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Thursday, 28 June 2018

Recovering alcoholic wins latest stage of care fight over daughter

Written by Brian Farmer

A recovering alcoholic has won the latest stage of a legal fight over the care of her daughter.

She mounted an appeal after a family court judge ruled that the little girl, who is about 12 months old, should be placed for adoption.

Three Court of Appeal judges have overturned Judge Jane Probyn's decision and ruled that the woman's case should be reviewed.

Judge Probyn had analysed the case at a family court hearing in Croydon in February.

The woman told Judge Probyn that she had been sober for more than a year and asked her to put off a decision for another six months.

But Judge Probyn refused to adjourn and ruled that the youngster should be placed for adoption.

Appeal judges Lord Justice Davis, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan, who analysed the case at a Court of Appeal hearing in London earlier this month, have concluded that Judge Probyn should have delayed a decision.

They said an adjournment would have served a "clear purpose" and given the woman a chance to prove her commitment to staying sober.

The three judges, who said the woman had stayed sober since February, said a High Court judge should now oversee the case.

Judges heard that the woman had given birth to a daughter in 2014.

That daughter had died when five months old of sudden infant death syndrome.

Appeal judges said, in a ruling published on Thursday, that the little girl had died on a night when the woman had been drinking.

They have not named the woman.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Kate Collins / PA Wire.