REGIONAL NEWS: Woman who has faced 'unimaginable trauma' to have daughter taken from her care

Court news
Court news
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A woman who suffered the "unimaginable trauma" of seeing two children die when they were babies must have an 18-month-old daughter taken from her care and placed for adoption even though she has caused the youngster no harm, a family court judge has ruled.

Judge Alan Booth said the toddler's father had tried to suffocate her when she was four months old.

The judge said the man was "very dangerous" and concluded that the girl's mother could not protect her against the risk he posed.

Judge Booth said he was "desperately sad" to deprive the woman of the chance to be a mother.

But he said he could not be sure that the little girl would be safe.

Judge Booth has made the ruling following a private family court hearing in Blackburn, Lancashire.

He said the family involved could not be named.

The case made headlines in November after the judge made rulings about how the little girl had been injured when a baby.

Judge Booth had heard how the couple's two oldest children had died a few years ago when babies and was told that the little girl had last year suffered separate "acute life-threatening" episodes.

The judge concluded that the man, who is in his twenties, twice tried to suffocate her in a "warped" bid to mend his relationship with her mother.

Evidence suggested that the deaths of the other children had drawn them closer.

He said the man was "very dangerous".

The woman had said she wanted "nothing more to do" with the man.

But Judge Booth said she was "vulnerable" - and he feared that the man would wheedle his way back into her life and put the toddler at risk.

"It is not the vulnerability of (the toddler's) mother in isolation that requires assessment - it is her vulnerability put in the context of the risk posed by (the toddler's) father and the threat that he poses to (the toddler)," said the judge.

"Depriving (the woman) of the opportunity to be a mother to (the toddler) is compounding yet further trauma on top of the unimaginable trauma that she has suffered ...

"But I have to put (the toddler's) welfare as my paramount consideration.

"I cannot risk the death of another child in this family.

"I hope that with the benefit of time and therapy she will come to recognise that the safety of her daughter had to be the matter uppermost in my mind when I made this difficult decision and that in doing so I was ensuring that (the toddler) had a life free from the threat of her father, a threat that no matter how well-intentioned, her mother would inevitably have struggled to keep (her) safe from."

He added: "I feel desperately sad that I cannot endorse a future for (the toddler) with her mother but I cannot be satisfied that (she) would be safe. I cannot be satisfied that (her) mother has the tools at her disposal to protect (her) from her father."