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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 & M (Children), Re  EWCA Civ 1385 (21 August 2002)
Cite as:  EWCA Civ 1385
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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE WOLVERHAMPTON COUNTY COURT
(Mr Recorder Tedd QC)
Wednesday 21st August, 2002
B e f o r e :
LADY JUSTICE HALE DBE
|B & M (CHILDREN)|
of Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel: 020 7404 1400
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MISS S MORGAN (instructed by Messrs Blount McNamara, Brierley Hall DY5 3EH)
appeared on behalf of the First and Second Respondent/Mother and Father
MISS E PLATT QC and MR S BAILEY (instructed by Messrs Sanders & Co, Stourbridge DY8 1LT)
appeared on behalf of the Third Respondent/Grandmother
Crown Copyright ©
"... not lend itself to further assessment, nor reconsider the essential route which it considers the boys should travel." (paragraph 75)
"... there is a real prospect that within one or two years of release she would have put her life in such order, and have built up sufficient strength, to be able to offer them a decent home and upbringing." (paragraph 34)
"41 ... I was favourably impressed by her, and more importantly by a number of demonstrable aspects of her history. She has no previous convictions, and has led a sensible and law abiding life, untainted by consumption of drink or drugs, by immoral behaviour, or by dishonesty. She has held down long standing employment of a nature which requires considerable `hard graft' on her part. She provided homes of considerable material comfort, kept up to a high standard, initially to her husband and their son, and more recently (since the breakdown of her marriage) for herself and, on occasion, the boys. She has a very genuine affection for each boy. I regard her as a truthful person. I am quite satisfied that she has given very careful thought to the difficult question of whether to offer a permanent home to the two boys, and that she does not offer to do so lightly. I am equally satisfied that she has a determination, if the opportunity comes her way, to make considerable efforts to further their best interests. The starting point for consideration of her proposal is that she is a good woman, with genuine intentions, and a great affection for the boys. This is a secure platform from which to take on a substantial responsibility.
42. No witness expresses any significant doubt as to the ability of the grandmother to look after the children physically, or to provide them with a home of a good standard."
"... (a) the history of depression suffered from time to time by the grandmother, and its impact upon her ability to cope with two young boys, (b) the effect upon the boys in the event that the mother behaves unsatisfactorily after release, and disturbs the new central family unit, and (c) the similar, and arguably more marked, effect upon release of the father in several years time. She also raises doubts as to the grandmother's ability to control the boys, drawing a parallel between the loss of control of her own son in his teenage years, and the possible future of the boys. She points out that the grandmother will be in her 60s when the boys are teenagers." (paragraph 47)
"She has made a good recovery from her depressive symptoms, she is no longer on anti-depressants and is clearly coping well with the current situation. I have no concerns whatsoever about Mrs [G]'s ability to care for the children."
"... not destructive of the grandmother's proposal, but demonstrate that it should be approached cautiously, and with appropriate safeguards."
"Under that Article, the rights of all the central family figures in this case are engaged, but particularly those of the two boys. It is plain from the key authorities, and from Article 8 itself, that the permanent removal of a child from its family of birth is a drastic measure, only justifiable in exceptional circumstances, when essential in the best interests of the child. Only if no lesser measure, by which the child can be retained within his family of birth, subject to appropriate safeguards, is sufficient to safeguard his welfare, can his permanent removal from that family be justified, or regarded as proportionate to the aim of protecting his rights. If there is a course available which retains a child within his family of birth, and, upon close scrutiny of its merits and demerits, is appropriate to the welfare of that child, and in particular is sufficient to protect him from the likelihood of suffering significant harm, then his removal and placement elsewhere with a view to adoption cannot be justified in principle."
"Mrs [G] was a pleasant woman with a nice, comfortable home. She has a genuine love of the children and she wants to put forward what she genuinely believes will be best for the children. However, the Court will take an objective and evidence based view of the long-term best interests of the children as their welfare is paramount in the court's consideration."