Couple accused of abusing three children seek report documents

A couple who have five children aged under 10 want High Court orders aimed at securing documents and materials used in preparation of a report which found they sexually abused three of the children.

The couple deny they abused any of the children, who are subject of care proceedings before the district court.

The parents say they need the materials used to compile the report for preparation of their defence to the findings when the matter returns before the court.

Ms Justice Mary Faherty heard the children were taken into care in 2013 by the Children and Family Agency following allegations they had been neglected by their parents. The children have been separated and are at a number of different foster homes. The parents have supervised access to them.

After being taken into care, some of the children displayed certain behaviour that concerned their court-appointed guardian, which led to a report being commissioned by the district court.

The 200-page report was complied at a hospital which the children had attended and stated three of the children were sexually abused while in their parents’ care.

Care proceedings, which will deal with the report, are due back before the district court next week.

Yesterday, lawyers for the parents brought High Court proceedings against the Child and Family Agency, the district court judge who is hearing the case, and the hospital which conducted the report The parents want orders including compelling the hospital to hand over the materials used to compile the report and a stay on the district court proceedings until they have been provided with the materials.

Ms Justice Faherty said she would grant leave to bring the judicial review and also granted a stay on the childcare proceedings pending before the district court.

Leave was granted on an ex parte (one side only represented) basis.

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