Judge blasts Redbridge Council’s ‘litany of non-compliance’ in social services case

Redbridge Town Hall

Redbridge Town Hall - Credit: Archant

A High Court judge has criticised Redbridge Council social services bosses over their handling of a case involving a two-year-old girl who may be taken from the care of her mother.

Mr Justice MacDonald said bosses at the London Borough of Redbridge had “comprehensively” failed to comply with his directions and the case had been “very significantly” delayed.

He said barrister Paul Pavlou, who has represented the council at hearings in the family division of the High Court in London, had told him that bosses were instigating a review in an attempt to establish what had “gone wrong”.

The judge has complained of a “litany of non-compliance” with directions he had given relating to the management of the case in a preliminary ruling.

He said evidence - including police witness statements - had not been filed in accordance with directions.

Neither the girl at the centre of proceedings nor her mother was identified.

Mr Justice MacDonald said a lower-ranking family court judge had ruled that the girl should leave her mother and go into long-term foster care.

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The woman had appealed and Court of Appeal judges had ruled that a High Court judge should review the case.