Children taken from mother who allowed violent partner into home
Five children have been taken from their mother after she allowed the youngest child’s father to live in the house despite him having a history of violence.
The mother had four children from a previous relationship, and her youngest with her current partner. The local authority had barred the partner from visiting the house, due to his history of violence, including against children.
In March 2019, the children were removed from the mother under an emergency protection order, after it was found that the partner had been staying in the home.
The mother and her partner offered to be tagged so the local authority could monitor their locations and see he was not returning to the house.
However, the judge ruled that this would not enable an immediate response if the partner lost his temper and visited the house in defiance of the order.
There was still a very high risk of physical, psychological and emotional harm to the children unless carefully supervised.
The judge considered the distress placing the children in care would cause, but that was outweighed by the risk of allowing them to stay with their mother, given her reluctance to exclude her partner from the family home.
The mother and her partner appealed on the basis that the separation of the children was disproportionate to the risk posed. They also called for better guidance on the availability of tagging in family cases that didn’t involve any threat of abduction.
The Court of Appeal, however, upheld the judge’s decision.
Please contact Sarah Ashby if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.