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Mother awarded damages after Brent Council unlawfully placed her son in care

PUBLISHED: 17:30 29 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:30 29 September 2015

The case was heard at the High Court (Pic: PA Wire)

The case was heard at the High Court (Pic: PA Wire)

Notice: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A mother with mental health difficulties has been awarded £3,000 damages after a High Court judge ruled Brent Council unlawfully placed her son into foster care.

The boy, who is now aged nine, was taken into care by the council after his mother suffered a mental health “relapse” and was taken to hospital.

The woman had taken legal action claiming that the youngster was wrongly removed by a social worker without her consent - or the permission of a judge.

Last week, Judge Judith Rowe ruled in the woman’s favour after analysing the case at a private family court hearing in London.

She said the woman had not been told what had happened until some days later and the council should pay damages.

She said: “The unlawful removal of a child amounts to interference with one of the most fundamental of rights, namely that of respect for family life.

“(The boy) was removed not simply without lawful authority but without the mother even being told that it had happened until some days afterwards.

“Her poor health does not justify this sequence of events.”

Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling by the judge published on a legal website.

However the boy and his mother can not be identified.

A spokesman for Brent Council told the Times it was changing its approach in future such cases.

He added: “We have apologised for our error, and are grateful to the court for its guidance.”

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