An appalling tale related by Ben Spencer for the Daily Mail about a father who’s spent 12 years and £100,000 – unlike his former partner, he’s not entitled to Legal Aid – trying to see his daughter, now 14. His former partner has failed to comply with 82 court orders:
From the middle of the piece:
Lord Justice McFarlane, presenting a written judgment, said the mother had ‘doggedly refused to allow M to develop and maintain a relationship with her father without any good reason’.
He quoted the findings of a child psychiatrist, who said: ‘The mother appears to want an unhealthy exclusive relationship with M. The mother hides her opposition to contact behind her daughter’s stated “wishes and feelings”.’
From the end of the piece:
The judgment revealed that since 2006 there had been 82 court orders for contact, seven judges had handled the case, and at least ten social workers had represented the girl.
Lord Justice McFarlane added: ‘This is an unimpeachable father against whom no adverse findings of fact have been made at any stage in this process and whose demeanour before this court was dignified and measured despite the enormous frustration and anger he must feel.’
The judge, who was sitting with Lord Justice Briggs and Lord Justice Aikens, said the mother had been diagnosed with an emotionally unstable personality disorder, paranoid traits and occasional depression.
Lord Justice McFarlane added: ‘These have not been helped by occasions when she has abused alcohol and illicit drugs.’ At one stage, he said, the mother had been found to have hidden knives in her bag.
Lord Justice Aikens added: ‘The family justice system has failed the whole family, but particularly M, whose childhood has been irredeemably marred by years of litigation.’
Why is the woman not in prison for the abuse she’s heaped on her daughter and her ex-partner over 12 years?