The Court of Appeal has overturned a judge’s ruling which allowed a father increased contact with his daughter.
The judge granted the father extra unsupervised contact, despite also insisting that he undergo a psychological assessment to determine that the child would be safe in his care.
A report produced by CAFCASS, the agency that protects the interests of children in court proceedings, stated that there should be a psychological assessment of the father before any ruling was made.
The report raised two main areas of concern for the wellbeing of the child:
- The father’s attitude to the child’s mother and the influence that would have on the child
- The father’s rape conviction from 1988 that he had not told the child’s mother about.
The father had previously had weekly contact with his daughter at a contact centre which involved an hour long outing in the local area. The judge ruled that he could increase this to an unsupervised outing of two and a half hours.
The mother claimed that the judge was wrong to allow increased contact, when he agreed that a psychological assessment was required before a final ruling could be made.
The Court of Appeal overturned the ruling stating that the judgeâ€™s decision was premature and he failed to explain his reasoning. The family were instructed to return to their previous contact arrangement.
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