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‘Blood on our hands’ judge approves care plan for suicidal teenager

Sir James Munby had revealed there were no places available for the girl in an ‘appropriate clinical setting’.

A senior judge who said there would be “blood on our hands” if a safe placement was not found for a suicidal teenager has approved a plan for her care.

Last week, Sir James Munby, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, revealed in a judgment that there were no places available for the girl in an “appropriate clinical setting” following her release from a secure unit, and said the case “should make us all feel ashamed”.

After his ruling, it was reported that a safe bed had been found for the 17-year-old, who who cannot be identified and is referred to as X.

In the latest ruling in the case, Sir James said on Monday: “I cannot escape the powerful feeling that, but for my judgment, the steps subsequently taken would have been neither as effective nor as speedily effective as appears to have been the case.”

He added: “This, however, is not a matter for congratulation; on the contrary, it is, of itself, yet further cause for concern.

“The provision of the care that someone like X needs should not be dependent upon judicial involvement, nor should someone like X be privileged just because her case comes before a very senior judge.

“I emphasise this because a mass of informed, if anecdotal, opinion indicates that X’s is not an isolated case and that there are far too many young women in similar predicaments. How are they to be protected?.”


From Belfast Telegraph