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Judge approves supervision order against abusive father

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”.

He added:

“[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.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. PDM says:

    This case, of a father who allegedly sexually abused a child, just goes to show the absurdities of the court system. Rulings and orders made by a given particular judge, who might be presiding at the time, are made at his own whims and feelings. However, differing decisions would or could be arrived at by another Judge who may see things entirely differently, there is no consistency whatsoever in these cases. Here we have a father who seems to be a liar and an abuser and yet the Judge in question still allows for possible supervised contact for him. I say, therefore, that this father was very lucky indeed to have had Judge Nathan on his case and to make such a decision in his favour because at least he was not cutting him off from all contact with his children. But what really confuses and angers me is that we fathers are at the mercy of whomever is presiding on the day, as I stated one Judge will make differing decisions from another, it s game of pot luck and who happens to be presiding. So, here am I a good father with a clean record, (no such accusations of sexual or physical abuse against my son) along with great contact reports showing the wonderful nature of my relationship with my child, AND YET…. AND YET I WAS COMPLETELY CUT OUT OF MY SONS LIFE, NOT EVEN ANY CONTACT EVEN WITH SUPERVISION OFFERED! This abusive father was lucky and it goes to show that we are at the mercy of differing judges who have differing rules depending on how they might feel on the day, where is the consistency , tell me? why have I, an innocent father, been offered nothing, and yet this father gets at least a look in? You will tell me that all cases are decided on their merits and are different and cannot be compared with each other, if this is going to be your answer Marilyn, then can you tell me how decisions are made by these seeming capricious Judges? Perhaps I should have sexually abused my son, then I’d have got contact perhaps? The system is crazy and you must know it!

  2. Family court cases drop six per cent in a year - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] report also highlights a drop in the average time required for the completion of care and supervision order applications in family cases. In the first quarter of 2014, this fell to 32 weeks – a hefty 24 […]

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