A judge has approved a supervision order and a non-molestation order against a father accused of abusing his wife and children.
In Surrey County Council v H & Ors, the applications involved three of the man’s children, aged 13, 11 and 10.
The council was concerned about their safety due to the father, called ‘DH’ in the judgment, disobeying a previous court order forbidding him from having unsupervised contact with his children.
The father had a history of alleged abusive and sexually inappropriate behaviour.
At least ten separate allegations were made against him by several girls between 1989 and 2009. One of those cases resulted in a conviction and a brief prison sentence.
In this case, the mother alleged that he had abused one of their daughters, identified only as ‘B’.
Sitting at the Designated Family Centre for Surrey in Guildford, His Honour Judge Nathan’s impression of the mother was that she was “broadly speaking, a witness of truth” and “a person of goodwill”.
His impression of the father, however, was very different. The judge said DH was “serially untruthful” and “readily lied” about important details.
The father claimed the mother and B concocted the allegations. Judge Nathan said such a claim was “wholly implausible”.
“[DH’s] assertion that she was vindictive and manipulative was quite inconsistent with his acceptance that she was a good and loving mother. It was also entirely inconsistent with all I have seen and observed of [EH]’s character.”
On reviewing the evidence given by B, the judge ruled that “it is more probable than not that the father touched B in a sexually inappropriate manner” as he found her to be a credible witness who did not exaggerate her claims.
His Honour did not rule on any of the past allegations of abuse made against the father, but did say he was “highly suspicious” that DH had abused previous children or adolescents.
He concluded by approving the local authority’s application for a supervision order and the mother’s application for a non-molestation order.
A supervision order gives the local authority responsibility over a child without taking on parental responsibility, as is the case with a care order.
If the order is given, the local authority can direct the child to live in a certain place, and report to an assigned supervision when requested.
Judge Nathan added that if B wanted to have contact with her father, she would be able to providing there had been no pressure on her to initiate contact whatsoever and that it would be supervised.
He also ruled that DH’s other daughter, ‘C’, had expressed a desire to have monthly contact with her father, which he also allowed under the condition of supervision.