The three year-old son of a woman murdered by the child’s father has been taken into care.
Mr Justice Moor declared that the Family Court had “enormous sympathy” for the boy in this “tragic case”. The child, only identified as ‘LT’ in the judgment, “will need very careful support in the years ahead” especially given the concerns about what he may have witnessed, the Judge added.
By contrast the father was “entirely responsible” for this situation and will bear “a very heavy burden of responsibility” for not only taking one life but causing immense distress to others and ruining his own.
Finding a suitable place for LT to live was difficult as the unidentified local authority’s assessments of both the maternal and paternal grandmothers were negative, so they were dismissed as potential carers. However, Mr Justice Moor made sure to point out that although they both disagreed with the results of these assessments, they have accepted that the boy cannot be placed in their care and had “conducted themselves with great dignity in very difficult circumstances” during the proceedings.
LT’s paternal great aunt and her partner were in the process of being assessed as a potential long-term placement at the time of the hearing and the judge explained that their prospects looked “very positive”. However he noted that the final results would not be available until May 2017.
Until then, Mr Justice Moor concluded that the local authority would assume parental responsibility for LT and made a care order stating this. If the boy is eventually placed with his great aunt, it was important that the local authority “ensure that steps are taken to deal with any possible future problems”. He also noted that if this placement is made, both the maternal and paternal grandmothers should be treated equally when it comes to time spent with LT.
Read ZA Council v MT & Ors here.
Photo by Pete via Flickr under the Public Domain.