This is one of the most horrific stories concerning judicial and local authority excess I have ever read, courtesy of Christopher Booker.
- A pregnant Italian woman visits the UK for a training course being run by her airline employer
- It is reported the woman suffers from bi-polar disorder and has been neglecting her medication, resulting in a panic attack
- Having called the police in a distressed state because she can’t find the passports of her other children, the police tell the woman’s mother over the phone they are taking her to hospital to ensure the unborn baby is ok
- The woman discovers she has been taken to a psychiatric hospital, and when she asks to go back to her hotel she is physically restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act
- Social services are involved
- Five weeks later, still detained under section, she is refused breakfast without explanation
- She protests and is strapped down and sedated
- When she regains consciousness she discovers she is in hospital – and that the baby has been cut out of her via Caesarian section and taken away by social services
- Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”
- Unbelievably, High Court judge, Mr Justice Mostyn, had given the social workers permission for this
- The woman was deliberately not told what was happening, was not represented properly by the local authority appointed solicitors and had no opportunity to object to what was being done to her and her child
- The woman is subsequently refused permission to see her child
- The woman is escorted back to Italy, without her child who, without justification, is kept in British custody
- The High Court in Rome expresses outrage at what had been done to an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy. But the judge there concluded that, since she had not protested at the time, she had accepted that the British courts had jurisdiction – even though she had not known what was to be done to her, was deemed to have no “capacity” to instruct lawyers because she had been sectioned, and had only been represented by solicitors assigned to her by the local authority
- The mother returns to the UK to plead for the return of her daughter
- The judge admits that, since resuming her medication, the mother seemed impressively articulate and a different person from the one he had seen earlier. But, because he could not risk a failure to maintain her medication in the future, he ruled that the child must be placed for adoption
- No offence had been committed, there had been no abuse of the child, there was no evidence of any risk to the child, but the child had been stolen from a foreign and temporary visitor because of a panic attack
- Supported by the mother, her American husband – from whom she is amicably separated, and who is the father of her eldest daughter – asked that the baby be sent to Los Angeles to live with his sister, herself a very capable mother
- Essex social services ruled that this was unacceptable because, even though she was the aunt of the baby’s stepsister, the American woman had no “blood” tie to the baby. So, rather than allow the child to be looked after by her “kin”, she must be sent to live with complete strangers
- Lawyers for the woman are demanding to know why Essex social services appear not have contacted next of kin in Italy to consult them on the case
- An Essex county council spokesman said the local authority would not comment on ongoing cases involving vulnerable people and children – the standard response in the textbook effort to avoid being held to account
This is the most extreme example yet of ‘child protection’ services – which routinely ignore actual abuse when it involves the need for visits, investigations and supervision – going after an easy target who had done nothing wrong, over which they have no jurisdiction, where there was no evidence a child was even at risk – cutting the child out of the mother so it can be put it up for adoption.
If this story does not underline the brutal nature of ‘public servants’ and ‘court officers’ whose actions demonstrate they are completely out of control and giving themselves authority that is wholly excessive and unjustified, nothing else will. It is shocking, disturbing, frightening, and it makes me ashamed of my country and the dictatorship it has become.
This abuse of power must be defeated. Whatever it takes.