Thursday, 16 July 2009




1. Key Points Against the Local Authority Case

1.1 The Franklins' alleged non-cooperation
If the Local Authority rely upon their favourite topic of the parents alleged non-cooperation with
professionals, the attention of the Court should be drawn to a mistake in Mr Franklin's oral evidence
given before HHJ Neligan at the hearing dated 26-30th Mar 2007. In that evidence Mr Franklin makes
mention of the 6 assessments the parents have agreed to and cooperated with. In actual fact they
undertook 7 different assessments, namely:-
1.1.1 Core Assessment with Social Worker Paula Braescu - dated Feb/Mar 2005
1.1.2 Assessment with independent Social Worker Sarah Hunt – dated May/June 2005
1.1.3 Assessment with the Guardian Aidan Mitchelmore - dated April to July 2005
1.1.4 Psychiatric Assessment with Dr Davies - dated August 2005
1.1.5 Assessment with Dr Gay - dated Jan/Feb 2006(?)
1.1.6 Neurological Assessment with Dr Mohd-Nor in early 2006
1.1.7 Parenting Assessment with Social Worker Keith Pearse in early 2006.
The Court should also be aware of an oversight of Lord Wilson's which, otherwise, might count against
the parents in this hearing. In his Judgement he refers to the letter from the parents old GP saying
that, due to an irretrievable breakdown in trust or something similar, he could no longer provide the
parents with his services. This was not, as Lord Wilson surmised, a sign of Mr and Mrs Franklins' noncooperation;
rather it was the result of their allegation of negligence on the part of the midwife
attached to his surgery. The allegation itself dated back to January 2005. Thus when Faith came home
to her parents in July 2005, the Doctor was faced with the prospect of revisiting the issue with the
midwife and, for that reason, preferred not to keep Mr an Mrs Franklin on his list. The breakdown was
between Mr and Mrs Franklin and the midwife in January, rather than between Mr and Mrs Franklin and
the GP himself in July.
This mistake of Lord Wilson's aside, the evidence suggests that the Franklins were not at all
uncooperative if they undertook all these assessments. It is rather the case that, after completing
numerous assessments and seeing that the Local Authority was merely gathering evidence against
them, the parents realised it was no longer in their interests or the children's interests to cooperate.
1.2 The Medical Evidence
In 42 Court hearings over five years none of the medical evidence in the Franklin's case has ever been
properly examined by the court. There are numerous instances of where, but for the parents'
intervention, serious medical problems could have arisen with the children and they would have been
in danger. One instance is where Faith had a choking fit at home and Mr Franklin attended to her
immediately, another is where Mr Franklin noticed an air bubble in the blood line when Jay was having
a transfusion, which could have proven fatal. The parents are also confident that the initial problem of
Faith's ITP was caused by an adverse reaction to Clexane and the drugs administered whilst she was in
Intensive Care. Despite solid evidence for this from the British National Formulary, neither Derriford
Hospital nor the Local Authority accept the proposition to date. However the parents have spoken to a
Hospital Consultant (who is unconnected to the case and therefore quite objective) and he has
confirmed that the ITP most likely was caused by the drugs. This is to say that the parents were right in
their conviction, the hospital were wrong, and Mr Franklin's objection to the medical treatment was
not born of mental illness, rather it was born out of due concern for his daughter's welfare.
1.3 No Medical Professionals Examined
With the exception of Psychiatrist Dr Davies, in whom the parent's have no confidence, and Child and
Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr Gay, who would have recommended the children return home but for the
evidence of Davies, not a single medical professional has ever been examined by the Court. The
parents case revolves chiefly around the bad care they received from the Midwife Julie Reynolds,
Health Visitor Karen Waterfield and certain other medical professionals at Derriford Hospital. However
none of these has ever been examined.
1.4 Hearsay Evidence and Conjecture
The Local Authority have relied upon hearsay evidence for years which has never been tested. This is a
clear breach of the parents Article 6 Rights to a fair trial In fact the entire Local Authority case rests
upon what might happen at some unknown point in the future. So extreme are they, that they would
rather see five happy, healthy children taken from their parents than 'run the risk' of potential
unknown dangers.
2. The Conduct of the Local Authority
2.1 Unlawful Discrimination
It has been reported twice to the Court (once before Mr Justice Coleridge and once before HHJ
Neligan) that a conversation took place in February 2005 after a Legal Planning Meeting between a
lawyer acting for Mrs Franklin, Mr Neil Griffin, and a Local Authority manager, Mr Tony Marchese.
The details are as follows - Mr and Mrs Franklin were out of the room at the time and, in the ensuing
conversation, the said manager candidly admitted that the Local Authority were unlawfully
discriminating against the Franklins. The Local Authority were present at the time this was reported to
the Court and they heard it, but they never provided any rebuttal, and neither has the Court
undertaken to investigate the matter, which is surprising because it involves possible criminal action on
the part of the Local Authority.
2.2 Possible Contempt of Court
During a hearing in early 2007 the Local Authority served the Court with the Placement Application for
Rose Franklin, which had been approved by the LA Adoption Panel. As soon as Mr and Mrs Franklin
received the paperwork they realised that it contained numerous errors and, furthermore, that the
large part of it did not relate to Rose at all, but rather to her eldest sibling, Faith.
It soon became clear that the Local Authority had simply reworked the application papers they had
used for Faith, changed some of the details at the top of the form, and then resubmitted the
application in respect of Rose. This, of course, begged the question as to why the Adoption Panel had
approved an application that was plainly inaccurate, not realising that half of the information related
to a completely different child.
It seemed to the Franklins at the time and to their Counsel that the application had not been properly
considered, but merely rubber-stamped. And so, during the hearing before HHJ Tyzack, Counsel for he
parents, Mr Richard Hickmet, protested the document in Court and submitted that the whole process
had been rubber-stamped. He also suggested that it had been same with the case of the other
children, namely Faith, Jay and Alice.
The parents were careful to give the Local Authority no warning of what Mr Hickmet was going to say,
and as he was speaking they became very agitated and began having urgent discussions amongst
themselves. This served only to confirm the parents' suspicions.
Ms Cleave for the Local Authority then submitted that the errors in the form had indeed been spotted
and put right before the application had been passed to the Adoption Panel, and so they had used the
correct information when making their decision.
This, of course, begged the question as to why the Local Authority would then proceed to serve a
document at Court which they knew to be erroneous.
However, at the time Ms Cleave was making her submission the Local Authority were unaware that
when the parties had entered the courtroom earlier, before the Judge himself came in, Mr Franklin had
asked the Social Worker, Mr Keith Pearse, if the document served at Court was the actual document
that the Adoption Panel had considered. To which question he replied that it was indeed the same. (He
can be summoned by the Court to give evidence if necessary.)
Therefore, when the matter next returned to Court on the 10th September 2007, Mr Franklin regretted
to inform the Court of HHJ Tyzack that the Local Authority had lied to the same Court earlier in the
year, and, that he had reason to believe the same misleading was continuing even to that day.
Thereafter Miss Cleave for the Local Authority stood up and offered yet further explanation for the
apparent discrepancy.
However a person's actions often speak louder than their words, and the obvious discomfort of the
Local Authority - being that they were caught off-guard - was telling. In all probability therefore they
did re-submit the same paperwork for Rose that they submitted for Faith and proceeded to lie about it
in Court when it was discovered.
The parents have yet more evidence for saying so, namely, the following extract from a diary they kept
for their son Raphael, which demonstrates the same flagrant misconduct.
2.2.1 extract -
5/12/07 Parents receive two more letters; one is from Nissa Parson, one from Alyson Edwards,
the 'Independent' Reviewing officer. The Child Protection Review meeting has been rescheduled
for Mon 10th Dec at 1130 hrs for a 'prompt start at 1200 noon.' Parents go to Midland House in
person and leave a message for N Parsons that they will not be attending the meeting scheduled
for the next day at 1300hrs, although they will attend the meeting on Mon 10th. Mr F informed
by a receptionist that she has relayed the message to a clerk upstairs. The same member of staff
also confides in parents that the communications were down in Midland House earlier in the day
and that the phones were not working. Parents made no particular comment although this is
broadly the kind of discord they expect to hear about given the prevailing circumstances. Mr F
then enquires about acquiring a copy of the 'Multi Agency Child Protection Procedures' which
are cited in the letter from Ms Edwards. However the receptionist is unable to provide these and
advises parents to see the Social Worker.
6/12/07 No contact with Raphael. {Successful contact with Rose at Tesco. Parents inform foster
carers that they will not be present at the next contact as it has been designated the 'Goodbye'
10/12/07 Parents attend the Child Protection Conference and LAC Review at Gingko House
with their supporters - Mr Gerrish and Miss Langmaid. Parents receive a copy of the Social
Worker's report approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. The report is
unsigned and therefore cannot be admitted as evidence in Court - fortunately for Social Services
this was not in Court. Considerable argument takes place in the meeting during which the Team
Leader, Karen Sharpe, admits that Nissa Parsons, Social Worker, did indeed visit the hospital
just prior to going sick with the shingles. Mr F indicates factual errors in the report along with a
considerable amount of conjecture. Mr Gerrish questions how the Chair, Alyson Edwards, can
be independent if she is employed by Social Services. She declines to answer and attempts to
have Mr Gerrish removed from the meeting on two occasions. Mr Gerrish points out that Ms
Edwards is reading from a preprepared, handwritten statement, when she purports to be
reaching her decision based upon the information considered during the conference. Plainly her
decision was made in advance and the statement drafted before the conference ever took place.
This is undoubtedly a breach of the Multi Agency Child Protection Procedures which Ms
Edwards has stated in a letter to the parents (dated 5/12/07) that she is working to. Parents and
their supporters have sought to obtain a copy of these procedures from Social Services on a
number of occasions all to no avail. Neither was anyone in the meeting able to produce a copy
when asked. Later in the day Mr F went on-line and discovered them. Mr F printed them out and
passed them on to his supporters for further analysis. Given that the Local Authority has already
breached the procedures on at least two counts, it should be interesting to see what happens
next, especially as one of the parents supporters secretly recorded the meeting.
It is clear from the parent's diary, which is contemporaneous with the events described, that the
Independent Reviewing Officer, Alyson Edwards, was not coming to a recommendation on the basis of
the evidence heard, rather that she was coming to the meeting with a prearranged agenda that she
was merely working to. There were approximately a dozen people in the room at the time, including
the foster carer, the Guardian and even a Police Officer, all of whom recognised the fact that the
outcome of the Conference was a foregone conclusion and chose to overlook it. Therefore the vote
held by those attending the Conference (from which the parents and their supporters were excluded)
was also a foregone conclusion.
Anyone of these individuals including the Police Officer can, if necessary, be summoned to Court today
to give evidence, but the fact remains that the Local Authority acted with flagrant disregard to the
Government-Approved procedures. The fact is not in doubt. Therefore it seems wholly consistent for
them to act with the same disregard for due process when it concerns the paperwork for the Adoption
2.3 A Bad Attitude from the Start
2.3.1 The Local Authority have acted in bad faith from the start of these proceedings. One example of
this is the aforementioned candid admission of the Manager Tony Marchese.
2.3.2 A second example of this attitude is what happened when members of the Local Authority came
to the Franklin's house in April 2005 in regard to a blood test – which, after all, proved to be quite
unnecessary. Mr Bryan Cummins said in paraphrase - Either you take Faith to hospital or we take her
into care!
2.3.3 A third example of this attitude is when Mr and Mrs Franklin attended Court for the Application to
Renew the Emergency Protection Order on 11th April 2005. Mr and Mrs Franklin offered through their
lawyers to settle out of Court and the response that came back, near enough verbatim, was, “Not a
hope in hell!”
2.3.4 A fourth example of this attitude is clearly demonstrated by what happened to Mrs Franklin
whilst she was delivering Raphael in the Delivery suite at Derriford Hospital on 24th October 2007. The
story was reported in a national newspaper, causing outrage. An extract follows -
“Melissa Franklin had just given birth to her fifth child; she was waiting with her midwife for
the afterbirth to be delivered when two Plymouth City Council social workers, apparently Nissa
Parsons and Theresa Roper, burst into the delivery room and threatened her with the police if
she took her new baby home. Fortunately, baby Raphael had already been taken upstairs to an
incubator in Derriford Hospital because he was born at only 35 weeks. The management of
Plymouth Social Services later admitted one of the two workers had Shingles, a highly
contagious disease that could be dangerous to a premature baby. For the record there was no
court order in place, no warning they planned to snatch the baby at birth, as there had been with
Fran Lyon (see our last issue). Ideal Parents - Melissa is a trained nurse; husband Oliver is a
Community Carer; both have university degrees and are Christians, and they have shown
remarkable presence of mind in the face of the trauma Social Services have inflicted on them.
For just 4 weeks later, as soon as Raphael came out of the incubator, he was indeed snatched by
the SS. He has never been home. The Franklin’s firstborn was snatched at the age of 18 months
in June 2006 after they disputed a medical diagnosis. Although they were proved right, they
were forced to go to an 80 year old psychiatrist, Dr Gaius Davies. His report, on the basis of
that one meeting said they might become mentally unstable.”
The Local Authority were so embarrassed that the truth of their brutality had been published that they
sought and obtained an Injunction on 15th February 2008, by which time the story had already
circulated widely over the Internet. Their reason they gave in Court for seeking the Injunction was to
protect the children's identity, but, in the light of the evidence, it was rather to protect themselves
and their staff from public humiliation. This therefore is more than likely another example their lying
to the Court, which is more than likely a Contempt of Court.
2.3.5 A fifth example of the Local Authority's attitude is how they behaved towards two of the the
Franklin's witnesses - Mary and Patrick Anstey - who travelled all the way down to Truro to give
evidence before HHJ Vincent in late 2007. The case was heard just before Raphael was discharged from
Hospital and ended with an Interim Care Order being made.
It transpired that, after the Hearing, the Local Authority breached the confidentiality of the Court, and
of Mr and Mrs Anstey, by advising Adult Protection Team in Social Services that one of their clients and
her husband had been to Court in the Franklin’s case. The Adult Protection Team promptly contacted
Mr Franklin’s employer at the time, Caretime Services, and aggravated the breach by discussing it with
the Manager, Mr Roger Putt.
(Some years ago Plymouth Social Services fared badly in a major Care Inspection and were ordered to
out-source much of their care provision. As a result Caretime Services operated a block contract with
Social Services to provide domiciliary care to a large number vulnerable adults living in the community.
The contract in this case was to provide in the region of 3000 hours per week.)
According Mr Putt the essence of what the Local Authority were saying to him was, given that Mr
Franklin is supposed to be a danger to his children, it would be very convenient if Mr Franklin was not
employed by one of our main contractors and caring for vulnerable able adults in the community.
Doubtless it has been a great embarrassment to their case that the Local Authority are trying to
portray as unfit to care for his own children, a man who is also deemed perfectly fit to care for highly
vulnerable adults. Notwithstanding the Local Authority breached the confidentiality of the Court and of
Mr and Mrs Franklin’s witnesses and of Mr Franklin himself. They have also breached current
Employment Law by seeking to have Mr Franklin dismissed by his employer.
This much can be verified by recalling Mary and Patrick Anstey to Court who are able to corroborate
these facts. Mr Roger Putt can also by summoned if necessary.
The outcome of this illegal action on the part of the Local Authority is that Mr Franklin has lost his job,
increasing the burden on the Public Purse while he claims JobSeekers Allowance. He is also blacklisted
amongst the Care Companies in Plymouth which means his career is probably finished. In addition to
this Mrs Anstey, a vulnerable elderly lady, was forced to find another Care Provider at great distress to
herself and her husband. Indeed she was so upset, she was referred to Neuropsychologist at Derriford
Hospital and both she and her husband complained to the Local Authority. To date they have had no
satisfactory recourse.
3. The Franklins' Case
3.1 Preliminary Notes
3.1.1 It is a matter of fact that none of Mr and Mrs Franklins' children have ever suffered harm as a
result of the care they have provided them.
3.1.2 The Local Authority have admitted on record that the Franklins day-to-day care of their children
is perfectly adequate, although, at the start of these proceedings, they were implying quite the
contrary and even suggesting that Mrs Franklin was an incompetent mother and that Mr Franklin had
neglected his eldest daughter.
3.1.3 The court has seen documented evidence that the Franklins behaved perfectly correctly in the
event of at least one medical emergency that occurred after the incidents upon which the Local
Authority rely to substantiate the assertion that they do not act appropriately in such emergencies.
That is of a potential facial fracture caused when the Franklins’ daughter, Faith, bumped into a
window sill. In the event we took her promptly to the Royal Eye Infirmary and then on to Casualty at
Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. Confirmation of the eye incident on 30/12/05 can be found on page 292
of the Health Visitor's report.
3.1.4 As far as the Franklins' understand they have not received and are awaiting the Court to order the
disclosure of their children's medical records up to June 2006. These will also confirm the above
incident and also that a Registrar advised the parents that their actions were perfectly correct and that
they bore no blame for the injury. The Court has also heard oral evidence - accepted by all parties -
that the parents have acted appropriately in relation to a number of other medical emergencies
including two choking episodes, one in the presence of both mother and father and one in the presence
of father alone. For the record Mr Franklin holds an Emergency First Aid certificate.
3.1.5 The Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Julia Lilley, has submitted written evidence to Court on two
occasions, three months apart, that, while Faith Franklin was placed at home, she was, quote, 'thriving'
in her parents care. She was also reaching all her developmental milestones. This evidence has been
accepted by all parties. Regular observation of the care the Franklins provided for their children, from
both professionals and lay persons alike, serves to confirm this.
3.2 The Local Authority case
3.2.1 The three chief points of the Local Authority case are as follows:- The parents refused to give consent to an investigative bone marrow aspiration recommended
for their daughter, Faith, in April 2005. The parents refused to give consent for a blood transfusion for their son, Jay, in December
2005. The Psychiatrist Dr Davies has suggested that both parents have mental health problems.
3.1.2 On the strength of these three key points and also sundry other minor issues, the Local Authority
have decided that the Franklins are not fit to bring up their children and are seeking to remove all of
the children from their parents' care on a permanent basis.
3.1.3 On the strength of Dr Davies, the Local Authority believe and the judge has also found that Mr
Franklin's actions were determined by his supposed mental health problems, rather than having any
rational basis. The Court has rejected all other evidence to the contrary. Whereas other professionals
and lay persons from whom the Franklins have sought advice, or who are a party to these proceedings,
have admitted that the grounds for those decisions of Mr Franklin's are perfectly reasonable. A number
of other people have assured the Franklins that they would have acted similarly under the same
circumstances if it had involved their own children.
3.3 The Franklins' Response to the Local Authority Case
3.3.1 In relation to the bone marrow aspiration in particular there are a number of medical issues
arising, including the fact that the hospital failed to undertake a drug history for both mother and
baby. These have never been examined in a court of law.
3.3.2 An independent Consultant Paediatrician instructed by the court, Dr Ben Lloyd, regards this
omission on the part of the hospital as, quote, substandard care (reference is C49 in the main trial
bundle). He also admits in another part of his report that other oversights on the part of the hospital
staff could be construed as negligence. However he finds no evidence of substandard parenting prior to
the date of his instruction.
3.3.3 In fact due to a bad experience with the Community Midwife the parents were, at that time
(April 2005), feeling that they had suffered a degree of clinical negligence and were thus reluctant to
give automatic consent to what was, in actual fact, an invasive, investigative procedure under a
General Anaesthetic. The parents did not believe that it was in their daughter's best interest at that
time to have such a procedure.
3.3.4 Mrs Franklin is confident that no medical professional impressed upon her at that time that the
matter was, in fact, an emergency. She gave evidence to this effect before Mr Justice Coleridge of the
High Court. In hindsight Mrs Franklin feels that it was elevated to an emergency status so that an
Emergency Protection Order could be obtained. (An EPO was granted by the Court in the parents’
absence on the 5th April 2005.) Mrs Franklin's evidence was accepted in June 2005 by Mr Justice
Coleridge and was never properly mitigated by any other party. His Judgement can be found in the
main trial bundle.
3.3.5 Despite the fact that there are a number of medical issues surrounding this incident, including
the question over whether the hospital was managing the Franklins' daughter's care in accordance with
best practice, as found in the Journal of Haematology 2003, the matter has never been fully examined
in a Court of Law. Indeed, in May 2005 when faced with the guidance from the said journal, the
Consultant Dr Carolyn Adcock appeared to backtrack somewhat, and admitted that a blood test she
was asking for at that time was not essential, after all, but merely desirable. Mr Keith Pearse of the
Local Authority was a party to this meeting.
3.3.6 No medical professionals have given evidence in Court or been cross-examined in regard to this
matter but the Local Authority rely upon it nonetheless to establish the Threshold Criteria. It was
subsequently discovered that the Franklins' daughter Faith did not have leukaemia as feared and
recovered fully with no medical treatment. The Franklins believe that her condition (ITP) was induced
by an adverse drug reaction between Vitamin K given to Faith and the anticoagulant Clexane given to
Mrs Franklin during the pregnancy. The Haematologist Dr Hamon admits this as a possibility in the
medical records and Dr Lloyd refers to it in his report. However, this has never been examined in Court
and, although the hospital has undertaken an internal inquiry into the Franklin case, Mr and Mrs
Franklin have never been informed of the outcome. This, in itself, suggests either a downright lack of
courtesy on the part of the hospital or else that the results of the inquiry might be worth keeping
under-wraps. Since then Mr and Mrs Franklin have been advised by lay persons and medical
professionals alike that they were almost certainly right, and that the ITP was indeed caused by an
adverse drug reaction. Most recently a Registrar Surgeon who has just qualified to practise as a
Consultant, at Derriford Hospital, has confirmed this very thing to Mrs Franklin. His correspondence is
included with this evidence.
3.3.7 Given these facts and the prevailing circumstances at that time, Faith Franklin was not likely to
suffer harm at all because the risks associated with ITP (cerebral haemorrhage etc) are comparatively
small and do not apply to a babe in arms, rather to toddlers who can run around and fall over and bang
their heads. This is Dr Lloyd's opinion and he advised the Franklins of such during a meeting with them
in person, agreed to by the Court, prior to the compiling of his report. Dr Adcock also admitted to the
Franklins that, in relation to the risks of internal bleeding as a result of ITP, that "some" children
"could" suffer it. Her use of the words 'some' and 'could' - which Mr and Mrs Franklin distinctly
remember her saying - suggested that, in hindsight, the perceived emergency may not have been quite
what it seemed. Indeed it was more than likely a case of the officials panicking in the light of a
previous tragic child death and taking the strongest possible - albeit unnecessary - action, in order to
avoid a potential repeat. Nonetheless the Local Authority relied upon this pseudo-emergency, even
after they knew it to be a false alarm, to justify keeping the Franklins' daughter away from her parents
for three months until Mr Justice Coleridge ordered her to be returned to her parents' care on June
23rd 2005.
3.3.8 In regard to the blood transfusion there are a number of sensitive issues surrounding the
management of the twins', that is, Jay and Alice's care, particularly as concerns the management of
the different risks involved, which have never yet been examined in any Court of Law. One course of
action in those circumstances is to minimise the risk of an undetected infection arising, and this is the
procedure at Derriford Hospital. Another care management option is to allow a slightly increased risk
of an undetected infection while attempting to minimise the risk of the premature baby developing
anaemia - and thus needing a blood transfusion. This is the option favoured by the Franklins for their
own reasons and, presumably, those others who, for religious reasons, would prefer their children not
to receive blood transfusions. In short, there are different risks acting somewhat in opposition to one
another and the Franklins, as conscientious parents, are not necessarily satisfied that they had
adequate information available from the Consultant Dr Lilley. This lack of communication was touched
upon in Court at the final hearing for Faith, Jay and Alice, although it was not covered to any depth
and was largely ignored by the Local Authority because it did not further their case.
3.3.9 Those that practise the Jehovah's Witness religion, whose number is in the tens of thousands as
far as the Franklins understand, routinely refuse blood transfusions both for themselves and on behalf
of their children. Notwithstanding this the hospitals have policies in place to ensure that such children
do not suffer significant harm as a result of their parents' beliefs.
3.3.10 Following on from this Mr Franklin gave the Consultant Dr Lilley ample warning, possibly two
whole weeks beforehand, that he would not be able to give consent to a blood transfusion on the
grounds of his religious beliefs. The Doctor, in turn, informed Mr Franklin that she would try to
accommodate his wishes but, in the event that she considered a blood transfusion to be essential to
the welfare of his children, and in keeping with hospital policy, blood would be given with or without
parental consent. In an emergency the hospital policy is to give blood even without a Court Order. This
is, in fact, what happened in Jay's case in December as far as the Franklins understand. That is to say
that the blood was administered before the Order came through over the phone. This is actually quite
routine. However the point to draw from this is that the Franklin children were never at risk because
they were lying safely in hospital and everybody concerned knew perfectly well that the Consultant
would go ahead with the transfusion if needed. The Parental Consent requirement is, effectively,
redundant under current practice.
3.3.11 In June 2005 Mrs Franklin informed her Counsel that Mr Franklin would not be able to consent to
a blood transfusion and suggested that it be catered for as an exception in the Undertakings offered to
and accepted by Mr Justice Coleridge. However no such provision was made. This was unfortunate for,
had it had been made, all parties would have known the legal position much earlier and the last minute
panic in December 2005 could have been avoided. The parents also submit that the Interim Care
Order's made in respect of the twins could also have been averted.
3.3.12 At that time the twins Jay and Alice were, as a matter of fact, safely cared for in the Intensive
Care unit at Derriford Hospital. Mr and Mrs Franklin were content to leave them there. They made no
efforts to remove them, knowing their best interests were served by their being there. The medical
staff had advance warning that the parents would or might have a problem with the issue of blood
transfusions. The hospital has a policy in place of administering blood without parental consent in
emergencies. This is exactly what happened. The Franklins therefore submit, in all sincerity, that at no
time were either of their twins likely to suffer significant harm, except it be that harm which might
have come to them through the illness they were suffering, in Jay's case septicaemia and anaemia.
3.3.13 Since parental consent is routinely bypassed in emergency situations, or if it is unavailable, the
care of children in such situations can be safely managed if they are presented to, and entrusted with,
the medical staff. Mr and Mrs Franklin believe that they fulfilled their parental responsibility by
entrusting their children with the medical staff and, although the Local Authority disapprove, they
assert that they did, at no time, neglect their children nor their responsibility towards them. This
assertion of neglect by the Local Authority is fallacious. It ignores the many facts of the case and was
designed, as most of their case has been designed thus far, to substantiate their claim that the
Franklins are unfit to care for their own children. The fact is that no harm at all came to their twins as
a result of the Franklins conduct and, given the safe environment of the hospital, neither was it likely
3.3.14 In addition to this Mrs Franklin, when asked by the same Dr Lilley, was even willing to provide a
sample of her own blood for cross-matching purposes, thereby adhering to the Hospital Policy and
ensuring the blood to be given was an exact match. She gave consent to this procedure without delay
when asked and, although the Court has heard this evidence in January 2006, it has been completely
ignored by the Local Authority, who continue to assert that Mrs Franklin abrogated her parental
responsibility at that time. This assertion is grossly unfair, considering that she gave her own blood to
help save her baby.
3.3.15 Jehovah's Witnesses routinely refuse blood transfusions and yet their children are not made the
subject of Care Proceedings by Local Authorities. The Franklins submit that they are being
discriminated against on the grounds of their religion which is unlawful. They also assert that their
Article 9 and Article 14 rights have been violated in this respect. Their children's Article 8 and Article
14 rights are also being violated due to the fact that they are being denied their family and treated
differently to the children of Jehovah's Witnesses, when, in fact, the particular issue on which the
Local Authority rely is exactly the same i.e. a refusal of blood.
3.3.16 The Local Authority response is that the Franklins' refusal to give consent to the blood
transfusion and also the bone marrow aspiration was borne not out of true religious conviction, nor out
of respect for their children's best interests, rather they assert that they were acting out of delusional
'false' beliefs and mental health problems.
3.3.17 The Local Authority base this assertion upon the report of Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Davies -
who is nearly eighty years old and in whom the parents have no confidence in at all. Indeed he was so
intent on criticising Mr Franklin in Court before HHJ Neligan in March 2007 that Gordon Bebb QC, acting
for the mother, had to appeal to him to calm down. Dr Davies made such a fool of himself, even to the
point of accusing Mr Franklin of manipulating the leading Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in the
region (Dr Gay), that all the lawyers concerned realised that he was an unreliable witness. Counsel for
the Local Authority said nothing but gritted her teeth as she saw her key evidence wholly undermined.
Indeed it seems beyond comprehension that the Local Authority prevailed in that hearing. The reason
why they prevailed (and the advice the Franklins have) is that the consequence of returning the
Franklin children to their parents' care was too much for the Court to face, given the president it would
set in Case Law and the inevitable Human Rights suit that would follow. Therefore the Judge took the
'safe' option to maintain the status quo.
3.3.18 In regard to the psychiatric report from Dr Davies and his various addendum reports and letters,
the Franklins would remind all parties that he only had one consultation with them for about three
hours in July 2005. During this time he spoke for approximately and hour and a half, Mr Franklin spoke
for just under an hour and a half and Mrs Franklin spoke for about ten minutes. The Doctor only posed
about three questions to Mrs Franklin. Since that time the Franklins have only spoken to him once,
briefly on the telephone and thereafter only to say hello to in court. Furthermore his diagnosis was not
specific - it offered a range of possibilities. The diagnosis was also made about four years ago, during
which time not one single person has ever noted anything about Mr Franklins behaviour that would
indicate that he is mentally ill. In addition to this, it was brought to the attention of HHJ Vincent in
2007 that, if Dr Davies was right, Mr Franklin ought to be deteriorating. Such is not the case despite the
time elapsed, yet it seems not to have been taken into account by either the Dr Davies or the Local
Authority. Dr Davies is, of course, entitled to hang on to his prejudice but, as the Local Authority are
legally bound to examine the evidence afresh for every new set of proceedings, it seems yet again that
they are in breach of their lawful duty.
3.3.19 Despite the briefness of the Franklins' encounter with Dr Davies, he first diagnosed Mr Franklin
and then, some time later, Mrs Franklin also as having mental health problems. His basis for this is
largely second hand information provided by the parties at Court and hearsay from a small number of
the Franklins' relatives, much of which was shown in Court to be incorrect. Davies also submits that it
is because of the Franklins' mental health problems that they make what he considers to be irrational
decisions concerning their children's welfare. The refusing of the blood transfusion is cited as an
example of this. The Franklins argue that it is up to the Court to determine whether or not they are
acting out of genuine religious conviction like the Jehovah's Witnesses or else out of some irrational or
delusional belief. And having had a number of medical and legal professionals confirming to them that
they appear to be of sound mind, the Franklins are confident Dr Davies is wrong.
3.3.20 On the strength of Dr Davies' evidence the Local Authority have decided that the Franklins are
unfit to bring up any of their children including their youngest daughter Grace, born on XX / XX / XX
who is the subject of these Proceedings, which are the fourth consecutive set of Care Proceedings.
3.3.21 During a contested interim hearing in January 2006 it was shown in court that numerous facts
upon which Dr Davies relied for his initial report and diagnosis were incorrect. One question Mr Franklin
instructed his Counsel to ask, which he distinctly remembers that his Counsel asked Dr Davies, appears
to have been missed off the transcript. The question involve a certain event that Dr Davies put down to
delusion which, in fact, was witnessed by three other people. The point made the Doctor look rather
foolish and, possibly, it was removed from the transcript for this reason. However, although Davies
conceded that he was mistaken on more than one occasion under cross-examination, he insisted that
his diagnosis was appropriate. Mr Franklins' Counsel was not allowed to question him to the depth
needed to expose him utterly, due to the fact that the judge only wanted to be satisfied with regard to
the interim threshold criteria, namely, that there were reasonable grounds to believe that there was a
risk of significant harm.
3.3.22 Although Dr Davies has had no direct contact with the Franklins since that time, he has
continued to glean third party information often from the same sources that were openly discredited in
the January hearing. Much of it is hearsay from those who are not directly involved with the
proceedings. The Local Authority have also contacted him without the knowledge or agreement of all
parties as they have done Dr Lloyd. Mr Franklin's previous solicitor wrote to the Local Authority on two
occasions expressing his dissatisfaction that Court procedures were not being adhered to. Nonetheless,
despite the piecemeal way in which the Doctor gathers his data, he still insists upon developing his
theory as to what it is that Mr and Mrs Franklin are suffering from. He has provided the Court with
scores of pages of work based upon a comparatively small number of facts, many of which were shown
to be incorrect.
3.3.23 As regards his diagnosis he claims that, firstly, Mr Franklin's beliefs are not Christian, secondly,
that Mr Franklin holds false (or delusional) beliefs and, thirdly, that it is because of some unspecified
mental health problem that he makes irrational decisions and that he endangers his children. Since
determining this opinion about Mr Franklin he has, with each subsequent report, thought less and less
highly of Mrs Franklin and now attributes similar mental health issues to her.
3.3.24 Dr Davies can be mitigated very simply without recourse to another Psychiatric opinion. The
mitigation runs as follows.
Mr Franklin has shown the Court that his decisions have a rational basis.
He has shown by a witness in Court that his views are, at least in general, Christian. This witness, Miss
Faith Russell, has over forty years experience as a practising Christian and so is well placed to
comment upon matters of that religion.
In regard to his more exceptional beliefs, for example his aversion to blood transfusions, he referred to
the Jehovah's Witnesses' position as a well known and respected legal precedent. For which position,
they do not lose custody of their children.
He has shown by the witness, Alison Symmonds RGN RM, that his more unusual experiences are
nonetheless widely recognised within the church and regarded in good faith by many practising
Christians today. They would put the experiences down to supernatural encounters and, considering
that the majority of adults in Great Britain believe in some form or another of an afterlife, it would not
be inconsistent with the view of the general public.
With regard to the physical symptoms such as mental block, speech trouble, extreme fatigue etc.
These are all symptomatic of stress. Stress was first posed to Mr Franklin as a potential cause of his
symptoms about five years ago by his then GP, Dr Walsh. Now also Mrs Franklin, who is a qualified
stress advisor, has diagnosed the very same thing, namely that her husband is suffering from protracted
stress. Furthermore, Mr Franklin referred himself to his present GP, Dr Carlson, and he referred him to
a Consultant Neurologist, Dr Mohd-Nor. This was done for the benefit of the Court in accordance with
the Psychiatrist's recommendation. Dr Nor diagnosed Mr Franklin with having a chronic, tension-type
headache. This is a classic symptom of stress. Therefore the Court has the opinion of two Doctors and a
qualified stress adviser that Mr Franklin is suffering from stress. In the past stress was not recognised as
a sickness within its own right though, in more recent times, it has been duly recognised as such.
Given the foregoing points, it follows that, if Mr Franklin's actions, as cited by the Local Authority in
their Threshold Criteria, have a rational basis, more especially if the Criteria themselves are not
actually met, and if Mr Franklin's religious views are genuinely held and not some deluded belief due to
mental illness, and if his other experiences are recognised within the body of the church as routine, or,
at least, relatively routine, and if his physical symptoms are indicative of stress, there is little room
left for Dr Davies to occupy - except his own petty prejudice.
Mr and Mrs Franklin believe that his concerns can be fully and fairly answered, without recourse to
mental health diagnoses. Likewise the Local Authorities' concerns about the parents' care of their
children can also be met, and there follows a range specific answers to specific concerns.
4. Key Answers
4.1 The Local Authority has grave concern for Grace’s / the children’s safety should she / they
return to her / their parents’ care.
A. It is a matter of fact that no harm has come to any of the Franklin’s children as a result of the care
they have given them. Where any of the children were taken ill or have suffered accidental injury, the
medical professionals involved have confirmed that the parents behaved appropriately, the rare
exceptions to this rule being where the facts are in dispute, facts which have never yet been tested by
the Court.
4.2 The Local Authority has concerns about parenting capacity.
A. The Local Authority have admitted in front of all parties after a hearing before HHJ Rutherford in
Bristol that the parents’ day-to-day care of their children is perfectly adequate. They have repeated
this assertion on more than one occasion.
4.3 The parents have not taken up all available contact in the past.
A. Parents have exercised their discretion believing that contact in some unnatural or stressful
situations would not be in the children’s best interests. Furthermore the parents also have the right to
determine when to see their own children.
4.4 Mother cannot make independent decisions / go against Father’s wishes.
A. If the court refers to Mother’s evidence they will find ample examples of where she has indeed
made independent choices and gone against Father’s wishes. She has submitted a list of these
instances which utterly disproves the Local Authority argument.
4.5 Parents do not behave appropriately in emergency situations.
A. The parents have dealt with two choking episodes and one potential facial fracture. There is no
evidence of the Local Authority’s assertion other than those facts which remain in dispute and are
untested in Court.
4.6 The Local Authority has little / no evidence of parenting skills.
A. Not true. Refer to the Core Assessment conducted by Social Worker Paula Braescu. Also Dr Gay
observed positive parenting skills and also parents’ numerous witnesses confirm this. The Local
Authority seem to have ignored the observations of both professionals and lay persons alike, if such
observations do their case no good.
4.7 Any comment referring to Mother’s mental illness.
A. The diagnosis was made in a little over ten minutes by Dr Davies who admitted this in Court.
Furthermore it was made during a consultation that occurred in July 2005. The ludicrously short
interview, together with the four years time elapsed and Mother’s continuing apparent soundness of
mind, appear to have been overlooked.
4.8 Father refused potentially life saving blood transfusion.
A. This is the position of all practising Jehovah’s Witnesses. Nonetheless there are facts in dispute
surrounding this and other medical issues which have never yet been fully examined in Court.
4.9 Parents refused bone marrow aspiration for Faith.
A. True. Nonetheless she recovered naturally without any medical treatment. The Local Authority is
also fully aware that the parents believe the hospital were negligent in their dealing with the issue and
have maintained this position consistently. To date it has not been tested in Court. However the
parents now have the advice of a Registrar Surgeon who has just qualified to practise as a Consultant
and his advice is that they were correct all along and that the ITP episode was indeed caused by drugs.
4.10 Parents have had no contact with Faith, Jay or Alice since June 2006.
A. There was approximately a six week period where the parents felt it would be better not to
continue with contact. However, after the disposal hearing in August 2006, Father made two
applications to Court to be allowed contact with his children. On both of these occasions it is a matter
of fact that the Local Authority opposed the making of a Contact Order in respect of the twins and also
refused to allow further contact with them. In addition to this they were insistent that contact with
Faith should only happen twice a year. All this can be confirmed by ordering a transcript of the
relevant hearings. The Local Authority are hypocritical in making this argument as they themselves
have shown, by their conduct in Court, that they are doing all they can to break up this family.
5. Key Submissions
5.1 Concerning Dr Davies
He has disagreed with Dr Gay in key areas. Dr Gay is, of course, an eminent child and adolescent
psychologist and well known to this Court.
He has disagreed with the diagnosis of neurologist Dr Mohd-Nor whose opinion is confirmed by Mr
Franklin’s previous GP, Dr Walsh - see medical records.
He has accused the parents of manipulating Dr Gay and, given the chance to retract this outrageous
accusation, declined to do so.
He has continually attempted to score points against Mr Franklin as Mr Gordon Bebb QC pointed out
during his cross-examination of him in March of 2007. Dr Davies, when being questioned about Mrs
Franklin, continued to berate Mr Franklin to the point where Mr Bebb had to plead with him - see
He has relied upon untested, third-party information, much of which has since been discredited, and
refused to reconsider his position in the least. Also he has diagnosed the parents on the basis of one,
very ill-tempered consultation. Other professionals in the field of psychiatry, with whom the parents
have spoken, have indicated that this is wholly improper.
He has set aside all the evidence which mitigates his opinion - as Mr Gordon Bebb also indicated.
He has obtained some of his information by breaching the Franklins’ confidentiality. A patient's right to
confidentiality is one of the fundamental principles in medicine.
He has never observed any interaction between the Franklins and their children.
5.2 Concerning Dr Gay
Dr Gay, the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist instructed by the Court, finds many positive things to say
about the Franklins' care of their daughter Faith, referring to her attachment to her parents, her
turning to them for support and their care of her. He has had considerable access to the family home
and to Faith in particular. His opinion accords strongly with that of Dr Julia Lilley, who confirmed that
while Faith lived with her parents she thrived in their care. Dr Gay has observed many positive things
about the parenting of Mr and Mrs Franklin and, were it not for the diagnosis of his colleague, would no
doubt have recommended the return of the children Faith, Jay and Alice to their parents' care. This
can be seen from his evidence when cross examined by Mr Franklin in Aug 2006.
6. Summary
6.1 The Threshold Criteria for a Care Order have never been found on a contested basis. The parents'
are confident that, upon proper evaluation, particularly in light of the new medical opinion, that they
were never met and, today, are still not met.
6.2 The Local Authority began Proceedings in 2005 by trying to prove Neglect. They realised they had
no case. They then submitted papers to Court attempting to portray Mrs Franklin as an incompetent
mother. Again they found they had no case. They then secured an Emergency Protection Order on the
basis that their daughter Faith needed an urgent bone marrow aspiration, because it was feared she
might have Leukaemia. Mr and Mrs Franklin warned the Local Authority repeatedly that things were not
well with the Hospital, and that there were a number of issues that had been overlooked - chiefly that
of the potential adverse drug reaction. The Local Authority did what they always do - they ignored the
parents and pressed ahead with the strongest legal action possible in the circumstances, namely, to
take away Faith and force her to undergo an invasive medical procedure under a General Anaesthetic -
which carries its own risks. In the end it transpired that the Emergency was Not an Emergency at all,
Faith did not have Leukaemia, the parents were right and the Hospital were mistaken. Subsequent
evidence has, on more than one occasion, vindicated the parents in their view of the drug reaction.
The Local Authority, however, simply ignored the facts of the case - that the hospital made a mistake,
and that Faith recovered by herself without intervention - and decided that 'responsible' parents should
have done what the Doctor said anyway, even if the Doctor might prove to be wrong. Shortly
thereafter the parents were forced to see a Psychiatrist, this being an agreement made in the Court of
Mr Justice Coleridge, and the only likely way they would ever get to live with their daughter. Dr Davies
made up his mind in the manner described and, for his own reasons, refused to reconsider in the
slightest. The Local Authority, having found no evidence of Neglect, Incompetence, or Risk of
Significant Harm through a Medical Emergency, were then quick to seize on his damning report,
knowing that the plain facts of the case could not be easily used to disprove it. Instead it has taken the
parents hour upon hour of painstaking effort and will to collate the necessary pieces of the jigsaw and
put them together to demonstrate that Davies is not credible and, still, that the Local Authority have
no case!
6.3 Unfortunately, because of the way the case has unfolded, and because of the foregoing findings, it
is now really only within the province of the Judge that backed Dr Davies' to declare him unreliable.
This is so because the Local Authority have vested too much in him to consider doing an 'about face,'
the Child Guardians have been little more than cheerleaders for the Local Authority, and the lawyers
on all sides seem to have been unwilling to make a principled stand on anything.
6.4 The Court can be readily find Dr Davies unreliable in the following manner. By starting on the basis
of new medical evidence, which indicates that the hospital were mistaken and the parents were
correct all along, it can be found that the parents' opposition to the hospital advice was in keeping
with sound judgement and care for their children's welfare, not out of some vain delusion. Careful
analysis of the previous proceedings also shows that Dr Davies is at odds with Dr Gay, Dr Mohd-Nor, Dr
Lilley, Dr Lloyd and Dr Walsh in certain critical aspects, namely, whether the parents' actions can be
said to reflect an unsound mind or else a sound mind.
Therefore the parents ask the question whether, at any given point of dispute, the opinion of one
doctor can ever outweigh the opinion of five doctors. In this case can the opinion of one Adult
Psychiatrist possibly outweigh the combined opinion of a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, a
Neurologist, a Neonatologist, a Paediatrician, a General Practitioner?

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