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Court permits reporting of Bristol foster care case

Judgment of Mr Justice Baker published

Mr Justice Baker in the High Court has granted permission for the reporting of a case in which a 5 year old girl was left in foster care for two weeks after the local authority, Bristol City Council, learned of suspicions that the foster father may have downloaded child pornography. the child was subsequently removed and placed with other foster parents. 

Mr Justice Baker said:

"There is a public interest in the reporting of events surrounding the discovery of the images and the subsequent removal of the child from the foster home and the actions of public authorities at the material time. However, it is important for the welfare of the child that her identity should be protected during the reporting of these events."

Accordingly his order sought to balance the competing interests of the child for privacy on the one hand and the media and public interests for publication on the other, by permitting the reporting of certain facts but preventing the identification of the child.

The judgment in Bristol City Council v C and Others [2012] EWHC 3748 (Fam) can be read here.

To read the background to and summary of the case, please visit the BBC website.