The Court of Appeal has dismissed a father’s application for the return of his children.
In Abduction: Re A, the family had been living in Norway when the father assaulted the mother, a single incident of domestic violence witnesses by the children. The parents split up and after giving birth to a third child, the mother took all three of her children to England with her.
The father applied for the children’s return under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, but the children made it plain that they did not wish to return to Norway. The original judge rejected the father’s application.
In the Court of Appeal, Lord Justices Thorpe and Kitchin, along with Sir David Keene, ruled against the father. The original judge had made a thorough review of the law, including that relating to objections posed by children and he also taken into account the views of the Cafcass officer attached to the case.
It was an exceptional case, the Court of Appeal declared, in which a single incident had damaged both the relationship between the father and the mother and that between the father and his children.
The oldest child saw himself as his mother’s protector and had a sense that they would be at risk if they returned to Norway.