A mother who wanted to call her baby daughter Cyanide – because that was the poison that Adolf Hitler was said to have taken to kill himself – has been thwarted by leading judges in a landmark case.
The mother, who also chose the name Preacher for the girl’s twin brother, insisted that she had a human right to name her own children.
She said Cyanide was a “lovely, pretty name” with positive connotations as it was taken by the Nazi leader.
But in the first case of its kind, Appeal Court judges ruled that it was an “extreme” case and that the mother’s “unusual” choices might harm her children.
The court was told the mother had a history of mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse.
The infant twins, as well as the mother’s other children, have been taken from her care.
The case was taken to court when Powys council social workers learnt of the names the mother had chosen for the twins.
In June, a judge issued an injunction against the mother, forbidding her from formally registering the twins’ forenames.
Lawyers appealed, claiming a violation of the woman’s right to respect for family life.
But Lady Justice King, sitting with Lady Justice Gloster and Lord Justice David Richards, said that naming a little girl after a ‘notorious poison’ was simply unacceptable.
Although there was nothing seriously objectionable about the name ‘Preacher’, she ruled that both twins’ names should be chosen by their older half-siblings.
Lady Justice King said “even allowing for changes in taste, fashion and developing individual perception”, Cyanide was a very odd name to give to a baby girl.
She added that the courts would intervene to prevent a parent naming a child “in only the most extreme cases”.
She added: “This is one of those rare cases where the court should intervene to protect the girl twin from emotional harm that I am satisfied she would suffer if called ‘Cyanide’.
“While growing up, the girl would anyway have to come to terms with the fact with the fact that her mother had tried to name her after a notorious poison.”