Call us: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm

Alcoholic mother fails in her appeal against care order

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.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

Contact us

As the UK's largest family law firm we understand that every case is personal.


  1. Andrew says:

    IM appears to be a “Freeman on the land” or a purveyor of some similar variety of rubbish. These people are bad enough when they advance their own cases but as McKenzie “friends” they are a menace. With friends like that nobody needs enemies.

Leave a comment

Help & advice categories


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for advice on divorce and relationships from our lawyers, divorce coaches and relationship experts.

What type of information are you looking for?

Privacy Policy