16 comments on “Out with the Frying Pan and into the Mire

  1. Yesterday I went to great expense, in the hope that the Childrens’ Act et seq might deliver on its objectives of ensuring children actually benefit from having a father as well as a mother in their lives. This was part of an ongoing saga, which reached this stage after their mother ended up being the party arrested after a domestic BoP. Not the first outburst by a long shot, but the first time it had attracted ‘official’ interest. They enjoyed having her so much she stayed 2 nights before going to the court.

    Bail conditions naturally kept us apart, but naievely hopeful that eventually the temper issue which had seen me bitten, a glass bowl smashed on my head, and countless high voracity verbal tirades, one timed by a third party at 26 minutes, and reflected on temper issues with others in the past, might be finally cracked I sought a bail variation for counselling but there was no response from the charged party to ask the court to facilitate this, and equally I was told I had to get the daily visits to check for my own safety called off, despite the removal of the dear lady to her mother’s house along with the children, in part because I still had to bring in the main household income, in the land of Roman Law, whilst they were a few hundred miles away. In the land of Common Law

    In the run-up to the trial I was getting pressured to withdraw my statement and initiate action which would have put me in contempt, fortunately I had a very good friend who made sure I got good advice there, but I was still, as many experiencing this for the first time naievely wanting to mitigate the damage, and keep and rebuild a proper functional family. How wrong can you be in retrospect. Her lawyer, who ironically I had found, turned in “You are bigger, stronger and have added testosterone, ergo you are the aggressor” and after a refusal to take an action I could not legally take, I was also pressured not to hint that drink might have been involved – which was the case, and had been in the past.

    Suffice to say that the Channel 4 documentary made by a high profile victim of the inequity of delivery of what on the face of it should be legislation to benefit the children when parental relations break down shows a lot of the issues which then kicked in – and Bob Geldof does mot mince his words.

    Roll on nearly a year and by pure chance, seeing to get realistic access to the children, I make a fortunate discovery, too late, that in the land of the Romans, there are 2 agencies who receive notification when a domestic involves children, and whilst the Social Work Department presumably noted that the children were no longer on their patch and binned the file the other agency recorded that the case was dropped after 2 months. Now it would surely make sense in a referral case to actually tell both parents, but somehow this got overlooked, and a letter to the local Police eventually got a response that there had been a failure in the process – I should have been aware, and presumably, asked in for an interview. Despite e-mails, and letters to the Director of Social Work, 3 -years in I haven’t even had an acknowledgement to my asking how the referral was not only dropped, but no apparent record was kept of doing so, which could be cross referenced using the family details.

    I worry when I see the twists and turns this is taking and what it is doing to the children, but also reflect that my wife’s father was excised from her upbringing when she was roughly the same age as our children, and with a number of questions which leave me still wondering what the answers are, my poor father in law ended up being declared, conveniently, presumed dead. Something I would really love to investigate if serendipity handed me the opportunity, and resources.

    Broken relationships seem common to my wife’s family, but not mine. The children have 5 cousins, 2 of which they are unlikely to see because of other broken relationships, and 2 because my sister is now shunned by her nieces, and sister in law as another part of the messy affair. This Christmas I won’t get to see the girls at all because we won’t get a welfare review sorted out in time, and it will be the same reviewer who did the last one – a process with no appeal option when it may clearly have been influenced by claims of one party or the other.

    Watch the Geldof documentary, grown men in pieces with the grief of the situation, others driven to crazy stunts, or worse, unable to face going on at all.

    Perhaps also look at the typical fathers’ access visit the cafe, the park, and in winter that is often ruled out by the weather, consider perhaps offering someone in that position the opportunity of actually being able to sit in a ‘normal’ living room with their kids at Christmas for a change from the hotel Christmas dinner often over or under cooked and cold by the time it gets to the table.

    Remember that there is probably as much domestic abuse towards men, but it faces a massive presumption against this, or is brushed aside jokingly as the henpecked partner.

  2. A not too unfamiliar sad story. I’ve got to say that I’d be a tad disappointed not to get an assault PC charge on her. Your evidence alone would get her charged in my neck of the woods. On a skipper’s authority too as “overwhelming evidence” from two PCs would outweigh her denials. Though you’d expect CPS to take a resist arrest plea bargin at court as happened to my last one (similar job, head butted, and kicked as putting him in the van).

    The social services fiasco is a familiar one though. You should have told them they were UKIP voters. They’d be whipped away in an instant.

  3. Had a very similar situation where I attended a very similar situation single crewed at about 3am. Control was struggling to get me back up due to disorder in one of the towns …..

    Will soon be posted separately as a ‘Guest Blog’ :o)

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  6. I read the initial comment and pondered on the benefit of Roman Law in this respect. In Scotland there is no ‘backing out’ if the partner decides or in more likely coerced into withdrawing their evidence/complaint. If the Procurator decides to prosecute there will be a prosecution. But I’m reflecting on the way the Family Courts are so abused in these cases.

    My own situation saw the hiccough in payment due to her desire to use CSA and a belief that this would mean more money from me and the actual words “If I don’t get my money you won’t be able to speak to or see the kids” Ironically the CSA assessment was for paying £100 less than the voluntary payment plus her credit card bill (which was at that time being used for purchase of about 40 cigarettes per day. A bit of a costly exercise but I then got back some access – not brilliant and with the kids delivered sullen and suspicious.

    Then things got worse again, and at the latest hearing a report was tabled – the inaccuracies and contradictions in a report from a solicitor whose work relies, one might presume, on presenting cases accurately. It beggars belief. Reporting on a phone call for which I had provided precise dates, times and history was peppered with vagueness on the actual detail, and the report actually had one child taking the call in one section, and the other in another part of the report. Despite a request that another adult was interviewed, not least for corroboration, and checking dates & times, this interview did not take place. The solicitor writing the report claimed in the notes to have made phone calls, but no messages were left, and the phone line that would have been answered had people available to answer it most of the time – they never got a call.

    As my representative summed up at the hearing, I had been let down from the start of this sorry business by all that agencies that should have been working to help, even the fundamental stage of a domestic where children are involved where a Police report is automatically generated for a referral – someone might actually have told me! As a result all got quietly dropped by the local SWD, and only by chance did I learn about it months later line, Police did apologise for process failings nothing from SWD.

    What’s done cannot be undone, but I can do my best to make sure others are less likely to suffer the same way. Oh and as for all this assumption that its women who are the only victims for domestic violence, I’d love to have the time to put you straight on such issues, but doubt if you’d want to accept what you hear.

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  11. Both you and the family have been let down by the system.
    What happened to charging domestic abuse even if the victim refuses.
    It should be assault on police as well if not gbh depending on the weight of the pan.
    The children being left in that environment as well is something that hasn’t changed for years. Social services are vastly overworked and as a result children are left in danger too often. Maintain the family structure seems to be the norm totally ignoring sec 1 The Children Act which says the needs of the child are paramount. How can leaving them there be in the best interests of the child?

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