19th Dec 2023 | Cases
Nick Goodwin KC and Cecilia Barrett, instructed by Miles and Partners, represented the mother in the above case. Matthew Brookes-Baker was also involved in the case representing the child.
The child AB had Type 1 diabetes. The mother was accused of fabricated and induced illness to AB by covert and chronic insulin maladministration.
A fact-finding and threshold hearing took place over 3 weeks. The evidence comprised complex factual, medical and expert evidence. The court appointed expert was Peter Hindmarsh, Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at University College London. At paragraph 8 of the judgement, HHJ Wildblood KC said ‘Expert evidence of exceptional quality has been given by Professor Hindmarsh, a Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology; he gave evidence over the course of two days and supplied a report and also answers to written questions…Sine it is my intention that a copy of this judgement should be sent to Professor Hindmarsh, I would wish to record immediately my gratitude to him for the quality and clarity of his evidence. One of my enduring memories of this case will be the experience of watching the cross examination by Mr Goodwin QC of Professor Hindmarsh; it was one of the best that I have ever seen in my 43 years as a lawyer and the Professor’s responses to questions showed why he is a world leader in his field.’
The evidence also included extensive disclosure from the mother’s mobile telephone and social media accounts. The local authority relied on hundreds of social media exchanges the mother had with men she met on the internet, friends, acquaintances, and family members as circumstantial evidence, probative of the FII allegations. The court considered these messages cumulatively and individually in context and found that the local authority had places a disproportionate emphasis on them.
Ultimately the court made a single finding against the mother of maladministration of insulin and found ‘she is a long way from the sort of ‘FII by proxy’ parent that is seen in more egregious cases and which, initially, she was portrayed to be. The original suggestions of chronic and covert insulin maladministration have not been substantiated and cannot be so.’
The full published judgement can be read here: Re AB (A Child: Diabetic Care) – Find case law (nationalarchives.gov.uk)