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Court Rules Youth At Grave Risk From Gang Violence Cannot Be Placed Into Secure Accommodation

Sir Justice MacDonald rules that the court does not have the power to remove the 17 year old from his mother's care without her consent.

In A City Council v LS & Ors (Secure Accommodation Inherent Jurisdiction) [2019] EWHC 1384 (Fam), Sir Justice MacDonald ruled that a 17 year old boy, KS, could not be placed into secure accommodation despite being at serious risk from gang violence.

KS had been involved in a number of gang related incidents and apparent retaliatory attacks by rivals, and was considered by the local authority to be "at risk of significant harm or harming someone else" if he were to remain in the care of his mother. The police had indicated that there was significant risk to KS's life.

Sir Justice MacDonald found that a child cannot be placed into secure accommodation if they are not looked after by the local authority and the child's parent objects to the placement, as was the case here. Such an order would authorise the removal of KS from his mother's care without her consent, while she retains exclusive parental responsibility for him but objects to the course of action.

The full judgment can be read using the link above.