N (A Child: Interim Care Order: Interim Removal) [2015] EWFC (15 May 2015) Recent judgment of the DFJ HHJ Bellamy

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The case of N (A Child: Interim Care Order: Interim Removal) [2015] EWFC (15 May 2015) is a recent judgment of HHJ Bellamy. The case provides an analysis of whether the relevant child’s safety required interim removal from their parents’ care pursuant to an interim care order. In considering this, HHJ Bellamy provides an assessment as to whether interim removal is necessary and proportionate.


The parents accepted that the section 31(2) threshold was met due to the emotional harm caused to the child by the ongoing parental conflict; and neither parent being able to meet and prioritise the child’s needs. The case also concerns the emotional impact of the mother’s religious beliefs and practices and the impact this has upon the child of alienation from his father; the mother is a practising Jehovah’s Witness (the mother not accepting that this issue has caused the child emotional harm).


In his judgment HHJ Bellamy provides a welfare evaluation of the alternative risks of harm if the court does or does not remove the child at am interim stage in the proceedings. He emphasises that this assessment is not the global holistic assessment required when considering long-term welfare needs in accordance with Re B-S.  The Judge concluded that following an assessment of the section 1 welfare checklist of the Children Act 1989, the child’s needs were best met by his removal from his parents into foster care pending the conclusion of the final hearing.