The Father v The mother (Re A-M & Anor) [2023] EWFC 124

Alex Aspinwall (for the father) and Robin Powell (for the mother) appeared in a fact-finding hearing concerning allegations of abuse made by the respondent mother. The mother raised 39 separate allegations to advance a case of controlling and coercive behaviour dating from the parties first meeting until separation. The court determined that it would only hear evidence in relation to 14 of those allegations. The father, in turn, alleged a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour directed against him. He submitted that the children’s removal from the jurisdiction was part of a wider plan to freeze him out of their lives.

Evidence was given over the course of 4 days and counsel made submissions on (a) the proper approach to considering evidence of controlling and coercive behaviour in light of the decision in Re H-N & Ors [2021] EWCA Civ 448, (b) the approach to Lucas directions following A, B and C [2021] EWCA Civ 451 and (c) the credibility of each party and weight to be given various pieces of evidence presented to the court.

Please see here for the judgment. The court’s findings are set out at [124]. 10 findings were made against the father.