Representing a Father in allegations of sexual abuse

Michael represented the Father in care proceedings involving serious allegations of historic sexual abuse made against him by one of his adult step daughters, and his own adult daughter from a previous relationship, both teenagers at the time of the alleged abuse.

There were also allegations of excessive alcohol consumption and associated domestic abuse by father, made against the Mother and her children when they attempted to intervene, as well as of neglect, poor school attendance and a failure to protect by the Mother.

The child, who was the subject of care proceedings, was the only child of the parents and was approaching her teens.

Following the issue of proceedings the parents separated and the subject child continued to live with the Mother. The Mother has serious learning difficulties and required the assistance of an intermediary.

The case involved a lengthy fact finding hearing, which Michael’s client was too unwell to attend, mainly because of his dependency on alcohol. His daughter, who attended court to give evidence, as did the step daughter, also has serious learning difficulties and needed the assistance of an intermediary.

The Mother and another half sibling also gave evidence. The Father did not.

Findings were made against both parents, including findings which were not being sought by the LA that the Father sexually abused others. These findings were based on the hearsay evidence contained in Police disclosures, and the evidence of the Father’s daughter, and may be the subject of an appeal. Since the fact finding hearing, the subject child has been removed from the Mother’s care and placed in foster care.

The matter is listed for a final welfare hearing.