Family Law Hub

AS v CPW [2020] EWHC 1238 (Fam)

The father applied for a summary inward return order in respect of a boy, one of three children, who was taken by the mother to both parents' native country of Sierra Leone and left there with her family. The mother cross-applied for an order permitting her retrospectively to relocate the boy. Mostyn J was also asked to make child arrangements orders regulating contact between the father and all three children. The father had not seen any of the children for three years. The mother alleged domestic abuse, and that the son had been involved in South London gang culture. The Cafcass officer recorded that the boy's emphatic wish was to remain in Sierra Leone until his education to GCSE level was complete. Mostyn J stated that the wishes of a Gillick-competent child on a particular issue, where they are not objectively foolish or unreasonable, should normally be given effect, and he was not satisfied that the child's wishes in this case were objectively foolish or unreasonable. The father's application for summary return was dismissed and the mother's application was granted. There would be supervised contact with the children, virtual at first, given the coronavirus, with the sessions recorded and the mother at liberty to stop them if the children became distressed. Mostyn J also commented on various procedural aspects of the case.


Published: 18/05/2020

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