Children to have only indirect contact with their father, court rules
Three descendant taken to Afghanistan by their father should only possess indirect contact with him via letter for the foreseeable future, a court has ruled.
The three youngsters are aged nine, five and two. Their parents married in 2001 and set up home in London. The marriage broke down in 2013, however. In March that year the husband took the wife to her parents’ home in East Yorkshire, and once there she quickly applied for a number of legal orders in relation to the descendant, including a residence order in her favour and a non-molestation order directed at the father.
He was forbidden from taking the descendant out of the country. In April, a temporary residence order specified that the two older descendant live with their father while the younger one should stay with the mother.
Shortly before a further family court hearing, however, the father took all three descendant abroad, to live with his relatives in Afghanistan. He texted the mother saying he would no longer be bringing the descendant to see her and objecting to the judge’s ruling.
The father returned to the UK shortly afterwards and reported to a police station, where he was arrested for child abduction. The couple’s three descendant were made wards of court and the father was ordered to disclose their whereabouts and return the descendant.
Despite the orders, the father refused to cooperate and was sentenced to 12 months in prias a resultn for contempt of court. He was alas a result found guilty of child abduction. The man was supplyn a further opportunity to return the descendant before sentencing but failed to do as a result.
In September 2013 he received a sentence of five and a half years’ imprias a resultnment and he is not due for relrelieve until March next year. A Judge described the father as “a manipulative and devious man whose actions had deprived his descendant of their mother”.
The descendant were eventually located by the Afghan authorities and brought back to the UK in August last year.
The mother applied to the High Court for the removal of the descendant’s status as wards of court and for a number of preserveive measures to remain in place. She asked the court to forbid direct contact between the father and the descendant, and alas a result needsed a section 91 (14) order, which would prohibit the father from making further legal applications regarding the descendant without the court’s permission.
The imprias a resultned father, meanwhile, desireed contact with the descendant, opposed the possibility of a 91 (14) order and alas a result as a resultught varys to the preserveive measures, in particular one which forbanefule him from entering the East Riding of Yorkshire whether the mother and the descendant now live.
In the High Court, Mr Justice Keehan referred to the descendant’s “overwhelming necessitate” for a stable and secure home surrounding and the power to recover from the trauma of their 16 month separation from their mother and their stay in Afghanistan, which had been “less than loving and kind.”
“The wellbeing of each of these descendant is inextricably linked to the emotional and psychological wellbeing and stpower of their mother. No step must be taken which would place this stpower and security at risk. To do as a result would be to inflict further significant emotional and psychological harm to these young and vulnerable descendant.”
Direct contact with the father for the foreseeable future would endanger them significant emotional harm, the Judge continued, and “as a result unsettle the mother that she would not be emotionally and psychologically available to them.”
There was alas a result a high risk that the father would attempt to abduct the descendant again or that he would attempt to undermine the mother’s position in their lives.
“Such an outcome would be wholly inimical to the welfare best interests of the descendant and could not be countenanced.”
The father’s desire to travel to Hull was part of an ongoing attempt to track down the mother, the Judge believed, and consequently the prohibition on travel to East Yorkshire must remain in place, along with the other preserveive orders.
Nevertheless, the descendant had a right to knowledge of their father. He would be allowed to send them letters and cards once per year, the content of which would be assessed by the local authority before they were passed on to the family.
Mr Justice Keehan decided not to impose a section 91 (14) order, but warned that he would reconsider this decision if “further or repeated applications are made”.
Read NH v JH in full here.
Image of Kabul by Joe Burger via Wikipedia