This is a case that offers a warning lesson to every reader, judge, counsel and litigant. And it is particularly relevant to everyone struggling to come to terms fully with the ways that the coronavirus pandemic affects the practice of law. The UK judge at the heart of this matter was dealing with a difficult case of possible child abuse arising from the death of a baby, and had to decide what arrangements should be made for the care of the remaining child.
The case before Judge Frances Judd was a very sensitive and distressing family matter. A, the older of two young children in a family, had died aged 18 months from what the court heard was ‘a catastrophic head injury accompanied by significant bruising.’ What was to happen to the younger brother, E, now aged 16 months? Was it safe for him to stay with his mother?