Diplomat 'abandoned teenage daughter' and 'threatened to kill grandchild', court hears

The family did not want to girl to come home after a long stay in hospital

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The Independent Online

A foreign diplomat threatened to kill his grandchild born to his unmarried daughter, the High Court has heard.

The case came to court over concerns that her father’s diplomatic immunity would leave the girl at risk of having to leave the UK with her family, even though they had “essentially abandoned” her, a judge told the court.

The teenager, now almost 17, arrived in the UK in early September 2013 with her parents.

However, her family said they did not want her to return home following a stay in hospital over mental health problems in March 2014.

After social workers reported that the mother and baby were at risk of physical and emotional harm, and accused the maternal grandfather of threatening to kill the baby, a local authority in London attempted to see them rehoused for their protection.

Local authority evidence described claims that the maternal grandfather wished for the mother to have an abortion and that she should travel abroad for an arranged marriage.

"It is also alleged that the maternal grandfather had threatened to kill the baby," the judge said.

From November 2014, the young mother was in local authority accommodation, and she had become estranged from her family “largely, so it would seem, as the result of their attitude towards her pregnancy and the birth of her child” according to a High Court judge.

The family has “essentially abandoned” her to the local authority when they left the country in May this year, a Family Division judge told the High Court.

According to the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964, “the person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable” and immunity extends to family members “forming part of his household”.

Therefore, the diplomat’s job at a High Commission of a Commonwealth nation prevented the English courts from making an intervening order to rehouse the girl, the judge said.

When the local authority became aware that the grandfather was being transferred to his home country and travel plans were being made for the whole family, it applied for court orders to ensure mother and child, who were being looked after in a foster placement, were not be removed from the jurisdiction.

The judge ruled: “The evidence strongly suggests the maternal grandfather would not welcome the mother back, either to his home in the UK or his home country.

"She had become 'persona non grata' and could well be at considerable risk, together with the baby, from the maternal grandfather."

Additional reporting by PA