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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> C (A Child), Re  EWCA Civ 89 (21 January 2010)
Cite as:  2 FCR 664,  EWCA Civ 89
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COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE BOURNEMOUTH COUNTY COURT
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE MESTON QC)
(LOWER COURT No. BH04P00122)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE HENDERSON
|IN THE MATTER OF C (A CHILD)|
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Mr Robin Tolson QC (instructed Battens, Dorchester) appeared on behalf of the First and Second Respondents, the paternal grandparents.
Mr Marcus Scott-Manderson (instructed by Boodle Hatfield, London W1) appeared on behalf of the Third Respondent, the father.
Mr Leslie Samuels (instructed by Aldridge Brownlee, Bournemouth) appeared on behalf of the Fourth Respondent, the child by his guardian ad litem.
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Lord Justice Wilson:
"I accept the submission which was made on her behalf that she has approached matters with insight and intelligence. In my judgment the fact that contact has worked as well as it has is a reflection on her ability to accept the orders and on her ability not to convey her misgivings to [H]."
"[H] requires very careful and sympathetic understanding, consistency and a complete absence of further emotional pressure. Whether this can be achieved within the proposed structure of contact remains to be seen, but I do not consider that any risk of discomfort should rule out the current proposals."
"His grandparents should collect him from his mother's home today with the aid of the guardian if necessary and any other enforcement agency, including the police if necessary. He should stay with them over the weekend. His grandparents should take him to school on Monday morning."
As for the guardian's recommendation, the grandparents submitted that "his position is some distance from any reasonable approach". Then the grandparents forecast that, if the case continued on its present course, they and the father would apply for all forms of enforcement of the order, including an application to commit the mother for contempt; and then they added that "most significantly, an application for a change of residence will be inevitable". They then raised with the judge the idea which found favour with him, that the whole case should be transferred to be heard in the High Court, Family Division. Their sixth suggested reason for transfer was that there might be an application to remove the guardian from acting as H's guardian because of the alleged irrationality of his position.
"I would strongly recommend that [H's] wishes and views be accepted by [the father] if he wants to have some hope of repairing the relationship between H and himself and [H] and his grandparents.
If there is continual pressure on [H] to see his father and/or grandparents when it is so strongly against his wishes I think this will intensify [H's] suicidal feelings and may precipitate some impulsive action on [H's] part. He would see suicide as a way out of an intolerable dilemma […]
If an order for contact with either [H's] father or grandfather is made when [H] is so clearly telling everyone it makes him feel despairing and suicidal it is going to be very difficult to find a way to help [H]. It is also likely to make contact in the long run unsuccessful."
Mr Justice Henderson:
Order: Application granted; appeal allowed.