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Re B (a child)

A judge’s inference that a grandmother must have been aware that her grandchild had suffered non-accidental injuries at the hands of its parents was wrong, as he had not taken account of the full range of medical evidence available. The court made comments in relation to the provision of transcripts where applications for permission to appeal were granted.

23 June 2006

The appellant grandmother (G) appealed against a decision, made in care proceedings brought by the respondent local authority, that she was aware that her grandchild had suffered non-accidental injuries at the hands of its parents. At the hearing in the care proceedings, the judge had drawn an inference that G had to have been aware of the injuries to her grandchild.

HELD: Appeal allowed.

(1) The judge had erred in his conclusion, as he had ignored the full range of medical evidence, which indicated that someone who had not witnessed the injuries could put the symptoms of the child down to a normal source of pain. Further, medical professionals had failed to perceive that the child had been subject to appalling non-accidental injuries on visits to hospital.

(2) (Per curiam) Where permission to appeal was granted there were no automatic circumstances in which a transcript of the judgment was provided to the parties unless it was requested. The court expressed the v...

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