A mother accused of not taking her son 'out for an ice cream' had her child taken away from her by a concerned social worker - who also argued that she would not let him get his hair cut 'in the way that he liked'.
But a judge has since ruled that the mother and her son can be reunited - labelling the social worker's actions as 'utterly insubstantial' and 'obviously inconsequential', reports the Mirror.
Mr Justice Mostyn - a judge based in the Family Division of the High Court in London - argued that in the evidence provided in the social worker's 44-page witness statement, it was 'very hard' to pin down within the 'swathes of text what exactly was being said against the parent.
Mostyn added that, while the statement was 'very long on rhetoric', it was very short on 'concrete examples' of 'deficient' parenting.
The boy - now eight - could not be identified, but Mostyn explained that the social worker worked for Carmarthenshire County Council.
Apparently a lower-ranking judge had ruled that the child should be taken from his mother and placed into foster care, but the woman had carried on seeing her son so that her parenting skills could continue to be assessed.
Carmarthenshire social services refused her request to allow her son to return home, but after analysing the case, Mostyn ruled in her favour, saying that the boy's care would have to be supervised by social services.
"The local authority's evidence in opposition to the mother's application was contained in an extremely long, 44-page, witness statement made by the social worker," said Mostyn, according to the Mirror.
"This witness statement was very long on rhetoric and generalised criticism but very short indeed on any concrete examples of where and how the mother's parenting had been deficient.
"Indeed, it was very hard to pin down within the swathes of text what exactly was being said against the mother."
Mostyn explained that the social worker had been asked to provide 'her best example' of the mother failing to meet the boy's 'emotional needs', continuing: "Her response was that until prompted by the local authority mother had not spent sufficient one-to-one time with [the boy] and had failed on one occasion to take him out for an ice cream.
"This struck me as utterly insubstantial criticism."
He added: "A further criticism in this vein was that the mother had failed to arrange for hair to be cut in the way that he liked.
"Again, this is obviously inconsequential."
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