A mother had her newborn baby girl taken away by social workers without any warning following a secret court hearing.

A High Court judge made a ‘draconian’ ruling that council officials did not have to tell the 24-year-old woman of their intention to remove her child just hours after she gave birth.

This meant that the mentally-ill mother and her family had no chance to instruct lawyers to fight the plans. Critics of behind-closed-doors justice condemned the judgment as an ‘absolute scandal’.

The judge in the case, Mr Justice Keehan, admitted it was a ‘highly exceptional’ step that was ‘at the extremity’ of what the law allows.

But he ruled that North Somerset Council was not required to inform the heavily pregnant mother-to-be that it wanted to take away her baby at birth.

He said there was a ‘very real risk’ that the woman, who has schizophrenia and an IQ of just 63, could harm herself and her unborn child if she learned of social services’ plans.

Social workers snatched mother's baby from her minutes after birth | Mail Online

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