How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
James Mather is online now

At the end of last year my 5 year old granddaughter, while

Customer Question

At the end of last year my 5 year old granddaughter, while on overnight stays with her father, was physically and sexually abused by her father's girlfriends 10 year old son. It was investigated by police and social services and both were satisfied that the serious abuse had taken place but as the boy concerned was considered to have a mental age of 8 or 9 years, and he denied the abuse, no further action could be taken against him. Social services urged my daughter to return to court to have the contact order amended to ensure that the boy had no further contact with my granddaughter and this action was supported by the police involved in the investigation, not least because my granddaughter's father did not believe the abuse had taken place. On return to court today the judge ignored the report by social services, ignored the report from Cafcass and ignored the report from the police who investigated the abuse. He ruled that as the father had parental rights there was no reason to amend the contact order and he saw no reason why my granddaughter's father should prevent his girlfriend and family from having contact with my granddaughter. How does my daughter protect my granddaughter from further abuse and can she appeal the ruling of this judge?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Which court was this in.
What verbal evidence was given?
What have Social Services said will happen if the contact goes ahead?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was Truro Crown Court with Judge Mitchell. My daughter cold afford a solicitor so she had represent herself. The judge had written reports from the social worker, the police and Cafcass. My daughter pointed out that Cafcass, in their report, recommended further assessment of my granddaughter's father but the Judge just said that it would take too long. He has requested a further report from Cafcass but I don't see the point of that if he is going to ignore their recommendations. The father has said that he sees no reason why his daughters should not be allowed to spend time with his girlfriend and her children. There is another court hearing towards the end of May and until then the father has unsupervised access all day every Saturday. The police, social worker, counsellor, my daughter and myself have all told Chloe how brave she was to tell us and have given reassurance that she will not have to see the boy and his family again. She will never trust us again if this contact goes ahead as the father intends. All the professionals involved are stunned at the judge's ruling.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
has your daughter filed an appeal?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No she wasn't aware she had the right to appeal at the time and she believes it is now too late as she has been told that she should have asked the judge at the time.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
What is the next hearing meant to be for?