The father was separated from the children’s’ mother. He had a long history of breaching contact and non-molestation orders.
There had been a period of contact between the father and his children, aged seven and nine. However, this was stopped after an incident at the older child’s birthday party.
The father had a conversation with the child about the mother’s suitability as a parent. He recorded the conversation although he told the child it would remain confidential.
As the day went on, he drank alcohol and confronted the mother about the recorded conversation leaving her feeling threatened and upset.
Despite a welfare report recommending that the father should have four supervised visits with his children per year, the judge ruled that there should be no further contact. He said the father didn’t accept responsibility for what had gone wrong and was unlikely to change.
The father appealed claiming that the judge had ignored the recommendation of the welfare officer without good reason to do so. He also said the judge had failed to consider all possible options before deciding on a no-contact order.
However, the Court of Appeal has upheld the decision. It held that there had been several hearings to try to reach a workable solution for the family but they had come to nothing following the incident at the birthday party.
It also held that the father had harassed the mother and that the reason he had recorded the conversation with his child was to provide an opportunity for further harassment.