SOCIAL services feared a mother would try to snatch back her daughter after they accidentally sent her contact details about the child’s foster parents.

Panicked bosses at Essex County Council made an emergency application to a judge, banning the mother from going within 100 metres of the foster parents’ address, after realising their error.

The mother, described during family court proceedings as a regular cannabis and amphetamines user, was trying to prevent the council from putting her daughter, aged four, up for adoption.

But at a hearing in Chelmsford, Mrs Justice Parker said the mother had "no prospect" of overturning the adoption order.

The mother has been representing herself at hearings and had requested documents from Essex County Council relating to her case.

The error occurred when a "para-legal" at the council sent the woman an unredacted bundle by email containing details of her daughter's whereabouts.

After receiving the documents, the mother immediately informed the judge presiding over the adoption appeal, an act Mrs Justice Parker said she was to be "commended" for.

But "anxious" social services were concerned the birth mother would try to reclaim her daughter and made an emergency application for a harassment order preventing the mother from approaching the foster parents' address.

An out-of-hours judge granted the application.

Mrs Justice Parker said: "An inquiry is being put in hand by Essex. I am satisfied it has taken this matter extremely seriously."

None of the people involved in the case have been identified.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “This was a serious but one-off error by an administrative team member who had been trained on the importance of information security.

"We took immediate action to ensure that no threat to the family materialised.

"We have apologised and worked with them to ensure that any possible future risk is avoided.

"We are currently undertaking a review of our service, systems and processes in the light of this incident.”