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GROSS EXPLOITATION – In three recently released judgments in the case of A Council v M & Others, Mary Lazarus appeared for the local authority in a series of hearings last year involving the most shocking exploitation of an adopted child. Child A, represented by Tina Cook QC and Anthony Jerman, was persuaded by her adoptive mother to inseminate herself between the ages of 14 and 16. Her son (child D), born of that AI, was represented by Anna McKenna/Jessica Lee, and the police were represented by Mary Robertson. The fact finding (Judgment 1) and welfare (Judgment 2) judgments set out the almost incredible facts and the complex outcome.
PRESS RESTRICTION ON CRIMINAL DEFENDANT MOTHER’S IDENTITY – However it is Judgment 3 that provides the most interesting development in reporting restrictions case law. Peter Jackson J prohibited the publication of the Defendant Mother’s identity even in relation to the parallel criminal proceedings against her for child cruelty. (This has only once before been done, by Potter P in the controversial A Local Authority v W  EWHC 1564.) This new example has already been referred to by Mary Lazarus representing an Applicant Father in another recent RRO case; the judgment by Cobb J (yet to be released) cited Judgment 3 in again prohibiting publication of a Defendant Mother’s identity to protect her children.