NM v Children's Reporter

Parent and child – Child protection – Referral proceedings – Evidence – Child witness – Right to fair hearing. Sheriff Appeal Court: Refusing an appeal against a sheriff's decision finding grounds of referral to the children's hearing were established, two of the appellant's children having made allegations of sexual abuse against him and the children's reporter having led the evidence in chief of a child witness by way of her three joint investigative interviews, the court held that sheriff was entitled to have regard to the child's evidence in the particular circumstances by which it came before him and was entitled to find the grounds of referral established: looking at the whole circumstances of the case, including the counterbalancing factors which compensated for such handicaps as the admission of untested evidence gave rise to, in the court's assessment the proceedings before the sheriff were fair.

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