Court transfers care of nine year-old to father

By | Children, Law news | No Comments

A nine year-old girl has been sent to live with her father by the High Court thanks to her mother’s continuing involvement with a New Age organisation. In Re S the parents had separated when the girl was just a year old. The mother then became involved with Universal Medicine, an Australian group which promotes New Age spiritual beliefs and healing practices, which it calls the “Way of the Livingness”. The daughter was closely involved with the mother’s lifestyle, eating the same restricted diet and attending healing sessions and group events. The father came to believe the doctrines of Universal…

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Calls to NSPCC reach record numbers

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Over 22,000 calls were made to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) during the lockdown months of April, May and June. The figure represents an increase of almost a third over the monthly average for the three months prior to lockdown. A total of 8,287 calls were made in May alone: the highest number on record. Callers expressed concerns about possible the neglect and abuse of children they had encountered or the behaviour of parents. The charity reports that it referred a higher-than-normal 40 per cent of lockdown calls to local authorities  or the police…

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Family Division President rules out remote hearing in complex family case

By | Children, Law news, the family courts | No Comments

The case against a mother suspected of abusing her child must be held in person, the President of the Family Division has declared. Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing) [2020] EWFC 32 concerned a mother suspected by her local authority of fabricating or inducing illness in the child, a practice known as ‘Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy’ or more formally, ‘Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another’. She disputes the allegations. The local authority launched proceedings against the mother in April last year, following lengthy previous disputes with other members of the child’s family. The seven year-old was sent to live with a friend…

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Spotlight falls on vulnerable people during virus lockdown

By | Children, Living together/cohabitation, the emotional side | No Comments

Vulnerable groups face even greater risks under the current coronavirus ‘lockdown’, recent claims suggest. Speaking after a recent meeting of the COVID-19 emergency committee in Manchester, the city’s deputy mayor said the police had already seen incidents related to the continuing restrictions and expected a surge in serious cases. Lady Beverley Hughes declared: “I think we are beginning to see a rise in domestic abuse incidents. We anticipated this might happen in the very stressful circumstances for many families.” One contributory factor was the economic strains many families face as hours are cut and jobs are lost. She explained: “The…

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