This judgment is consists of 140 paragraphs. The judge hereby gives leave for it to be reported.
The judgment is being distributed on the strict understanding that in any report no person other than the advocates or the solicitors instructing them (and other persons identified by name in the judgment itself) may be identified by name or location and that in particular the anonymity of the children and the adult members of their family must be strictly preserved.
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|Re A (a child) (vulnerable witness) (fact finding)|
Alev Giz and Frances Orchover represented the respondent, father, on 1st, 3rd and 8th July; otherwise he appeared in person
Mark Twomey represented the first intervenor, Z County Council
Sarah Morgan QC and Samantha Little represented X, the second intervenor
Paul Storey QC and Camille Habboo represented A by her Children's Guardian, Sara Franklin
Hearing dates: 1st 9th and 11th July 2013
Crown Copyright ©
Mrs Justice Pauffley :
The allegations form, content and chronology from 2009-2010
- When she was 8 years old, her uncle had had an affair and she had told her aunt who did not believe her.
- As a result, her uncle was punishing her.
- He had taken her clothes off, licked, touched and had sex with her.
- He had also videoed her.
- X said the punishment was until she felt pain.
- It was, she said, a "deal" between her and her uncle because she had done wrong.
- Her uncle and aunt had divorced and he had gone back to Australia. When he came back to England, he collected her from school in a hire car. She hated the smell; he would take her to a quiet location and would have sex with her.
- During the summer between year 7 and year 8, she said she had missed two periods and taken tablets in an attempted overdose because she was concerned she might be pregnant. X said she had done a test which was positive and if it had been right, she had been the "murderer" of a foetus. She had not told "him" as she had been scared.
- X said her uncle did not come back so much. "It's quicker now." "No messing about, he just gets on with it."
- She said he had not been able to find her during the summer of 2009 because she was in (an identified foreign country).
- She said, "Don't really do that much talking, he does the talking."
- When X was reminded that the information she had supplied would have to be passed on, she said, "I deserve to be punished ... Must suffer the consequences."
- She had then said, "None of it was true. I lied." She was not willing to sign anything. A little later she said, "I lied because I was bored."
X's evidence associated problems
F's final submissions
Miss Morgan's closing submissions
Z County Council's observations
The part played in the hearing by the Children's Guardian's team
Burden and standard of proof: credibility and lies
Discussion and overall conclusion
The initial revelations the hearsay evidence
X's affect as reported by others in relation to complaints made in 2009 and 2010
X's presentation at this hearing
The extraordinary nature, in part, of what is alleged
X's evidence voluntarily given constancy devoid of ambiguity
Motivation the potential for a false allegation why name F?
The emotional cost to X of participating
Detail surrounding the allegations parts corroborated by F?
Inconsistencies the 'trigger event'
X's troubled childhood
F's denials presentation as a witness