A four-year-old girl will continue living with her grandparents,
although it may put her at risk of sexual abuse, after her council
lost its court battle to take her into care.
Judges at London’s civil appeal court last week ruled against
the council, despite expressing misgivings about worrying features
of the case.
A county court judge made an order for the girl to live with her
grandparents after her parents were accused of sexually abusing
her. The council argued that there was an “ingrained pattern of
sexual abuse in the family”, and that the grandparents could not
protect the girl from her parents, who live only 20 minutes walk
The grandmother had failed to protect the girl in the past and
might do so again in the future, the council claimed. She had also
failed to notice when her own son, the girl’s father, was abused by
an uncle when he was a child, the council alleged.
The girl’s three older sisters have already been taken into care
because of sexual and physical abuse.
Lord Justice Thorpe said: “I have reached the hesitant
conclusion that it would be against principle to overturn this
order even though it gives rise to real anxieties for the child’s
The girl will remain with her grandparents under close
supervision by the council.