A mother with a drinking problem has failed in her appeal against a care order.
In Re J, the local authority had intervened after social workers became concerned about the welfare of the woman’s son, called K in case reports.. She struggled to manage his behaviour and provide adequate care.
At the Court of Appeal, Lady Justices Black and Rafferty, along with Lord Justice Floyd, noted:
“In February 2009, [the mother] was charged with drink driving whilst K was in the car with her and in April 2009, K, then aged 6, called the emergency services because M had become unconscious under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs.”
A supervision order was put in place but then K had to be looked after by the local authority when the mother had a serious fall during an incident on the edge of a cliff. The local authority said was a suicide attempt, but the mother denied that she had been attempting to take her own life. The Court noted:
“She sat at the top of the cliff, spilled one glass of brandy but poured and drank another, then broke the glass and attempted to cut her wrist, not with suicidal intent but as a release…He rang her and they spoke for 45 minutes. She then dropped the phone and fell when she was picking it up.”
The woman sustained a head injury and was admitted to hospital.
The mother opposed court orders, under the influence of her partner. A care order was granted and she appealed.
The Court of Appeal said the earlier judge’s refusal to call certain witnesses had been proportionate. There had been no need for a further assessment, as claimed by the mother, as previous ones had been comprehensive. The earlier judge had properly explained his reasons for issuing a care order, declared the court, and dismissed the mother’s appeal.