Judge blasts national lack of secure child accommodation in Norfolk case
PUBLISHED: 10:58 26 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:45 26 September 2017
One the most senior family court judges in England and Wales has described a national shortage of secure accommodation for children as “scandalous”.
Mr Justice Holman, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court, raised concern at hearing in London on Wednesday.
The judge was considering issues relating to a boy in the care of Norfolk County Council.
He is the latest in a series of family court judges to speak out about a shortage of secure accommodation.
Mr Justice Holman, 70, who has been a High Court judge for more than 22 years, told lawyers: “The extreme shortage of secure accommodation is scandalous.”
The judge had been asked to make decisions on a dispute between the BBC and Norfolk County Council relating to what could be reported about the boy’s case.
But lawyers told him that they had reached an agreement following out-of-court discussions.
No detail about the boy’s situation emerged at the hearing, which was staged in public.
Mr Justice Holman said the boy could not be identified, nor his exact age revealed.
In relation to the case a spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said: “The lack of secure and specialist beds for children is a national issue, which has received widespread publicity in recent weeks.
“While we cannot comment on any individual child in detail, we are aware of the vulnerability of children with these needs and will do all we can to provide safe care for them.”