The respondent mother, successfully represented by Raymond Plunkett in the High Court, had children returned to her care after the unexplained death of a baby sibling in a case which was recently heard before Mr Justice Keehan. The principle findings of fact concluded that the baby had died as a result of asphyxiation sustained whilst co-sleeping with both the parents and siblings.

Whilst the judgment, reported here, highlights the dangers of the practice of co-sleeping, the parents were not judged to be a threat to their children. Mr Justice Keehan ‘unhesitatingly approved the rehabilitation plan as manifestly being in the welfare best interests of [the children]’. The other children were immediately returned to the care of their mother, a course approved of by the Judge, at the conclusions of the proceedings which had lasted nearly 18 months.

Mr Plunkett had conduct of the case throughout, but due to the complexity of conflicting expert medical opinion, for the fact-find was led by Miss Elizabeth McGrath, QC.