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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32177
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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As a McKenzie Friend I am assisting my new daughter in law

Customer Question

As a McKenzie Friend I am assisting my new daughter in law in the Family Courts. She is a lovely girl who went through an awful teenage period mixing with the wrong crowd, got pregnant and now has a five year old daughter who is an absolute delight. The father is a drug dealer aged now just over 30 and he has never worked in his life. He is an addict, pays nothing towards his daughter but insists of having regular access. We have agreed from the start that access should be given but only if the child can be protected. After eighteen months he was given unsupervised access for three or more days at a time including overnight. Knowing his character we have awaited problems as he has always been into child porn and is violent as well as quick tempered. We stopped access five weeks ago because the child came home and stated that she had fun with her father who let her play with his willy whilst he lay on the bed. It was reported to police immediately and then to social services who said no action as it was not serious enough. Last night she told her mother much more about similar incidents which she managed to tape on her mobile phone. The evidence is clear and certainly not the sort of thing a five year old could make up. Police have been recalled but we are clear that, in the Family Courts we are unlikely to get protection. She has a guardian (CAFCASS) appointed by the Court six months ago and he hasn't even met the child yet! What do you suggest we do that is effective? Can we go to Human Rights? We MUST protect the child. Don't tell me to get legal advice as we were quoted £15/30,000 to act for us!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ExperiencedLawyer replied 4 years ago.


My name is Mac and I can help you with your question. First I need to ask for some more information:

- have you stopped all contact for the time being?
- has he made an application to court in that respect (or has your daughter)?
- presumably your daughter had produced any evidence she has in relation to the child pornography to the court already?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi |Mac

We reinstated contact on a supervised basis last week on condition the child slept at the fathers parents home and the father went back to his place. He was supposed to have contact again this weekend but we have decided to block it again in full. We have applied to the Court for an urgent review (mid Jan I think) and he has applied for full residence and reinstatement of unsupervised order. The child porn was documented in the allegations for the original factfinding and has been mentioned to the judge twice. However the fact finding was cancelled as a senior barrister negotiated an agreed way forward for supervised access until she is eight. The solicitors for the father saw the order as agreed, didn;t like it and went back to the Court in front of a different judge to have it killed off. We then applied to reinstate the fact-finding and it was refused. As you must be aware the whole thing is in favour of the father,