under Mr Justice Charles with the OS representing my son until 2014.

  2. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “There’s a long and careful analysis of the principles with sources (which I’d recommend as vital reading for any lawyer or professional grappling with the issue of whether to consult with family members where the parent is dead-set against it but where adoption appears a realistic outcome if suitable family members are not found.) But here are the conclusions.”

  3. ashamedtobebritish

    One wonders how many judges are this thorough in investigating what exactly has been happening. We need more judges who will look at the case while thinking ‘hold on a minute …’
    How many just rubber stamp the order to save time and cost (and hassle)

    • Yes exactly! And that’s what had happened in the first set of proceedings. Everything rubber stamped by a judge and Baby X placed with the plan of adoption.
      Unfortunately those responsible for failing during the 2017 proceedings were then employed through the second proceedings and have held an extreemly bias view in favour of Baby X staying where he is.
      The ISW initially (not involved in the 2017 proceedings) said X should be moved to be with us. However the LA critisised her report saying she was bias and she should observe contact. They held up proceedings and then kept X away from us by continuously disrupting our very limited contact. The court ajourned during which time X became 3 months older and began to show the normal signs of seperation anxiety (actually not over or above normal levels but quite mild and could be consoled, disracted and comforted ) Mild within my families traits. The LA and Gaurdians scheemed to obstruct our contact. With the relationship between us and X being impoverished and the X’s Gaurdians keeping X up half the night prior to contact, so he’s dead on his feet, we didn’t stand a chance of him feeling confident in our care. In addition, X was unwell as reported to me from one of the Gaurdians mother (C) however they reported in court that he had been perfectly well. They lied about many things including that they can’t have their own children (they are not in an intimate relationship and thats why they havent had children). There is no medical reason or evidence. I was informed of this straight from the horses mouth. They fight and argue constantly and do not have the emotional bond that you would expect a couple to have. They are dysfunctional and emotionally abusive. This stems from the femal gaurdian witnessing her drunken father violently abuse her mother until she was 15. The female gaurdian is openly emotionally abusive to her mother and partner. Its quute evident to me that shes learned this from her father.
      The gaurdians also said they were able to promote contact between X and the MGF (who’s a drug dealer btw) and also when originally approached wanted nothing to do with Baby X and has chosen not to see him to date. So that’s a great relationship to promote.
      Ultimately the LA held things up, caused trouble, created obstruction, gave dishonest reports about me, until they got the result they wanted.
      I was under the impression that family court would only rely on hard evidence so could not rely on any of what I know without external validity.
      However the Gaurdians rubbish they made up just got taken on face value.
      Needless to say, I’ll be back sometime soon with hard evidence for what I already know as baby X deserves better!!
      I won’t be going away despite all the hard and continued efforts of the Gaurdians.
      Family is not always everything. However in this case it is!! I am X’s only viable family and I am unable to step back from this trajedy placement. X will never be allowed to be X where he is currently ☹

  4. I am Mrs Z and MGM to baby X. Judge Lazarus without question shows much insight into the failings of all concerned within the 2017 proceedings. It is so unfortunate that she does not, through no fault of her own, have the same insight into the personality of baby X’s new Special Gaurdians.
    I have known the family for a decade. Baby X’s half siblings, my other grandchildren live a mile from me in a village community and go to school in a unusually small primary where the maximum intake is 112 pupils. I was a school governor for 12 years at this school and my older boys went there as primary students. I have long established friendships and links with many villagers who are also very familiar with the special gaurdians and their family.
    My knowledge of the family is therefore not limited to my own perceptions gained through the contact I’ve had over the years. Not least forgetting that my daughter Y would visit me with her X partner (the Gaurdians brother) weekly – but extends to be inclusive of a very comprehensive broader collaboration of perceptions.
    Unfortunately the real injustice is still with poor Baby X. If only Judge Lazarus were to able to inhabit my headspace for one moment she would not possibly leave Baby X with such people. It’s so hugely frustrating!! Baby X has an impoverished childhood ahead of him. This saddens me to my core.
    I can only remark that the truth has a way of emerging and this sleeping dog will not lay dormant for too long.

    • It gives me no pleasure that the new special Gaurdians pulled off their performance as decent folk on the courts stage we term ‘the witness box’. Judge Lazerus is not at fault as they are well practiced con artists who’d had ample time to rehearse.
      I have not sought to be popular through my rendition of the truth and so have had many pitted against me throughout (LA, Gaurdian even the ISW at times) .
      I appreciate the Judge has reservations over my attitude that family is everything.
      However, it is in this case where I am the only viable option to care for Baby X. Poignant to me is the deception that began this in the first place that resulted in me not being informed about baby X by the the proposed adopters.
      What is grating on me at the moment is that I have o contact with Baby X as I suspected would happen There is no mediation in place and no family therapy. Currently I am not being permitted to see any of my grandchildren as the other family have decided it’s not in my grandchildrens interest.
      Baby X is being treated as a treasured possesion by his carers and his human rights to his biological family are being confidently removed. He has a new grandmother, C who has some extreemly concerning issues. However she is the choice so that’s me out of the picture 😟. Needless to say, I won’t go down without a fight.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        I really feel for you, my grandchildren were placed in the same predicament, not by courts but by a biased sw.
        When I reported the violence, drug dealing, cultivation of drugs, the extreme mh issues, alcoholism and blatant alienation issues, it never reached the file as a report, it simply said ‘ashamedtobebritish does not like the maternal family’ well no I don’t, however that’s not the priority.
        On one occasion that couldn’t be ignored, due to the dangerous situation my grandchild and myself were in, she wrote it all in and changed the maternal grandfathers name to my sons.

  5. They should investigate these events !!


    Autistic woman, 23, whose condition meant she sought risky sex was allowed to be ‘pimped out’ to strangers by carers so she could ‘learn from her mistakes’
    •Woman looked after by Manchester City Council-employed firm Engage Support
    •She repeatedly engaged in risky sexual behaviour while in the company’s care
    •Led to a two-month scheme in which men were allowed to visit her home for sex

    By Rory Tingle For Mailonline

    An autistic woman whose condition meant she sought risky sex was allowed to be ‘pimped out’ to strangers by carers so she could ‘learn from her mistakes’, according to a report.

    The 23-year-old, who has learning difficulties, went through a two-month trial approved by a court during which random men would visit her Manchester care home for sex during daylight hours.

    Is this what they mean by the “Court of Protection” ???????

    ‘2:-Treated like CATTLE!’: Vulnerable children are being auctioned online by councils inviting private firms to bid for up to £7,000-a-week for their care
    •New report found councils offering contracts for vulnerable children online
    •Details about age, previous abuse history and gang involvement included in ads
    •Children in private care can cost over £7,000, while council-run care is cheaper
    •Local authorities have blamed lack of money and funds for their shortcomings

    By Charlie Bayliss For Mailonline

    Published: 09:23 GMT, 10 November 2018 | Updated: 09:24 GMT, 10 November 2018

    • Dear Ian, I believe the Mail case is this one

      And I need more time to read it but noted this

      25.Both the Family Division and the Court of Protection has had, over the past few years, to feel its way to a more transparent process and to draw back from the overly paternalistic protection of the vulnerable that has arguably characterised this jurisdiction in the past. In that process, the press by and large, if not universally, have shown a careful adherence to their Codes of Practice. Those rules impose strict requirements relating to the vulnerable and children. There is obvious good reason for this. So, I would ask the press here to remember that there is an embarrassed, distressed 23 year old woman at the centre of this case, who is entitled to the highest standard of professionalism from all of us, which includes the press.

      As I understand it, the initial decision of the Court of Protection was that the woman had capacity to consent to sex, so the Council weren’t able to prevent her having sex, although they were very concerned about her placing herself at risk in the way she chose to do so.

      • Dear me just fancy if a parent had allowed the same sordid activities ! Sex in a bowling alley ,sex in a taxi ,(all Under supervision) surely illegal?? Three blokes in one evening and sex from “random men “allowed to call”.The Council allowed these scum into the care home to have sex with this retarded woman so please do NOT pretend they “weren’t able” to prevent her having sex when they were in fact encouraging her and almost forcing her to do so with these “random men” (mostly asian !) who might have got violent if she had refused them after being told she was waiting there for that very purpose !
        Anyway Andrew what were you doing in Manchester while this was going on…………?

      • I haven’t read it thoroughly enough Ian. You may be right, I can’t say

      • Read the full article

        Just register a few details

        Get access

        Autistic woman ‘pimped out’ in care scandal

        Agency allowed her to have sex with many strangers so she might ‘learn from mistakes’

        Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter

        October 18 2018, 12:00am, The Times

        * Law

        * UK politics

        A court backed the plan despite the vulnerable 23-year-old’s history of exploitationAlamy

        A young autistic woman was allowed to have sex with numerous men because her carers were said to believe that high-risk encounters with strangers might help her to “learn from her mistakes”, it can be revealed today.

        The woman, 23, who has severe learning disabilities and an IQ of 52, was repeatedly exploited during a court-approved, two-month trial period this summer in which random men were permitted to visit her Manchester care home between 10am and 4pm each day.

        She was also taken to shisha bars and had sex in public on numerous occasions, including in a taxi and at the back of a bowling alley, because the care company paid to look after her would not physically intervene. In August carers reported that the…

      • I’ll read the judgment though because The Times now not a credible source

  6. Thousands of children not allowed to phone or communicate with their parents and Parents forbidden to speak or write to them………..They say the local authority knows best ………
    Yet the Manchester Council Pimp out a retard girl with a very very low IQ TO A LOAD OF RANDOM MEN TO ABUSE HER………..
    i hope the judge and the social workers got a sexual kick out of imagining or even watching the sordid antics this girl and the random men got up to !
    Supervised by “the professionals” of course !

  7. What I really need is advice on how I would ensure that when I put my evidence forward, that is is effectively investigated.
    I have the evidence I need but have no faith the LA wound investigate.
    There are serious safeguarding issues which I should not go undisclosed.

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