ON APPEAL FROM THE PRINCIPAL REGISTRY OF THE FAMILY DIVISION
MRS JUSTICE THEIS
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LADY JUSTICE BLACK
| In the matter of D (Children)
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Robin Barda (instructed by Hornby & Levy Sols) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.
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Lord Justice Thorpe:
"69. The mother's case is that she would not return back to France if LU was ordered to return there. Her oral evidence was inconsistent about that. In her oral evidence on the first day, after careful questioning from me to ensure she understood the questions, she quite clearly stated in the event that the children were returned to France she would go back and care for the children whilst her application for the children to live with her in England was considered by the French courts.
70. I gave permission for there to be discussions about this overnight, as it was a change from her stated position at the start of the case, to see if there was any common ground between the parties. When she returned her oral evidence the following evidence, she said she would not return but was unable to articulate any real reason for her change in stance. I found her change in evidence about that aspect wholly unconvincing. I noted in some of her answers on this aspect on the second day she said, 'If' which I took to mean that the reality was that she was holding her position until the court made a decision. Although I find it more likely than not that if I did order the children's return to France she would accompany them, I have to acknowledge there is no guarantee about that."
"In the event of [Leo] not returning to live in France with his father, he is likely to be able to continue to see his father on a regular basis."
"This, in my judgment, should include the children seeing their father in France, sooner rather than later, with suitable orders made in this jurisdiction to secure their return."
"And the parties agreeing reasonable visiting contact in England, the mother not agreeing to staying contact in France."
Lady Justice Black:
Order: Appeal allowed