Essex

Sisters contracted STI 'from father', court told

Test tubes Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Concerns for the girls emerged after they and their parents spent a month living in temporary accommodation arranged by Thurrock Council in Essex

Three sisters aged under 10 contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from their father, it has been alleged.

Concerns for the girls emerged after they and their parents spent a month living in temporary accommodation arranged by Thurrock Council in Essex.

A high court judge will now review the case after the father appealed against a family court's finding that he might have infected them.

The family has not been indentified and the girls are now in foster care.

The girls tested positive for an STI last summer, after a period of chaotic living arrangements which saw them and their parents move in and out of London in recent years.

Following an eviction in the summer of 2017 they found accommodation in Thurrock, but were evicted again in February 2018.

High Court hearing

The council then found them temporary accommodation - first at a hotel and later at two caravans - and in March last year they moved back to London.

A family court judge considered the case at private hearings in London and concluded the girls' father might have caused the infection.

He appealed against that finding and details of the case emerged as a result of three Court of Appeal judges examining the case at a hearing in London in late March.

Lord Justice Peter Jackson, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Lindblom have now said, in a ruling, they were not satisfied with the family court judge's finding.

They ruled a judge based in the Family Division of the High Court in London must take charge and review the case.

They said the family had been known to social workers for nearly a decade.

Appeal judges said staff at Islington Council now had responsibility for the children.