Ian Peddie QC represents Norfolk family in landmark Adoption Challenge

Monday 8 December 2008

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In 2003 Mark and Nicky Webster's three older children were put up for adoption based on child abuse, a judgement experts have since identified as based on flawed medical evidence. The action in the appellate court before Judge Justice Wilson contests and seeks to reverse the adoption in what is a highly unusual and historic case.

Ian Peddie QC said "It is hard to understand how the parents cope with this injustice but the children also stand to suffer if they do not know the truth of what caused them to be taken from their parents. It is assumed that the older children are aware of the Webster heritage. Child A was five years 11 months, Child B almost four and Child C two years five months when the adoption was finalised. They have sibling contact three times a year. Child A had spent more time with her natural parents than the adoptive parnets and may well have memory of her time with them. We are well aware that adoptive orders are meant to be permanent and final. But we assert that this is a fundamental miscarriage of justice and denial of natural justice and in that case this court will interfere with an adoption order".

Commenting further on the case Ian Peddie QC said "The false allegation was of NAI in respect Child B of one of their 3 eldest children. It was said by the Judge in 2003 that either mother or father caused 6 fractures to that child. The 3 children were made subject of Care Orders and were later in 2005 adopted. In proceedings relating to Brandon (who can also be named), a child born after the adoptions, we adduced evidence that Child B was suffering from scurvy, which is almost unknown in the Western World. The scurvy created bone abnormality and was caused by Child B being on an unsweetened soya milk diet for more than one year, on the advice of the GP because he was intolerant to solids and dairy produce.

We are seeking the permission of the CA to appeal against the making of the Care Orders and the Adoptions. If we succeed in being able to apply to set aside the adoption orders we will have created new law".

Ian Peddie QC is also currently instructed on behalf of the mother in the Baby P case.

Judgement was reserved until January.

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