Jonathan Sampson KC led Hannah Mettam in Re AA (Re Children Act 1989) [2023] EWFC 278 

13th Mar 2024 | Cases

Instructed by Wilson Browne Solicitors, Jonathan Sampson KC led Hannah Mettam.  They represented the Mother in Re AA (Re Children Act 1989) [2023] EWFC 278; a fact finding hearing in care proceedings concerning a one year old child, AA. When AA was five months old, the local authority applied for a Care Order after it was discovered that AA had two broken ribs and a history of unexplained marks. AA was placed into foster care for a short period and then resided with her maternal grandmother where she had extensive contact with her parents. AA had a vitamin D deficiency, but current medical thought is that a simple vitamin D deficiency is not associated with increased risk of bone fractures. Despite the medical evidence being that AA had a normal blood clotting system and that there was no genetic explanation for AA’s fractures and that, in general, fractures in healthy infants are not caused by normal handling by a reasonable carer, the court found that, when considering the totality of the evidence, there was no evidence that the parents were anything other than loving and concerned parents, with no evidence to point to either of them being likely to have inflicted repeated and significant injuries on their daughter. The court agreed that the local authority had been right to bring this unusual and extremely difficult case but that the threshold had not been met. 

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