Saturday, 20 October 2012

Child threatened with handcuffing prompts many questions

A distressing Youtube video was brought to my attention today which shows a 13 year old child being forcibly removed into foster care. I don't know the parties or the case circumstances, but watching the video prompted the following questions:
  • Why weren't the child's wishes and feelings represented in court, or were they? 
  • If they were, why wasn’t sufficient weight afforded to them? Impossible to say without hearing the full case. The child's wishes and feelings, as expressed on the video (in fairly horrific terms), seem quite clear to me. 
  • The father appears to have been badly advised or had no advice. He didn't attend court, because it appears the solicitor he found had a conflict of interest and couldn't represent him. Whether or not this is the case, how much more likely is it that we'll see similar occurrences after legal aid is abolished. Is this the real face of cuts in the legal aid budget? 
  • Did the child's solicitor ever meet with the child?
  • It appears that the Guardian and social services had not visited the father's house. Should the police be threatening to handcuff a 13 year old child? 
  • Could the police have handled matters better, than handcuffing a parent in front of a child, and threatening to handcuff the child... waving an order made 'in the child's best interests'. 
You watch... you decide... I can't see the child's face being shown, or their surname being given, so I'm fairly satisfied no laws have been broken in posting this video, or our drawing it to your attention, as the child has not been identified.

What harm to this child… going through that… and my problem is that when you have knowledge of cases where Social Services have lied in court (acknowledged by the judge) it makes you question just a little bit more…
Was that reasonable force? Really...