A High Court judge has raised concerns about a 13-year-old boy with a history of "seriously uncontrolled behaviour" who council social services bosses say should be in secure accommodation.
Mr Justice Holman says the teenager has been held at a non-secure unit for the past three months because suitable secure accommodation cannot be found.
The judge said another judge had in June given council bosses permission to deprive the youngster of his liberty at the non-secure unit.
He said unit staff were allowed to physically restrain the teenager in order stop him absconding and to keep him safe.
The judge has raised concern in a ruling published following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
He has not named the boy or the council involved.
Mr Justice Holman says a guardian must be appointed to represent the boy and that the case will be reviewed in the near future.
"During the last two years or so the child has displayed a desperate history and catalogue of very seriously uncontrolled behaviour, damaging both to himself and to others," said Mr Justice Holman.
"As a result, he has, or had until last June, been placed in no less than six different residential settings.
"Each such setting ultimately broke down, sometimes very rapidly, as the staff there were simply unable to manage his behaviour and keep him safe.
"As the case summary makes plain, the local authority would have wished by last June to place the child in an approved secure accommodation placement.
"Such placements are currently very scarce and they were unable to find one."
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