A mother of two lied when she accused the father of her youngest child of rape, domestic violence and abuse, the High Court has ruled.
In a lengthy judgment, Mr Justice MacDonald dismissed all thirteen of the accusations the woman made against her former partner.
The couple began their relationship in 2007 and had a son, ‘S’, in 2009. S was the mother’s second child. The family moved from England to Scotland the following December but their relationship soon broke down.
In the summer of 2014, the mother collected S and took him back to England after she assured the father she would return the boy in time for the start of the next school year. However, she remained in England from that point onwards and did not give a reason for this decision.
The father then launched legal proceedings in Scotland to have S returned to his care. It was only at this point that the mother made several serious accusations about the father. Among other claims, she said that he had raped her on two occasions, was physically violent with her and her two children, and had sexually abused the children.
While the father vehemently denied every single one of the mother’s accusations, the two children backed up her claims. However, after they had been interviewed by police, the officer who spoke to them concluded that the children had been coached by their mother. This suspicion was shared by social workers on the case, who believed the mother spoke to them “in a way that was not age appropriate” and that she “lacked boundaries of what she should and should not talk about in front of the children”.
At the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice MacDonald said that many of the mother’s accusations “lack[ed] specificity in terms of timing” and noted that the mother had been unable “to specify any particular incident of domestic abuse”. After hearing the mother give evidence, he believed she had “told a significant number of lies” to law enforcement and other professionals. When she was challenged on simple details, she either failed to answer the question or “sought refuge in the stock phrase “my head was all over the place“”.
He concluded that none of her claims were true and ruled that both children had “suffered significant emotional harm as a result of the care given to them by their mother”.
The judge noted that the father still faced criminal charges in Scotland as a result of her accusations.
Read AS v TH (False Allegations of Abuse) in full here.