An unnamed local authority has lost an appeal against a ruling that two children should be returned the care of their parents.
In Re A, the children who were placed in care after one was taken to hospital and found to have suffered fractured ribs.
At the original hearing, the judge considered evidence presented by medical experts, the parents themselves and the family’s health visitors. She concluded that while the parents’ explanations for the injuries were unlikely, there was not enough evidence to conclude that that they had not been accidental.
The authority appealed.
Sitting at the Court of Appeal earlier this month, Lord Justices Rimer, Tomlinson and McFarlane said judges at original hearings had first hand access to the all evidence presented and the discretion to draw their own conclusions from that. The Court of Appeal should be cautious about interfering in their decisions or second guessing their judgements. In this case, the original judge had departed from the view of medical experts but had explained why she chose to do so. A key factor had been the evidence given by the parents.
The judges dismissed the appeal.