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Mother probably helped fake death of child, court rules

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March 28, 2024

The mother of a three year old child probably helped to fake his death in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the English High Court has concluded

In Re N, the father, who was not married to the mother, had launched legal proceedings for parental responsibility and contact with his child but the mother was uncooperative. Due to concerns about sexual abuse in the child’s home the local authority then launched care proceedings. Following a paternity test, it was established that the man was indeed the boy’s father, but shortly afterwards, she left the country, travelling to Congo in central Africa without telling the father or the authorities.

Later she and her family claimed the boy had died in a traffic accident and produced a death certificate. The mother later returned to the UK.

The case was transferred to the High Court. Mrs Justice Theis ordered a detailed investigation into the circumstances of the child’s reported death.

Children and Families Across Borders examined the accounts given by the mother and her father, as well as the documentation they had supplied regarding the death. They discovered that the hospital in which he was reported to have died said he had not been admitted. A  report stating the cause of death was a forgery, and evidence suggested that a burial permit which had been issued was also fake.

Sitting in the Family Division, Mrs Justice King concluded that there was no solid evidence to suggest that the boy had died as reported, but plenty of evidence to suggest that the family had set out to deceive the English courts with false claims and documents. The mother’s father, who also lived in the UK, had had a significant role in this attempted manipulation she declared.

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.

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