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This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the children and members of their family must be strictly preserved. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.
|Neutral Citation Number:  EWFC 14
|Case No: UO13C00129
IN THE FAMILY COURT
SITTING AT THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE
|Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE KEEHAN
| LONDON BOROUGH OF WALTHAM FOREST
|- and -
(By her Children's Guardian)
Ms Barbara Mills (instructed by London Borough of Waltham Forest) for the Applicant
Ms Sarah Branson (instructed by Aitken Harter) for the First Respondent
Ms Sylvia Allen (instructed by CAFCASS) for the Second Respondent
Mr Cyrus Larizadeh (instructed by Burke Niazi) for the Third Respondent
Ms Rebecca Mitchell (instructed by Goodman Ray) for S and R
Hearing dates: 24 June 2014
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Mr Justice Keehan :
- This judgment should be read with the judgment I gave in this matter on 24 June 2014 :  EWFC 13.
- At the conclusion of the hearing on 24 June, the local authority made an oral application for a prohibited steps order against F preventing him from having or making contact with C.
- At his request, F was not present in court to hear the judgment. His counsel opposed the application for a prohibited steps order on the ground that F had not had notice of the same. Further it was submitted that the local authority should issue a formal application and there should be a further inter parties' hearing.
- C was present when F violently attacked the mother. He was convicted of the murder of C's mother. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term, before he may apply for parole, of 21 years. C is 3 years of age.
- The consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist instructed in this matter, Dr J, has advised that contact between F and C is not in the child's best interests. She recommended contact be limited to F sending a card to C once per year; that recommendation was accepted by all parties. Any additional contact was to be dictated by C's therapeutic needs.
- I considered it to be entirely unnecessary and disproportionate to require the local authority to file a formal application for a PSO and that a further hearing was wasteful of scarce public funding resources.
- I considered the order sought to be in the best interests of C to protect her from any unauthorised contact by F now or in the future. I gave Ms Branson, counsel for F, leave to make written submissions seeking to vary or discharge the order once she had had the opportunity to take F's instructions. I received submission by email on 27 June 2014 and 30 June 2014. I have read and carefully considered the same.
- The final form of the PSO which I approved reads as follows:
"Apart from the yearly letter/card he is at liberty to send to C, the father is forbidden from making or attempting to make any contact whatsoever with C whether directly or indirectly except in circumstances where he is specifically asked to do so by the special guardians and it is deemed necessary for C's therapeutic needs. Any such request made by the special guardians should be in writing in the first instance for the avoidance of any doubt."
- The terms of the order enable the special guardians, S and R, to permit further contact between C and F if it is in accord with her therapeutic needs.
- This restriction is entirely consistent with the opinions and recommendations of Dr J. C is a vulnerable child who has suffered the tragic loss of her mother at the hands of her father. It is vital to her emotional and psychological well being that any contact with F is very strictly controlled.
- As I expressed in my judgment of 24 June, I am in no doubt that S and R are well able to care for C and to provide for all of her needs.
- I am wholly satisfied that it is in C's welfare best interests for a PSO to be made in the terms sought.
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