Alex Aspinwall appeared for the applicant father in a final hearing set against significant findings of domestic abuse (made at a a fact-finding hearing reported as The Father v The Mother [2023] EWFC 124). The Final Hearing was listed for 4 days and saw cross-examination of two expert witnesses who both gave evidence in support of letterbox contact. Alex sought to persuade the court to make an order for long-term supervised contact and was critical of the professional evidence before the court. He pointed to the section 7 officer seeming to apply a test of ‘fairness’ (as opposed to welfare) and argued that both experts were too absolutist in their conclusions on the father. Both witnesses accepted that they may have been overly absolutist but stuck to their recommendations.


The court made an order that the father be limited to letterbox contact only. Findings were made in respect of his insight and ability to safeguard the children if further contact were to be ordered. The court pointed to Alex’s helpful summary of the law as reproduced at annex 2 of the judgment.