Updates from the Bench

Re FM (A Child: fractures: bone density) [2015] EWFC B26 – Recent judgment of the DFJ HHJ Bellamy

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Please find attached the judgment of HHJ Bellamy in Re FM (A Child: fractures: bone density) [2015] EWFC B26 handed down on 12th March 2015.

 

The case involved a child who had sustained a fracture to the left and to the right distal tibia. The case involved some disagreement between the medical experts as to whether the child was predisposed to bone fragility. After hearing the evidence of the medical experts, the judge could not be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the child’s injuries were non-accidental injuries.

 

The case provides a very helpful overview of the legal issues to be determined when considering alleged non-accidental injuries and the approach to be adopted. The judge also cited the case of Re L and M (Children) [2013] EWHC 1569 and the principles set out by Baker J to assist when considering cases of alleged non-accidental injury.

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Practice Guidance: Financial Remedy Proceedings after Foreign Divorce

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Please take note of the attached Practice Guidance on Financial Remedy Proceedings after a Foreign Divorce.

 

The Guidance is from His Honour Judge Rogers, Financial Remedies Circuit Judge for the Midland Circuit.

 

His Honour recommends the adoption of the approach outlined by Holman J in Barnett v Barnett [2014] EWHC 2678, and that such cases should be issued locally.

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Reported Case: Re V (A Child: Identification of Perpetrator)

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Please take note of the above case report – Re V (A Child:Identification of Perpetrator)  (28th October 2014)

The Judgment was handed down by His Honour Judge Bellamy. The court was asked by the local authority to identify which of the multiple injuries suffered by the child were non-accidental injuries and to identify the perpetrator of those injuries. During the course of the judgment, His Honour Judge Bellamy reviewed the principles of Re M (A Child) [2010] EWCA Civ 1467 and analysed a submission of an ‘unknown cause’ giving rise to the injuries, as per the case of R v Henderson, Butler and Oyediran [2010] EWCA Crim 1269.

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Reported case: H (A Child – Breach of Convention Rights – Damages) [2014] EWFC 38

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Please take note of the above case report-

 

The judgment of His Honour Judge Bellamy in H (A Child – Breach of Convention Rights – Damages) [2014] EWFC 38 addresses the successful claim for damages in care proceedings for breach of the parents’ human rights.

 

The parents asserted that the way the local authority dealt with the case before proceedings were issued gave rise to a breach of their Article 6 and Article 8  rights pursuant to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Their claim for relief was brought pursuant to section 7(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998 for damages and declarations pursuant to section 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

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Reported Case: M (A Child : Failure to Comply with Achieving Best Evidence)

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Please take note of the above case report – M (A Child : Failure to Comply with Achieving Best Evidence) [2014] EWFC B141 (27 October 2014)

 

The Judgment was handed down by His Honour Judge Bellamy and deals with, in particular, failure to comply with ABE Guidance by the Police to such an extent that no evidential value could be placed on the interviews. The court was seeking to identify the perpetrator of injuries that were accepted to have been non-accidental.

 

His Honour expressed his deep concern that such large scale non-compliance still exists. This judgment is the third such occasion that the criticisms have been made by His Honour and similar criticisms were made in an unreported judgment, disclosed to the Chief Constable, in 2011.

 

The Chief Constable is to confirm to His Honour steps to ensure proper Police training within 28 days.

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