- March 22, 2019
- Posted by: Josiah Hincks Solicitors
- Category: Legal News, News
The law recognises the important role that fathers play in children’s lives. However, the High Court has ruled in an important case that a father should have no contact with his baby son, whose birth arose from his sexual abuse of the child’s mother.
The father had entered into sexual relations with the mother, who suffered from learning difficulties and was very vulnerable, when she was 14 or 15. Eight years older than the mother, he was her sister’s long-term boyfriend and subsequently became her brother-in-law. After making the mother pregnant, he was prosecuted and imprisoned following his guilty pleas to serious sexual offences.
A health and social work trust had provided accommodation for the mother and baby and had applied for a care order in respect of the latter. The father, who was shortly due to be released from prison, applied to be joined as a party to the care proceedings. Although he acknowledged that he would not be permitted unsupervised contact with the child, he showed an interest in his son’s welfare and said that he wished to be involved in any decisions taken in respect of his future care.
Although the father’s name did not appear on the boy’s birth certificate, and he did not have parental responsibility for the child, the Court acknowledged that, as the boy’s father, he would normally be permitted to play a part in planning his future. In dismissing the application, however, the Court found that there were powerful reasons why he should he have no involvement in the proceedings.
The Court was entirely satisfied that it would not be in the boy’s interests to have any form of contact with his criminal father. It was exceptionally difficult to envisage the father having anything positive to contribute to the proceedings and his involvement would only serve to further damage and disrupt the mother’s life. The Court noted that its ruling did not prevent the father from applying for contact with his son at any time in the future.