Protecting a Father and child from domestic violence and child endangerment

Marie represented a Father who was the victim of domestic violence by his wife, who also has serious alcohol abuse issues. Her client had fled from the home with his young child. The court agreed that the Mother should only have contact supervised by the Grandparents until the safeguarding issues were dealt with; and that, for the protection of both Father and child, she was not permitted to return to the family home. The Mother is facing a criminal trial for assault in relation to the incident.

The supervised contact was relaxed after a couple of months but unfortunately as soon as this was varied, the Mother drove a car whilst drunk and crashed with the child in it. They were both unharmed. The Mother pleaded guilty to failure to provide a specimen of breath and there is an outstanding charge of child endangerment still to be dealt with. After this incident, the court re-imposed the need for supervised contact at all times.

The court has listed a fact-finding hearing. Cafcass will file a welfare report after the court has dealt with the fact-finding hearing.