Northern Ireland

Child 'saw father's stab wounds'

A nine-year-old boy witnessed events surrounding his mother stabbing his convicted drug-dealer father, Belfast High Court has been told.

The court also heard that the child had tasted white powder at his home which made him "feel funny".

The stabbing happened in June 2009. The boy's parents, who are now reconciled, want their child returned to them.

However, the lord chief justice granted a care order sought by an unnamed health and social services trust.

Sir Declan Morgan said the child had been through a "horrendous situation".

Domestic disputes culminated in the boy's mother stabbing his father with a kitchen knife last year.

The child did not see the actual attack, but witnessed events leading up to it and saw his father's wounds.

The court was told he ran for help, shouting: "Police, get the police, my mummy is going to stab my daddy."

His mother moved into a women's aid refuge after the stabbing and the boy stayed with an older sister.

His parents have since reunited, undertaken counselling and had contact arrangements with the child.

They are said to be anxious to ensure that he can be returned to them.

Sir Declan accepted the child was very fond of both of his parents.

However, he ruled that: "I am entirely satisfied that the protection of this child requires the continuing participation of the trust.

"The duration and extent of the participation will depend upon the progress made by the parents.

"The care plan as now drafted provides a clear framework for the return of the child to the parents under conditions which will ensure his safety and the ability of the trust to continue to assist and guide the parents in what will undoubtedly be a demanding time for them having regard to their past difficulties."