A struggling mum whose young son was found wandering the motorway has lost her legal battle over the future of her children.
The dispute reached Sheffield’s Family Court as lawyers clashed over what should become of the children, the youngest aged five.
Judge Sarah Wright sketched out a family history peppered by the mum’s use of hard drugs, a brawl with another woman and concerns she had been violent towards her son.
The mum had hooked up with a man with a background of domestic violence and later tried to conceal the relationship, said the judge.
And matters reached a head when her pre-teenage son was found ‘walking on the M1 motorway’.
When rescued, he explained he ‘wanted to get away from Sheffield’ and was very unhappy at home.
He described his mother’s household as ‘chaotic’ and full of ‘rough’ people – one of whom was particularly ‘nasty’.
The case reached court as Sheffield Council applied for care orders for both children, who have been in temporary foster care.
The mother, who ‘lapsed’ into taking crack cocaine earlier this year, accepted the oldest child – a boy – should go into long-term foster care but opposed his younger sister being taken into care, claiming she was capable of looking after the youngster.
Judge Wright acknowledged the ‘desperate’ mum’s genuine love for both children but concluded the girl’s welfare demanded she be freed for adoption to guarantee her ‘a permanent home, safety and security’.