Children who ended up in wheelchairs after their mother 'fabricated' their illnesses were neglected by social services, family judge rules

  • A family court judge ruled that two children were neglected by social services
  • Judge Vera Mayer said one of the social workers showed 'alarming ineptitude'
  • The children were not identified but the court heard Barnet Council was involved

Two children who ended up in wheelchairs after their mother 'fabricated' their illnesses were neglected by social services bosses, a family court judge has said.

Judge Vera Mayer said a social worker who worked on the case for six years had demonstrated 'alarming ineptitude'.

The judge has raised concerns in rulings recently published after private hearings in a family court in Barnet, north London.

She did not identify the children, a nine-year-old boy and his seven-year-old sister, but said Barnet Council was the local authority involved.

The judge said: 'The local authority neglected this case and this family, and the social worker, who was allocated for six years, demonstrated alarming ineptitude in the face of clear and obvious concerns expressed by many over a long period.

'A number of opportunities to intervene and spare the children unnecessary medical intervention have been missed.'

She added: 'The mother fabricated and exaggerated symptoms in respect of both children. She has done this throughout the children's lives.

'She gave untruthful information to persons in the medical profession, and to those involved with the children in the course of their education/care.

'Consequently, the children were subjected to a great number of unnecessary medical appointments, unnecessary attendances at A&E, unnecessary journeys in ambulances and, at times, to unnecessary admissions to hospital.

'Both children were unnecessarily medicated.

'They were both unnecessarily immobilised by spending time in wheelchairs.'

A psychiatrist said evidence suggested the children's mother had mental health difficulties which led her to invent illness or become anxious about illnesses which did not exist, said the judge.

The specialist had said the woman might be suffering from factitious disorder or somatic symptom disorder.

Judge Mayer said the children's father had thought their mother had been telling the truth.

The judge concluded the children could no longer live with their parents and should go into council care and be looked after by foster carers.

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4489296/Ch

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