ON APPEAL FROM BRIGHTON COUNTY COURT
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE HOLLIS)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE PITCHFORD
LADY JUSTICE BLACK
| IN THE MATTER OF H (A CHILD)
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Mr Thistle (instructed by Knocker and Foskett) appeared on behalf of the Respondent Mother.
(AS APPROVED BY THE COURT)
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Lady Justice Black:
"I had to reassure her several times that I had no intention of taking her anywhere and that I wanted and needed to know what she herself wanted as I was acting in her best interest. "
"Ultimately, given her age it appears that [H] has 'voted with her feet' and chosen to reside with her father at present, although this has been disruptive to her schooling and I would respectfully express to the Court that her educational needs must be addressed as a matter of urgency by [her father]. In the interim it appears that H should remain with her father until my assessment can be completed.
I also understand that [the mother] wishes to take H away to South Africa, although upsetting for her I have advised [the mother] that at H's age it is simply not practically possible to force her to go abroad and is likely to further damage their relationship."
"Some times I feel like running away and I can always picture myself living with Dad."
In that document she refers to anxieties about her mother looking at her emails, which of course foreshadows what happened in the course of last week.
"...because my dad had told me only about my mum reading my emails, and sending them to her solicitor"
That handwritten letter ends:
"Please do not make me go back to Kent because I will run away."
"Please do not make me go back to my mum's. As I said before I am willing to run away or take my own life."
It also says that H is scared of her mother and does not want any contact with her.
Lord Justice Pitchford:
Lord Justice Ward:
Order: Appeal allowed