A High Court judge has blasted a social worker who claimed a mother was failing to meet her son's "emotional needs" because she had not taken him for an ice cream or got his haircut in the style he wanted it.

Mr Justice Mostyn described the social worker's claims as "utterly insubstantial" and "obviously inconsequential" as reasons for the child to be separated from his mother in court today.

The case was brought to the High Court after a lower-ranking judge at a family court hearing in Swansea ruled the boy, now 8, should be taken out of his mother's care and made to live with foster parents, the MailOnline reported.

She challenged the ruling at the High Court, and Mr Justice Mostyn ruled in her favour despite opposition for Carmarthenshire County Council. It was ruled the boy can return home with his care supervised by social services.

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The judge described the council social worker's 44-page witness statement as "long on rhetoric" but "short" on examples of "deficient" parenting.

It was "very hard" to pin down what exactly the social services had against the mother, he said.

The social worker had been asked to identify her best example of the mother failing to meet the boys emotional needs, to which she cited that she had not given him ice cream.

"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," said the judge.

"This struck me as utterly insubstantial criticism."

He added: "A further criticism in this vein was that the mother had failed to arrange for [his] hair to be cut in the way that he liked. Again, this is obviously inconsequential."