In a distinct finding of fact hearing, Manisha Marwaha led Becky Jane in proceedings brought on behalf of a Local Authority. The case involved allegations of exaggerated and fabricated illness where the mother had persistently sought multiple assessments and examinations of her child for a range of psychological and learning difficulties as well as disorders, including autistic spectrum disorder and selective mutism. The court ultimately agreed with and made all the findings sought by the Local Authority concerning exaggerated and fabricated illness.
The findings made referred to the numerous attempts made by the mother over a prolonged period of time to gain a diagnosis. The mother had further demonstrated a clear inability to accept the advice of numerous professionals, many of whom she had disengaged with on receipt of a negative response to a diagnosis she had sought. The child had been observed by numerous professionals to have presented differently to the descriptions and manner claimed by the mother and had further had been witnessed conforming to the mother’s expectations in her presence. The finding of fact involved disputed oral evidence of approximately twenty witnesses including multiple experts, professionals and lay witnesses. All the oral evidence was successfully heard via remote means, namely the Cloud Video Platform, owing to the prevailing conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic.