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England and Wales Family Court Decisions (other Judges)
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Family Court Decisions (other Judges) >> Medway Council v R & Ors (Rev 1)  EWFC B104 (16 December 2016)
Cite as:  EWFC B104
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Sitting at Medway
IN THE MATTER OF THE CHILDREN ACT 1989
AND IN THE MATTER OF R (dob xx.xx.14)
B e f o r e :
| MEDWAY COUNCIL
R (by her Children's Guardian)
Mr Paul Storey QC and Mr Stephen Chippeck represented the Father, instructed by Mr Andrew Humphries
Mr Frank Feehan QC and Mr John Swales represented LO, instructed by Ms Marion McNeil
Ms Sarah Morgan QC and Ms Alison Easton represented LY, instructed by Mr Philip Wilkins
Ms Gemma Farrington and Ms Kate Kochinari represented the Child, by her Children's Guardian, instructed by Mr Glen Fraser
Crown Copyright ©
A NOTE ON THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE
PROCEDURAL ISSUES & COURSE OF THE CASE
"Upon the court expressing its profound concern at the delay in this case; the absence of a clear concise threshold document covering (i) physical injuries (ii) neglect (iii) risky/harmful parental care/behaviour; the absence of statements from the parents and interveners containing details of their care of R at the relevant time; the failure by all parties save the Guardian to comply with previous directions; the absence of two interveners at today's hearing; that all adult parties are likely to be operating under a degree of disability; that Father's agoraphobia has prevented him attending all court hearings and a Communicourt assessment, and so his involvement in future hearings is yet to be clarified; and the likelihood of having to list a lengthy hearing and potential re-allocation to a High Court Judge."
A NOTE ON THE AGREED FACTUAL BACKGROUND DOCUMENT
PARTICIPATION OF VULNERABLE PARTIES
SECTION 31 APPLICATION AND DIRECTIONS
Factual Background document
a. R possibly has a minor connective tissue disorder and possibly Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome ('EDS') type 3. There is clinical evidence to support this: mild facial asymmetry, slight micrognathia, the pronation of the feet, late walking with clumsiness and unsteady gait and the 'thin' appearance to the skin, with visible veins. Easy bruising following minor or unnoticed injury is a feature of many connective tissue disorders.
b. On genetic testing, two variants of unknown significance were identified in a gene called TNXB. This is associated with EDS due to tenascin-X deficiency. This is a form of EDS associated with a number of clinical features including very easy bruising. R has one normal functioning copy of the gene. A mutation in one copy could account for easy bruising.
c. R has a duplication in the long arm of chromosome 17. This is extremely rare and has been reported in patients with developmental delay.
d. The significance of the above results for R's particular presentation are unclear due to the current limitations in medical understanding and research
e. Haematological testing suggests that R has a mild platelet function defect which could be an explanation for an increased tendency to bruise.
f. The interplay of all the above factors are also of unclear significance for R's presentation.
a. The home was dirty and cluttered and on occasions unhygenic;
b. The home, including R's bedroom, smelt heavily of smoke;
c. The home smelt, including of cat urine;
d. The parents, GY and LO had financial difficulties which led, on occasion, to insufficient food for the adults and a lack of appropriate or clean bedding;
e. The mother found herself pulled in a number of different directions including caring for GY, trying to sort out the financial and housing difficulties and undertaking most of the household tasks. She regrets that she did not spend as much time playing with and stimulating R as she should have done.
a. R's bottom was not cleaned properly on occasions during a nappy change;
b. R was, on occasions, dirty, stained and wet around her neck from vomit left on her baby grow;
c. Bottles were not always washed or sterilised;
d. Clothing and bedding for R was on occasions dirty and damp;
e. R was brought down to be weighed by the health visitor on occasions wearing insufficient clothing and cold;
f. On occasion, R's nappies were too big.