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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> B (Children), Re  EWCA Civ 1225 (19 July 2002)
Cite as:  3 FCR 562,  EWCA Civ 1225
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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
(Mr Nicholas Mostyn QC)
Friday 19th July, 2002
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE BUXTON
MR JUSTICE FERRIS
of Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel: 020 7404 1400
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
appeared on behalf of the Appellant/Local Authority
MR C RICE (instructed by Messrs Hyde Jones & Allen, London NW1 9LR) appeared on behalf of the First Respondent/Mother
MR H SHAW (instructed by Messrs Cawdery Kaye Fireman & Taylor, London NW3 1DA)
appeared on behalf of the Second Respondent/Father
MS LA COINTE (instructed by Messrs Darlington Parkinson, London W5 1QX)
appeared on behalf of the Third and Fourth Respondents/Guardian ad Litem
Crown Copyright ©
"If the parents continue to behave in the way that they have to date, in our view the situation is emotionally abusive to the children and the local authority may need to consider whether to institute child protection procedures. However, both parents have shown some capacity to reflect when the need for change was presented to them. Mrs [R] shows some ability to moderate her behaviour, although there remain concerns about her ongoing level of anxiety and preoccupations. Mr [B] showed some capacity to begin to reflect on his own part in events. On balance, therefore, we remain guardedly optimistic that these parents may use this assessment as a catalyst to significantly alter their behaviour and refocus their attention on to the children in a more appropriate way."
"It was clear to me that her knowledge of and involvement with the mother was very limited."
"I sensed that she felt the children were not safe from further emotional damage."
"I am told this matter will be proceeding to the Court of Appeal which I hope will take the opportunity (whatever else they may think of my decision) of authoritatively arresting what I consider to be an abuse of the process of the court with no redeeming features. If it is allowed to stand as legitimate practice then one might as well apply a blue pencil to the entire Emergency Protection Order procedure set out in the Children Act."
"She was clear, to me at least, that she did not think it was safe currently for [W] or [O] to return to their mother. She said that she would have supported a placement with foster parents if the father was not available. She said that the mother does not have insight into her actions; she has good intentions but no insight. She said her conduct has a very damaging effect on the children."
"It to is to be recalled, however, what the reason was that the application was made to take the children into care. This is best discerned from the application for the Interim Care Order itself, which states
`The local authority has become increasingly concerned by the mother's frequent erratic outbursts of abusive and threatening behaviour. She has recently threatened to harm the children if their names remain on the Child Protection Register. It appears that the mother's mental health is becoming increasing unstable. There are long-standing concerns with regard to the effect of the parent's conflict on the children's emotional development'."
"Throughout their involvement with the family the local authority's main concern has been the impact of the parent's acrimonious relationship upon the emotional welfare of O and W ..."
"The Munroe Young Family Centre concluded that both children were suffering significant harm as a result of the way in which their parents behaved and that their emotional development was being impaired and was likely to be further significantly impaired if the situation remained unchanged."