Pensioner loses fight for toddler

Andover Advertiser: The hearing took place at Leeds County Court The hearing took place at Leeds County Court

A pensioner who wanted to care for his 15-month-old great-granddaughter following the death of her mother has lost a fight in a family court.

Family members suggested that the toddler should live with her 71-year-old great-grandfather and his 69-year-old wife.

But a judge concluded that the little girl should be adopted, following a hearing in Leeds County Court.

She was taken into care about five months before her mother died and had suffered neglect, the court heard.

The judge, Recorder Darren Howe, said he had been impressed by the two pensioners and said his decision was "finely balanced".

But he said the little girl needed "reliable" and "long-term" care.

And he said he was not confident that the couple would get the support they needed from other family members.

Social workers said they would have been "open" to the little girl living with her great-grandfather and his wife if an appropriate family "support package" had been possible.

Detail has emerged in a written ruling by the judge published on a legal website.

The local authority with responsibility for the youngster's welfare was named as Leeds City Council but the judge said none of the people involved could be identified.

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