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England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions >> TB v DB  EWHC 2274 (Fam) (25 April 2013)
Cite as:  EWHC 2274 (Fam)
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Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a Deputy Judge of the Family Division)
|- and -
1st Floor, Quality House, 6-9 Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HP
Telephone: 020 7067 2900 Fax: 020 7831 6864 DX: 410 LDE
MS. LOUISE BROWN (instructed by Messrs. Johal & Co.) for the Respondent
MR. ROBERT LITTLEWOOD (instructed by The Co-operative Legal Services) for the Guardian ad Litem
Crown Copyright ©
MR. MICHAEL KEEHAN QC:
"6. A finding in favour of DB would show that D has been exposed to sexual harm, physical chastisement, conflict within the father's home and recent domestic abuse by the father of the mother. Significantly, such a finding would [show that] TB failed to protect D, deceived the courts and CAFCASS and paid no heed to court orders. TB's allegation that DB has made and repeated untrue allegations of serious domestic violence not being found, would raise concerns as to the impact of these long-standing issues on mother and D.
8. TB asserts the mother made false allegations against him and his family concerning domestic violence, his alcoholism and threats to abduct D that she repeated to agencies in order to curtail contact. He maintains her latest allegations, that he permitted the sexual abuse of D by his uncle, were made by DB 'knowing them to be untrue and/or with the express purpose of stymieing the relationship between father and son'. He further alleges that D was recorded, questioned, coached or prompted to make false allegations against his family."
"And Upon it being recorded that the parties agree a fact-finding hearing on the respondent mother's schedule of allegations is not necessary as the mother's concerns are not regarding the relationship between herself and the applicant father but rather the risk posed by the paternal uncle and whether the child could be adequately protected from that."
(1) Contrary to what had been asserted in statements and at court about the father's violence, on the 13th June 2011 in a report by Kelly Stevens the mother told her that the father was not violent to her and told her that the father had acted protectively from time to time. The mother (though Ms. Stevens was not called at this hearing) denies that she said those things but could not explain why at no stage had she taken issue with those assertions in Ms. Stevens' report.
(2) The mother could not explain why in her statement she asserted (D43 of the bundle) that D had been on the Child Protection Register. It is plain he had not. When she so asserted she was lying.
(3) In a statement in 2009 (D14 in the bundle) the mother set out that the father was seeking an injunction against his brother when she knew that an injunction was in force. She claimed in her oral evidence that she had not sought to mislead the court but in October of 2009 she was not in the right state of mind. I do not accept that explanation; the mother was once more lying.
(4) In the November 2009 statement that I have just referred to there is no reference to any allegation of rape by the father or attempted rape by SB. In my judgment there is no reference not because the mother, as she told me, could not admit it but because those allegations are false.
(5) There is no reference in the Schedule of 22nd March 2010 (D182 of the bundle) to the father being physically violent to the mother. When asked to explain that omission the mother said she was told to keep it short. I entirely agree that it may have been appropriate to keep it short but the most serious allegation made ought to have been included. The fact that it was not, namely, the father had been physically violent to her is not there because in my judgment it is not true.
(6) It was established that there were clear discrepancies between the mother's statements and Schedule and her diaries, both the typed version and the manuscript version. So, for example, at D138 there is a reference to the father being drunk. It does not appear in the typewritten version of the diary or the manuscript. The mother could offer no explanation for that omission from her diary.
(7) In one of her earlier statements (D24 of the bundle) the mother asserts that the father hit her twice on two unspecified occasions. There is no reference to any such violence in the diaries. The mother could not explain why.
(8) Those same allegations of violence do not appear in any Schedule. There is no explanation why.
(9) There is reference made in an early statement (D24 of the bundle) to the mother being threatened by the father with a pair of scissors and a knife. By the time the Schedule is produced (D184 of the bundle) it has become the father threatening her with scissors and knives. There is no explanation for the allegation going from the singular to the plural. What is more, as for the day in question (E43 of the bundle) there is no reference to either knives or scissors in the mother's diaries. When asked to account for that omission she said it was recorded on another page in the diary. It is clear that E42 was the next page and there is no reference there. The mother asked if she could go and get her diary so she could prove that it was mentioned. She had to accept it was not there and could not explain why not.
(10) There is an incident relied on on the 13th July 2009 (D185 of the bundle) in a Schedule. It is not referred to in any witness statement. The mother could not account for the omission. In my judgment, again, she is lying.
(11) In her oral evidence the mother alleged that on the day of the separation the father had pushed her out of the house. She could not account for why, in her statement (D27 of the bundle) there is no indication of physical violence or contact at all.
(12) As I have mentioned, there was an agreed recital to the order of 29th April 2010 that for old allegations no findings would be sought. Those allegations, however, were resurrected in December 2010 (D211, D217 of the bundle). The mother could provide no explanation as to why those matters were not relevant, not relied on in the April and suddenly became relevant in the December. In my judgment it is because those allegations against the father are false and the mother was resurrecting them to her advantage in stopping unsupervised contact.
(13) In December 2010 (I74 of the bundle) the mother alleged the father had raped her and said that that allegation made previously by her had been investigated by the police, but the family had forced her to retract it. The mother could not explain that account which was patently untrue. No allegation of rape against the father had ever been made to the police and it had never been investigated. There had been no question of the allegation being forcibly retracted by her because of pressure from her family.
(14) The mother could not explain why in her diary, where events are described in some detail, there is no reference to any episode of rape by the father or of attempted rape by SB.
(15) The mother asserted that in October 2010 her concerns about contact were really only about the risk posed by the father because of incidents outside contact centres when he had been, it was said, aggressive to her sisters. She could not explain why these alleged aggressive behaviours were not contained in any Scott Schedule nor were they referred to in any solicitor's correspondence.
(16) Finally, there is a reference in the bundle to a MM, a worker at a play group, having been asked by the mother to make a referral to Social Services. The mother denies that she asked MM, to make referrals to Social Services. I am satisfied that the record at F102 is correct and the mother is, once more, lying.
(1) The allegations of past violence and rape made against the father and SB by the mother are untrue.
(2) The allegations that SB sexually abused D are untrue. Any allegation that he otherwise acted inappropriately towards D, for example, kissing or cuddling on a bed, are likewise untrue.
(3) In relation to the mother's allegations against the father, set out in the Scott Schedule in paragraphs 1 to 8, they are, in my judgment, not made out. In each case I accept the explanations given by the father.
MS. BROWN: My Lord, we are grateful. Obviously the parties would welcome the opportunity now to consider that overnight.
JUDGE KEEHAN: Certainly. I shall, in a moment, rise. If there are any corrections or any errors I may have made in the course of the judgment and/or further reasons are required, would you let me know tomorrow afternoon?
MS. BROWN: Of course, my Lord, yes.
JUDGE KEEHAN: I will ensure that those are included in the transcript.
(Adjourned till tomorrow afternoon at 2.00)