Wednesday 18 October 2017

Violent mum who shot herself flees country to avoid baby being adopted

The High Court in Dublin
The High Court in Dublin

THE High Court has said that it is in the best interests of a baby girl born to an "extremely violent" English mother - who gave birth in Ireland to avoid her baby being taken into care and adopted - for the case to be dealt with by the English courts.

The HSE had urged the High Court to ask the courts in England and Wales to deal with the case of the baby girl who was born in the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin last September after her mother arrived at the hospital heavily pregnant.

A stay has been placed on the High Court's order for one week pending a Supreme Court appeal.

The infant, who is a British citizen entitled to Irish citizenship by virtue of being born in Dublin to British parents, is living with foster carers in Ireland after the HSE secured an emergency care order shortly after her birth.

The High Court heard that the mother, who strenuously opposed the care proceedings being transferred back to the UK- and has some access to her newborn - has a conviction for child cruelty and also had a conviction for perverting the course of justice.

The woman, who is currently pregnant, also has a conviction for possession of a firearm without a certificate after shooting herself and falsely accusing a former boyfriend of shooting her.

The mother, who has been diagnosed with an anti social personality disorder and was described by one expert as "extremely violent", had threatened to kill her children and was deemed a risk to them by the UK authorities who wanted a member of the police force to be present at the birth of the baby girl known as L.

The woman, who was habitually resident in the UK, has three other children who are subject to permanent care orders dating back to 2004 and 2005.

Two of the three children subject to UK care orders are no longer in care as they have reached the age of 18.

This morning High Court judge Mr Justice George Bermingham said that it was the courts in England and Wales that had dealt with the history of the mother and her children and had engaged with her case extensively and requested that they accept jurisdiction for the "extremely sensitive" case as this was in the child's best interests.

Some of those engagements were "very disturbing indeed" said Judge Bermingham adding that a great number of individuals who may be required to give evidence - including social and child care workers as well as

teachers- are located in the UK rather than Ireland.

Judge Bermingham said that the mother's approach to litigation in the past had been "erratic".

The High Court heard that she had shot herself with a firearm and then tried to pin the blame on a former boyfriend.

She later pleaded guilty to possession of the firearm.

The woman, who claims that "all has changed" since she served time in prison-  and told staff at the Rotunda had moved to Ireland to start a "new life" with her husband - is one of more than 40 expectant mothers fleeing social services in England and Wales have given birth in Irish hospitals in recent months.

Other families have brought their young children to Ireland to avoid them being taken into care.

Unlike Ireland, children who are the subject of care proceedings in England and Wales can be placed for adoption resulting in some British parents "forum shopping" in countries such as Ireland to prevent their children from being taken into care and adopted.

Under a European law known as the Brussels II convention, proceedings involving children are generally dealt with in the country where a child lives.

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