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OMFG - I have lost a finding of fact case and violent Ex has been granted access

(43 Posts)
pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 17:36:00

Just that really - I am so shocked I cannot believe it . The case was heard in June and only got a copy of the judgement today (we were meant to get a draft copy before it was handed down in court but it wasn't finished in time)

I cannot believe it - I have always always told the truth and they have found that I cannot prove he hit me or strangled me and even though my older DD (sadly) saw a lot of it and talked about it in counselling because she lied in a DV children's group (she was 7 at the time) that nothing she said could be used as corroboration. It says he may well have hit me but I am hot tempered so I provoked him!!!!

There are several factual errors in the judgement which if I had seen a draft I would have pointed out. I just am completely gobsmacked when I have played it straight but it says no I was not strangled because I did not call the Police!! He has not seen them for 3.5 years, they are scared and do not want to see him and he will not even write to them even though there is a court order compelling him to do so. The last letter was 11 months ago and now they are talking about contact at a centre. FFS what the hell am I going to do? I am crapping myself as he is a nutter.

Please help with any advice as I am terrified. I used to post as TartyHighHeels a while ago about the same stuff. I cannot believe this is happening to my family

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 17:50:54


plupervert Wed 21-Sep-11 18:12:45

Sorry I can't offer any experienced advice, but I was moved by your bump to bump too. sad

As regards contact at a centre, doesn't that mean you don't have to be present? Also, although he's violent, so he will have to behave, and hopefully it will help you feel less powerless, to see him being under control/pressure, rather than you being the powerless one whenever you meet? I apologise if this is a facile suggestion; I don't have experience of this.

How old is your eldest DD now? Is she getting on for the age at which children's wishes about seeing parents are taken into account?

Very angry to hear about that "provoked him" remark, though.

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 18:18:21

Yes the children are 10 and almost 8, they have said that they don't wish to see him. About 3 years ago the oldest wanted to see him but onlt in a 'safe' place.

Yes the provoked thing blew me away - we have been in court for 4.5 years and he keeps lying and I get angry and cry and go on... (I am self repping) and based on this the judge says i am hot tempered..........

I am just genuinely so so shocked, I was convinced I would win - I should have fucking lied or exaggeration or something - I cannot prove a thing - my dd is my only witness

He has lies consistently to everyone, quite obviously but I guess that just makes him a liar and not a wife and child abuser.

GypsyMoth Wed 21-Sep-11 18:19:32

I remember you!!! So sorry about this, but take heart.... I got a section 91(14) against my ex, so zero contact! Almost identical to you, violence, strangling etc,BUT he failed to keep up the court agreed letters and phonecalls, he repeatedly messed up. Also failed to turn up to further hearings.

All this led to no further contact. He was also violent to new partner. It all looked so bad he got nothing in the end

Let's hope your ex doesn't stick to what us agreed...... Then make a big fuss about his 'lack of commitment'

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 18:27:30

Hello Tiffany - well he has consistently failed to write over 2.5 years - he got another order in Oct last year to write once a month and he wrote in Oct and nov and that was it - nothing since.

My Ex was arrested for assaulting a work colleague, he is being done for fraud by the CSA - he is not whiter than white but I cannot prove he bashed me and they wont believe my DD

I just cannot believe this is happening, I made a good case. For instance, the day after my poor DD (who was only 5) saw him strangling me she went into school and told everyone - the head wrote to the court to tell them this but apparently I did not call the Police (I did not) so it means nothing. He also walked the oldest dd about 2 miles in a plaster with a broken foot (Ihad to have the plaster redone as it was no weight bearing) but without independent orthopaedic input this means nothing (I was trying to make a case for poor decision making about the children)

I tried so hard to be honest and this is where it has got me. My poor dd's, how the fuck can I explain this to them, they haven't seen him for 3.5 years - the last time they saw him he tried to adduct them!

GypsyMoth Wed 21-Sep-11 18:31:58

I didn't call the police much either,it shouldn't matter. This is bad.

Is it just indirect contact for now? Will it be contact centre next?
Really hope he messes up

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 18:33:51

No there is already a 'write to them' one which he has ignored. The hearing is in Oct and says in the order that CAFCASS need to make arrangements at contact centre by then - direct contact straight away!

fucking hell - this is bad

(thinking of fleeing abroad to be honest i am shitting myself)

ElsieMc Wed 21-Sep-11 18:50:17

I am so sorry for you. We also lost our finding of fact three years ago and matters moved to unsupervised contact. The Judge did not believe the father tried to attack me and hurt my DGS. My DGS told two separate social workers what had happened but he was deemed too young to be believed at the time. I had no way of knowing he had attacked a schoolboy in similar circumstances and this was his third conviction for ABH.

I thought the truth would prevail, that Judges were some kind of higher being as I was continually told by assorted professionals that the Judge would always "know the truth".

Please take some hope as contact should start out supervised. I do feel that whether you won or lost the finding of fact, he would have won contact in any event. Contact is seen as the right of the child and it is very rare no form of contact is ordered.

In the long term the truth will come out. My DGS's father has committed further crimes of violence since the hearing and has a trial coming up. I realise now it wouldn't even make any difference if he was convicted.

I do hope you have some support in RL.

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 18:56:49

Yes I do have support and many offers to assassinate him too!

I too thought, go and tell the truth and it will all be ok. I have been scrupulously honest because it is a matter of looking my dds i the face if i had not. The psych suggested in his report on us that if it were found that he had done any of these things then the judge should make a no contact order. That is why i am so shocked, he is really quite barking and lies all the time. This just cannot be happening, can my dds refuse to go?

GypsyMoth Wed 21-Sep-11 19:29:36

If they won't go into the contact centre but you have taken them, then what then?
Make sure the staff are involved and write reports.

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 19:43:06

well this is what happened the last time - I tried but my older dd started running off at school and messing with her health (she has diabetes) - it was a terrible time and I refused to force her because she could not even talk about it without being in floods of tears - I cannot believe she and her sister have so few rights!

It just seemed i was putting her at risk to pacify the court and her Father and the focus should be one the children. The younger one will lose the plot as she has asd and does not tolerate change well at all - she will go off the deep end. How can they say it is about the children?

cestlavielife Wed 21-Sep-11 21:07:21

howawful. sad

can you appeal??

have you told dds?
i think i would go to gp and ask for referral to psychologist for them as they going to need support....
only consolation is contact centre will be supervised and he will have to put up a good show......

i think you would have to take them - but they could then tell centre staff what they think ....

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 21:14:04

I don't know if i can appeal - I was hoping someone would know. There are quite a few factual inaccuracies in the document as a whole but fundamentally i did not call the police (well not enough anyway) so not sure what can be done

My oldest dd has had a lot of counselling from the NSPCC - 18 weeks of it and it really helped her to be able to talk about what her Father had done - but because she told a tall story when she was much younger they have disregarded everything she has said, my younger wouldn't know him is she walked past him in the street.

My older dd has told anyone who will listen she does not want to go, what else can be done now?

I have had to warn them because the hearing is in 2 weeks when they make a contact plan - i have to give them time to get used to it and it is going to be a rough few weeks.

I fail to see if someon cannot write how they can be given actual contact

cestlavielife Wed 21-Sep-11 21:44:08

i think you have to focus on getting good independent witnesses to how your dds take this - teachers etc school -if school wrok suffers or behavioural issues .
contact centre staff etc.

ask that contact plan is very gradual build up short times and review after three month so no rushing into unsupervise d

pinkytheshrinky Wed 21-Sep-11 21:49:03

yes that has all been done by the nspcc and teachers etc - a lot of it was disregarded because they were too young and the other stuff because my daughter told a lie and it has not helped - the problem is that how they feel is disregarded as their Father has a right to family life (not to pay for his children or write to them of course).

I know that a contact centre is short term and I am terrified for them -he treated them so badly when he had them even leaving them alone on occasion - but again only my daughters' word for it

I need to speak to a lawyer and see if I can actually do anything

cestlavielife Thu 22-Sep-11 10:13:49

contact centre can be aslong as is needed - if it goes well 9which would be in best interest of dds anyway) then yes it would move on to eg supervised outside contact centre.

but if any incidents during contact centre visits - then you could ask for cotact centre to continue.

in my dc case the centre visits went v well - tho at times he turned up late etc . overall he put on a good show. he was in a good phase. then court order was set for supervised contact by an adult agreed to by both aprties and other contact as agreed - which judge said meant this was to allow ti to progress to unsupervised. it did graudally but here were a number of incidents and it fell apart again later on....

i reverted to supervised only but dds have refused to go. only ds goes, with a lady i trust. . (he is autistic and learning disabled doesnt get the nuances of ex behaviour..)

but exP not taking it to court so status quo is dds not being forced to see him. fortuantely for them. they now 9 and 11.

try and drag out contact centre as long as possible - if he is really trying to make an effort then will be positive for dds.

if he messes it up then you will have the evidence.

i dont think you will be able too do anything til contact centre has been tried... all you can do is try and support dds and talk to your gp/family therapist etc along the way. boost dd1 confidence so she feels able to say how she feels to centre staff and to teachers etc .

she older now so they should listen .

NicknameTaken Thu 22-Sep-11 12:02:27

I'm not a lawyer, but I think cestlavie might be right - you need to try with the contact centre, and hope like hell he messes up early on. Try and keep it in the contact centre as long as possible, and when it moves on, at least insist on supervised contact. Some fathers like to battle in court for their "rights", but what they enjoy is the fight, they can't be bothered to follow up, just like he did with the letters.

I really feel for you, and I know you and your girls are terrified. All I can suggest is to try not to get obsessed with worse case scenarios, but watch and wait for what happens. Shit human beings can be okay for short bursts.

pinkytheshrinky Thu 22-Sep-11 12:27:44

Yes that is true, he loves the drama of it all but not the writing to them or anything like that - I just cannot believe he can get contact after 3 years of not writing when ordered to - amazing

But he is a dangerous person, highly manipulative - I just cannot believe this can happen when it seems so obvious to me and the children are cared of him and don't want to go. The thing is he has seriously neglected them before, leaving them alone (and one is a diabetic) asking the SS to take them into care etc etc and it seems despite all that madness and irrationality he has just gotten away with it scot free - He has before deliberately not injected my older dd and then text me to taunt me about it - the judge put it down to a misunderstanding!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so shocked, my poor ladies having to go through this again. My little girls doens't even know who he is (because of the ASD and memory probs...) how the fuck is she going to take this?

How with so much input from outside agencies does someone get away with this?

Sorry to rant on but I am blown away but the injustice of it all. I want to know if I can appeal.

pinkytheshrinky Thu 22-Sep-11 12:30:38

I know people always go on about how the courts side with the Fathers but I always thought they were exaggerating..

I am sure if I called the SS and asked them to take my DDs away I would be judged a bad Mother (as there was no underlying health issue he just needed to go to work!)

cestlavielife Thu 22-Sep-11 15:17:27

reality is though that if you appeal -the courts do tend to go for contact so you would likely end up with the same thing: supervised contact.

if one judge is choosing to believe him - and apaprently SS reports were not taken seriously? who know... and as you say he highly manipulative - then chances of getting only indirect contact would be limited, realsitically.

you have done all you can;
unless you can come up with new evidence (what id the SS report say about him asking tfor them to go into care??) then probably contact centre is going to happen anyway....

- but here's hoping it wont be too traumatic.
have you visited the centre? spoken to staff?

i do think centres more geared up for younger children but for initial vists anyway an hour in room with hiom may well eb more than enough..... maybe if it does go well then staff could eventually accompany them out to local cafe or whatever?

ElsieMc Thu 22-Sep-11 16:28:19

Cestlavielife is sadly right. You have done all you possibly can to protect your daughters. I believe there should be a panel system in the Family Courts as the variation in quality and decision-making of Judges is enormous and their decisions have life changing consequences for all involved, particularly the most vulnerable.

The very slight improvement in our case was when a different Judge sat at a hearing and varied the order in a minor way to make life slightly more bearable for us. He said himself, he was trying to look at the case with fresh eyes and given time, this is what you need as the decision has been made.

There is mention made of appealing. I was actually asked by this Judge why we had not appealed the decision of the circuit Judge. This was simply a lack of funding - and at this level you need a good barrister- together with battle weariness.

You can appeal (I believe) on a point of law and I quite simply didn't know what that would be. You need permission to appeal and there is a short time scale. I knew I couldn't appeal because he was lying and I thought the Judge was wrong.

You would need to get counsel's opinion on your prospects of success to show that in some way the Judge was plainly wrong. This will cost you money, but a good Family lawyer should be able to give you a costs estimate at a first interview.

Could any family members help you out financially ?- I know it's a big ask.

pinkytheshrinky Thu 22-Sep-11 18:23:48

No I have no family at all - If I had already employed even a solicitor I would have probably been about 50k down by now. No we don't have that sort of cash.

My concern is that have disregarded what my dd has said because she lied years ago in a group session, she said something really ridiculous and attention seeking (and as a consequence was offered 1- 2 -1 NSPCC counselling) and all her assertions to the NSPCC with whom she had an excellent rapport and open up to have been ignored because she told a tall tale.........

Also I wonder about not being able to see a copy of this before it is handed down, as there are factual inaccuracies - I will go through it with a fine tooth comb and find everything that is incorrect.

Fundamentally the judge doesn't agree that he strangled me as dd is the only witness and her telling her school about it is not evidence - the judge also says I provoked him to hit me! I cannot get over that - I am not your archetypal DV victim (as if there is such a thing!!!!!!!!!!!) and I am too lippy and he says explicitly because of our clash of personalities lots of incidents took place but I am equally to blame -and because I did not call the Police there is no evidence.

The judge is absolutely wrong on one point I can think of straight away about my dd and her insulin injections, he says she is quite capable of telling anyone (all and sundry is the phrase he used) about what injections she needs and when. This is true now, but actually the time she was dumpd and didn't have her treatment she was only 6 and could not inject herself and was left without any treatment.

I do feel that I really need to fight this. My children need protecting.

pinkytheshrinky Thu 22-Sep-11 18:25:57

Can I just say that the reason I had high hopes is because the family psych said explicitly at the end of his report on us that if it was found he hit me, the kids or neglected the children that the judge should consider a no contact order. I know the judge makes his own mind up but the psych also noted that my ex's lie score was so far off the scale it invalidated some of the tests!

cestlavielife Fri 23-Sep-11 14:13:04

the issue about your dd lying once - if nspcc said itwas attentions eeking but she still needed therapy for other issues - doesnt make much sense - but all boils down to expert witness i guess

at the end of the day tho it boiled down to your word against his. i've been involved in a fact finding at work and while i truly believed the claimant re: bullying from someone, unfotunately there was no evidence or witesses so it could not be corroborated. the bully denied it and was plausible tho i belive yes the bully was lying...

very frustrating.

unless you prepared to spend money on expert witneeses figtiing whether he lied or not then it difficult.

however, you could get someone indepedent to talk to the dds about seeing dad in a contact centre and that person recording their reaction.

you could ask family psych to speak to them about resuming contact and get psych view on this and how it should be done /if it should be done.

then that becomes new evidence?

maybe rather than contact centre the contact should be done with family therapist /trained psychologist? sessions recorded and two way mirrors etc for observations?

also - the dds are older now so that could be relevant - yes he messed up then - but now she older so the insulin issue isnt an issue (in judge's view).

i think you have to accept you going to have to support dds thru contact resuming, record carefully how it goes and have review after three months?

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