A British couple whose two-month-old daughter was taken into care after a "misguided" suspicion of abuse have been awarded £8,000 in compensation.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled their rights had been infringed because they had no legal redress for the loss of their child.

The girl, from Oldham, was taken into care in 1998 after breaking her leg.

The family was reunited nine months later when another injury revealed that the girl had brittle bone disease.

Doctors had suspected that the injury to her thigh bone was not caused by accident and she had been placed in the care of her aunt.

'Genuine concerns'

The couple - known only as AK and RK - took their case to the European Court after it had been rejected in the House of Lords in 2005.

They complained that their "right to respect for private and family life" and their "right to an effective remedy" were breached.

Human rights judges disagreed with the former claim, ruling that medical and social authorities had a duty to protect children.

I think what motivated them was the very strong feeling that they had been wronged

Emma Holt
Solicitor

"[They] could not be held liable every time genuine and reasonably-held concerns about the safety of children in their families were proved, retrospectively, to have been misguided," the judges said.

But they ruled unanimously that the couple should have had access to legal redress, something their solicitor Emma Holt said amounted to a "recognition that the system had failed them".

She said the couple had not been driven by a desire for compensation.

"I think what motivated them was the very strong feeling that they had been wronged.

"In cases like this people always say, 'No smoke without fire' and these accusations stick.

"I think the family were on a quest to find someone to uphold that what happened to them was wrong."

Ms Holt said the judgment opened up the possibility that other families in similar situations could bring human rights claims in the future.

As well as ruling that they should receive compensation from the UK government, the couple were awarded £14,000 in costs.

 

 

Misguided被錯誤指導的;被帶入歧途的

Suspicion一點兒

Compensation補償,彌補;賠償, 【美】報酬,津貼,薪水

Infringed違犯;侵犯;違反

Redress糾正,矯正;革除

Reunited再結合;再聯合;重聚, 使再結合;使再聯合;使重聚

brittle bone disease【醫】骨質疏鬆症,等於 osteoporosis

thigh,大腿, 大腿骨

placed in 寄放

Genuine真誠的;不造作的,由衷的

Breached (對法律等的)破壞,違反;(對他人權利的)侵害

Liable負有法律責任的,有義務的

Retrospectively 回顧地

Unanimously無異議地;全體一致地

Solicitor【英】初級律師, 【美】法務官

Accusation 指控,控告;指責, (被控告的)罪名[

Stick【英】【口】懲罰;棒打;有敵意的言行

Quest尋找;尋求

Uphold維護;維持;贊成;確認

 

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