Leeds pensioner loses battle to care for toddler great-granddaughter

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A PENSIONER who wanted to care for his 15-month-old great-granddaughter following the death of her mother has lost a fight in a Leeds court.

Family members suggested that the toddler should live with her 71-year-old great-grandfather and his 69-year-old wife.

But a judge concluded that the little girl should be adopted, following a hearing in Leeds County Court.

She was taken into care about five months before her mother died and had suffered neglect, the court heard.

The judge, Recorder Darren Howe, said he had been impressed by the two pensioners and said his decision was “finely balanced”.

But he said the little girl needed “reliable” and “long-term” care.

And he said he was not confident that the couple would get the support they needed from other family members.

Social workers said they would have been “open” to the little girl living with her great-grandfather and his wife if an appropriate family “support package” had been possible.

Detail has emerged in a written ruling by the judge published on a legal website.

The local authority with responsibility for the youngster’s welfare was named as Leeds City Council but the judge said none of the people involved could be identified.

Artist Ruth Spencer Jolly who composed 'European Unison' an ensemble written for 28 pianos, representing the members of the European Union and symbolising Brexit, following a preview of her work at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2017. The composition tells the story of the EU from its birth to Brexit. The ensemble of pianos is a metaphor demonstrating "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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