Families fleeing the interventions of social workers have been finding a far more humane approach across the water.
Several of these stories I have reported more than once and they do not have happy endings. A mother and baby were pursued to Ireland by six social workers and police, who sat in Dublin for 10 days of court hearings, until a judge ruled in their favour (with the social workers seen giving “high fives” on emerging from the court). When the mother again escaped to a remote cottage, she was violently knocked down by a policeman, so that her baby could be taken back to England.
Vicky Haigh, a former racehorse trainer, managed to escape to Ireland before her daughter was born. But then she was brought to England to be quite bizarrely punished, in a case relating to her beloved older daughter, with a three-year prison sentence – leaving her baby to be looked after in Ireland.
A 14-year-old boy lived happily with his mother in Ireland for six months until, after an equally bizarre judgment based on evidence neither he nor his mother were allowed to see, he was deported miserably back to care in England.
Last week, another such story came my way. It concerns a respectable family which was hit with disaster last summer, after the semi-autistic 8-year-old son –who tends to make things up – had lashed out at his 13-year-old sister, leaving bruises. When these were investigated, the boy told the police that his father had done it. The girl denied this – and the boy admitted in video evidence what had really happened – but the police stuck with his earlier story and arrested the father. Although he was never charged, the interventions of social workers became so menacing that, last October, the family escaped to Ireland, where the father has his roots. ....read more