Norfolk County Council v Webster and others: FD 17 Nov 2006

There had been care proceedings following allegations of physical child abuse. There had been a residential assessment. The professionals accepted the parents’ commitment to their son, but also found that they were unreliable. It was recommended that he return to the parents for further assessment, but the parents now asserted that a miscarriage of justice had occurred, and made applications to assist them in explaining the injuries.
Held: The court made an order requiring the preparation of a further report. Having allowed the professional media access to the court hearings, it was necessary also to allow them access to appropriate papers upon which the discussion in court were founded. The court refused to engage in any exercise which might limit the scope of discussions either by the media or by the parents, however ‘parents in this situation may have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. If they want to put some parts of the case into the public domain, then they may have to accept that other – to them less appealing – parts of the case are also put into the public domain.’
Munby J
[2006] EWHC 2898 (Fam), [2007] 1 FLR 1146
England and Wales
See AlsoRe a Minor CC 21-May-2004
(Norfolk County Court) . .
See AlsoNorfolk County Council v Webster CC 24-Nov-2004
(Norwich County Court) . .
See AlsoNorfolk County Council v Webster and others FD 1-Nov-2006
The claimants wished to claim that they were victims of a miscarriage of justice in the way the Council had dealt with care proceedings. They sought that the proceedings should be reported without the children being identified.
Held: A judge . .
CitedRex v Shipley; Rex v Dean of St Asaph 1784
Tasks of Jury and Judge in Defamation Trial
In an action for defamation it is the jury’s task to decide whether the words were published and whether they are true. It is for the judge to decide whether the words are libellous. Lord Mansfield said: ‘The liberty of the press consists in . .
CitedKent County Council v The Mother, The Father, B (By Her Children’s Guardian); Re B (A Child) (Disclosure) FD 19-Mar-2004
The council had taken the applicant’s children into care alleging that the mother had harmed them. In the light of the subsequent cases casting doubt on such findings, the mother sought the return of her children. She applied now that the hearings . .
CitedRe Angela Roddy (a child) (identification: restriction on publication), Torbay Borough Council v News Group Newspapers FD 2-Dec-2003
A twelve year old girl had become pregnant. The Catholic Church was said to have paid her not to have an abortion. After the birth she and her baby were taken into care. The authority proposed the adoption of the baby. There was more publicity. . .
CitedBritish Broadcasting Corporation v Kelly FD 9-Aug-2000
The interview for television of a child ward of court who had gone to live with members of a religious sect was not necessarily a contempt of court. There are three groups of ways in which a ward’s interests can be protected. First where the . .

Cited by:
CitedG, Regina (on the Application of) v Nottingham City Council Admn 1-Feb-2008
The respondent authority had removed the child from the mother at birth but without first obtaining any court authority. The court had made a peremptory order for the return of the child. The court explained its actions.
Held: Neither social . .
CitedIn re F (A Child) (Placement Order); C v East Sussex County Council (Adoption) CA 1-May-2008
The father sought to revoke a freeing order. He said that the social workers had conspired to exclude him from the process. The child was born of a casual relationship, and at first he was unaware of the proceedings. On learning of them he sought to . .
CitedWebster (the Parents) v Norfolk County Council and others CA 11-Feb-2009
Four brothers and sisters had been adopted after the parents had been found to have abused them. The parents now had expert evidence that the injuries may have been the result of scurvy, and sought leave to appeal.
Held: Leave was refused. . .
CitedDoctor A and Others v Ward and Another FD 8-Jan-2010
Parents wished to publicise the way care proceedings had been handled, naming the doctors, social workers and experts some of whom had been criticised. Their names had been shown as initials so far, and interim contra mundum orders had been made . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 October 2021; Ref: scu.246079