Coventry Telegraph | Saturday, 23 February 2013 | Click here for original article
A Mum had her baby taken off her just an hour after giving birth – because of her violent boyfriend’s links to a neo-Nazi group.
The newborn boy was taken into care because social workers were worried about the woman’s ‘‘violent and dangerous’’ boyfriend who has contacts with a far-right organisation.
The country’s top judges were told he had threatened to “mobilise an army of 200 skinheads” to kidnap the child if he was taken into care.
The woman, from Warwickshire, had her baby removed from a hospital ward after it emerged the child’s father had “contacts within the criminal fraternity and discrimination groups such as Combat 18”.
Although the mother was not viewed as a threat to the child, and had no history of violence or crime herself, social workers said the child had to be taken from her for his own safety.
The child has since been sheltered at a secret location and there has been no contact between him and his mother.
Her hopes for an early reunion with her child have now been dashed by three judges at London’s Civil Appeal Court.
Alistair MacDonald QC, for the local authority responsible for the boy, argued the mother has a “submissive personality” and is “putty in the hands” of her partner, who has convictions for violent crimes and who had previously “held a knife to her throat”.
The couple were warned the baby was likely to be taken into care at birth because of the father’s violent history and it was at that point that he told social workers he could call on an “army” of racist skinheads to “kidnap” his child.
The threats were taken seriously and the baby boy was whisked away to foster carers and his location kept secret from even the mother.
She has not been allowed to see him since due to the local authority’s view that there is no suitably secure location in which they could have contact.
A Coventry County Court judge earlier this month granted the council an emergency care order with no contact provision for the mother.
Vanessa Meachin, for the mother, argued on appeal that social workers had taken the “empty” threats issued by the father in a fit of pique too seriously and urged the court to order immediate daily contact between mother and son.
Attacking the severance of all ties between them as “draconian”, she added: “There was nothing in the psychological assessment of the mother that suggested she shouldn’t have contact. This baby ought to be given the chance to bond with his mother.
“Whilst we recognise the difficulties of being a social worker, it is plain that there has been an over-reaction to the father and a failure to step back and take stock. We cannot get back the time lost to the mother and her child.”
The father’s barrister, Douglas Allen, added: “He admitted he had made threats to have 200 skinheads standing behind him, but he says that he did not mean it and it was said in a fit of pique.”
However, Mr MacDonald replied: “The judge was well within her wide ambit in making the order, reacting to threats made by the father during which he made clear his connections with the criminal fraternity and discrimination groups, such as Combat 18, and his taste for violence.”
Lord Justice Thorpe, sitting with Lord Justice Rimer and Lord Justice Patten, dismissed the appeal.
He said: “The local authority view the father as being incapable of self control and a potentially dangerous figure.
“They say he conducted himself in a hostile and threatening manner and that there were continued threats by the father that he would have an army of people outside the hospital.
“He seemingly threatened more than one social worker personally with his power to assemble a sort of mob which would assist him in kidnapping the baby.
“He admitted making threats that he could muster 200 skinheads to act as his foot soldiers.’’