Former Liberal Democrat MP, and family justice campaigner John Hemming has called on the Family Court to make the ruling behind murdered toddler Elsie’s adoption, public.

Elsie, whose real name was Shayla, was killed by her adoptive father in May last year. Following a national outcry over the case, pressure has begun to mount on the judge, or judges, who pushed the adoption through.

Evidence has now emerged which confirms that Shayla suffered several serious injuries in the run up to her death. As a result of these injuries she was taken to hospital twice, over a nine month period, though it is not clear how child protection and medical professionals addressed these incidents.

Hemming, who campaigns for reforms within the UK child protection system, has demanded that the reasons for allowing the adoption be published. Talking to the Swindon Advertiser, John explained:

“A family court judge must have decided that Elsie could be placed for adoption in September 2015.

A family court judge, maybe the same judge, maybe a different judge, must have approved the adoption in May 2016.

There must have been hearings, evidence and rulings.

The name of the judge or judges involved and their rulings should be made public.

There are clearly questions which need to be answered given that Elsie suffered injuries in the nine months before her death.

What evidence did the judge who approved the adoption have? What evidence was not made available? What did social services staff know?

The priority is not to point the finger blame but to learn lessons and make sure other children are protected.” 

What do you think? 

Many thanks to Sabine for alerting us to this development.

ESH

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