Help Please

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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:28 pm

Help Please

Post by grace » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:15 pm

Been here before so many times. Our son has RO for our two grandsons as their mother has a police caution for assaulting her oldest child when he was 5. She left the family home and there was a lengthy court case with us fighting the local authority for negligence by the social worker. She is currently on an eighteen month suspension
Mother has been harassing our son ever since with silly messages. She has since had a baby who is now a year old. Unfortunately, as she lives in a different county social services there have not been informed of her background, including attempted suicide. Therefore that baby is at great risk.
However, our son has now been served with papers this week as she has applied for contact through the court, The order issued to our son clearly stated she was to have no contact at all to include any indirect contact e. g birthday cards etc. If she breached the order it could result in a custodial sentence!! So we are at a loss to understand how she can legally apply for contact
Also, another application was made this morning claiming that she is requesting a DNA test for our oldest grandson (11 yrs) We had to undergo a DNA test for his younger brother during the court case and it was so fraught with stress and worry it isn't something we want to endure again especially as the child is 11. If there were any doubts of his parentage, one would think realistically that she would not wait all this time.
Unfortunately, she was proved to have some serious mental health problems and one of her many issues is that she tells lies and is very accomplished at it,

We believe that she has found out that our son is in a new relationship and she wants to upset everything again.
Could somebody tell me is she entitled to Legal Aid again? The previous court case cost the public purse many thousands of pounds, and we were under the impression that Legal Aid had finished.
We are extremely worried what she is allowed to get away with. As it is she doesn't work so receives maximum benefits for her and her child.
Any thoughts and/or advice please?

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Robin D
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: Help Please

Post by Robin D » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:12 pm

Hi and sorry to hear the difficulties continue.

The first point to deal with is your comment about the new child being at risk. If this is really the case, it needs investigating.

Given the history you have some difficulty here as on one hand you will be accused of upsetting the apple cart out of spite for here application, but you also have a duty to protect the child. Normally i would suggest speaking to your local children's services and leaving it to them whether they have enough concerns as to the need for a referral with the case history. That may prove difficult for you given the complaint and suspension. If a guardian was involved in the case, it might pay to contact he or she to express your concerns. You might also ring the FRG helpline who may be able to make the referral, or you could ring the NSPCC in confidence and table your concerns.

There is nothing to prevent mum taking it back to court unless the order prohibits it specifically which is highly unlikely. However, that doesn't mean she will win. I can't speak for legal aid as its so complex these days.

The DNA thing is indeed a spoiler, but frankly, if the 11 year-old has been brought up with your son as 'dad', and he has a RO, then I can't imagine the court would give it much weight. At 11, the main weighting is likely to be given to the wishes of the child and the risks of a change of placement at such an age.

Technically, the child can refuse the test if Gillick competent whatever both parents say, but this in theory at least can be overridden by the court if its deemed to be in the child's best interests.

Former F&F carer, foster carer, adopter and respite carer for umpteen children. Now retired and when with kids, making sure they 'go home' at the end of the day.

Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:28 pm

Re: Help Please

Post by grace » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:23 pm

Thank-you Robin. Grateful for your very quick response. It was the Guardian who broke the news of the DNA to our son. We are still in shock about that as we went through so much with DNA testing for our youngest grandson. However, you mentioned NSPCC, I hadn't thought of them to report a baby at risk as I believed that Social Services where we live would have informed mother's area SS. How wrong could we have been.
It would have to be an anonymous call to NSPCC for obvious reasons.

Thank you so much, it has helped a lot


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