How old are your children and how has this come to the attention of social services?
From your narrative, the offence that you were convicted of seems to have been a teenager issue and one which is less serious in the scale of things than the brothers in law. I doubt that the judge thought that you were a danger to your children based on the 1987 incident. Especially when he said you were justified in removing the children. I take it that the judge ordered their return for different reasons than the 1987 incident. If I were judging this and having regard to the fact that you have been a father for 20 years to nine children, I wouldn't be judging this on a teenage incident in 1987. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that ai am credited for my time. Happy to discuss further.