Mother and her 4 year-old son receive compensation following breach of human rights and unlawful separation

Gold Jennings have successfully settled a claim for damages brought by a mother (“AB”) and her son (“BC”) against Telford & Wrekin Council. The claim arose from a 10-month period in 2020 during which our clients were separated after the Defendant removed the child into foster care without notice. At the time of the separation BC was subject to a care order but in the care of his mother. The Family Court later held that the separation had been unlawful.

The separation, occurring as it did during the height of restrictions imposed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, meant our clients did not see each other in-person for several months after BC had been removed. When in-person contact was permitted it happened infrequently and required AB to travel for 6 hours to see her son. These visits were distressing and confusing for BC and took a huge emotional toll on his mother. The circumstances of the separation itself had been traumatic in that AB was permitted only 30 minutes to say goodbye to her then 2-year-old son before he was taken into care. AB suffered further anguish during the separation when the Defendant informed her that BC was going to be put up for adoption.

AB suffered psychiatric injuries because of the separation. Her son, BC, is now exhibiting behavioural issues not present before the separation.

Our clients brought claims under Article 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and received £30,000 in damages as well as payment of their legal costs. They were represented by Matthew Gold and Robert Hamill of Gold Jennings and barrister Sam Jacobs of Doughty Street Chambers.