An application was made for a wardship after allegations of child abuse.
Held: The test for evidence of child abuse which is appropriate is the ordinary civil standard of balance of probabilities as applied to the facts of each case.
Butler-Sloss LJ said: ‘[The judge] may have found individual facts, such as inappropriate knowledge or behaviour, which constitute a high degree of concern about the child without being able to say on the test that they amount to actual abuse. They are, however, relevant to the exercise of the discretion. He may have sufficient evidence of concern about the past care of the child to be satisfied that the child was in a potentially abusing situation without having sufficient evidence to be satisfied as to the extent of the abuse in the past or the identity of the abuser.’
Stuart-Smith LJ said: ‘In the type of case with which we are concerned in these appeals there may be insufficient evidence upon which the judge can conclude that the father has sexually abused his children, nevertheless there may be sufficient evidence to show that there is a real chance, possibility or probability that he will do so in the future if granted access.’
Butler-Sloss LJ, Stuart-Smith LJ
 Fam 86,  2 FLR 313
England and Wales
Cited – In re W (Children) (Family proceedings: Evidence) (Abuse: Oral Evidence) SC 3-Mar-2010
The court considered the approach to be taken when considering whether to order a child’s attendance at court in care proceedings. It was argued that the starting point of assuming that a child should not attend, failed to respect the human right to . .
Cited – In re H and R (Minors) (Child Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) HL 14-Dec-1995
Evidence allowed – Care Application after Abuse
Children had made allegations of serious sexual abuse against their step-father. He was acquitted at trial, but the local authority went ahead with care proceedings. The parents appealed against a finding that a likely risk to the children had still . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 August 2021; Ref: scu.406179