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Reported Case

Mrs Justice Parker -and- Re SJ (a child) [2014] EWHC 58 (Fam) (22 January 2014)

Date: 22/01/2014
Duncan Lewis, Reported Case Solicitors, Mrs Justice Parker -and- Re SJ (a child) [2014] EWHC 58 (Fam)

High Court of Justice - Family Division

S is 9 and the subject of proceedings in England and Spain. The English court has declared that she is habitually resident here and made other consequential directions. The Spanish court has refused to return her to this jurisdiction pursuant to the Hague Convention.

M's application is to set aside declarations made by the English Court on 14 December 2012 and 7 February 2013 as to (i) habitual residence (ii) wrongful retention. Alternatively she invites the court to reassess habitual residence as at today's date.

Although this is a jurisdiction issue, the parties both raise serious welfare issues about S, on different grounds. M asserts that F has sexually abused S, and made a number of other allegations against him: and asserts that S has never bonded with him. F asserts that M neglects S, has turned her against him and compromised her welfare in other ways too. S has written a number of emails to F since her removal from England, long pre-dating the sexual abuse assertions, making a wide range of allegations (but not of sexual abuse) in rather wild and mostly unspecific language, and echoing the mother's emailed complaints: from failing to send a birthday present to alleging that F is a 'killer' because he was responsible for his father's death: an accusation also made by the mother.


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