ON APPEAL FROM EDMONTON COUNTY COURT
Ms Recorder Genn
BO11P00190 / ED11F00799
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE McFARLANE
LORD JUSTICE RYDER
| In the matter of S (A Child) SS
|- and -
|SA, FS and S (A Child)
Ms Rachael Langdale QC and Ms Lubeya Ramadhan (instructed by Goodman Ray Solicitors) for the First Respondent (SA)
Hearing date: 24 June 2013
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Ryder:
i) whether mother and step father made false allegations to the police and to the courts that father had been violent to both of them and had harassed them;
ii) whether between July 2010 and 13 May 2011:
a) S's step father sexually assaulted her by digital penetration;
b) S's mother and step father told her she was 'bad' and forced her to sleep on the floor of the kitchen;
c) S's step father physically assaulted her by slapping her on the face for not eating her cake, by dragging her by her hair, by throwing her on to a bed, by hitting her on the soles of her feet and by hitting her about her arms and head.
i) the judge insufficiently analysed the background against which the child's allegations came to be made and failed sufficiently to consider the influences upon the child at the time of the allegations;
ii) the judge was wrong to conclude that the pre-ABE interview was a sufficiently reliable source of evidence to support the findings based upon it;
iii) the judge was wrong to place reliance on the opinion evidence of the social worker;
iv) the judge was wrong to rely on the opinion of the paediatrician as to the credibility of S;
v) the judge, having concluded that the step father gave untruthful evidence, failed sufficiently to assess the possible reasons for such untruths and failed sufficiently to analyse the contribution that the fact (as she so found) of those lies could make to the allegations of abuse.
"it is incredible to suggest that the various members of extended family that were living with [the maternal grandmother] did not discuss what was happening with their sister / sister in law. It was precisely because of that concern that [father] was encouraged to move out of that household. However, animated and even heated discussions notwithstanding there is no good evidence that indicates that [S] was being coaxed, coached or unduly influenced too (sic) make up things that she said had been done by [her step father]"
"the most compelling evidence both in words and significantly actions".
"I find as a fact…that [SS] has a poor relationship with knowing the difference between truths and lies. I find as a fact that he lies easily about matters which are relatively uncontentious and even about matters that can be relatively easily proved to be wrong as I have set out above. Further I find as a fact therefore that he has lied about his treatment of [S]. I accept [the social worker's] evidence that the reports of defiant and difficult behaviour by [S] towards [SS] are more likely explained by the fact that he was subjecting her to abuse."
Lord Justice McFarlane:
Lord Justice Rimer: