A High Court judge has ruled that a man attempted to strand his wife in Pakistan to remove her from their child’s life.
In H (A Child), the parents were both born in Pakistan and married in an arranged ceremony in 2011. The father already lived in the UK by this time, and the mother joined him on a spousal visa in 2012.
Their son, identified as ‘H’ in the judgment, was born shortly afterwards. The mother accused the father of keeping hold of her and H’s passports following an argument on a family visit to Pakistan.
She said that before the trip, she had discovered that the father had been previously been married and had a daughter. He became a British citizen as a result of this marriage. Throughout the proceedings, he maintained that he had told the mother’s family about the marriage and daughter before their wedding.
The mother was initially sceptical of the trip to Pakistan, as she claimed the father told her his grandmother was very ill and he wanted her to meet H before she died. She was finally convinced to go when he swore on a Quran that she would retain both her and H’s passports for the entire duration of the trip.
It was a dispute about passports which precipitated an argument in the Lahore airport once they arrived. It got so heated that the mother and father left with their respective families. In court, they both claimed the other was holding onto the passports.
Despite the father’s claim to still be committed to his marriage, he contacted the High Commission and unsuccessfully applied to have his wife’s visa cancelled the day after the airport argument.
After reviewing the evidence, which included a recording of an argumentative phone call between the parents, Mrs Justice Hogg came to the “very firm view that the mother arrived in Pakistan deeply fearful that the father was going to dump her there”.
The judge added that the father’s attempt to cancel his wife’s visa demonstrated “his plan to leave her behind, but it failed”. She said that the plan was “callous and cruel”.
To read the full judgment, click here.