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(Court of Appeal, Rix, Tomlinson, McFarlane LJJ, 24 July 2012)
When the unmarried parents separated the mother took the two children, aged 9 and 6 to a different town without notifying the father. The father was granted parental responsibility and sought a contact order. The judge awarded the father only indirect contact by way of cards, letters and gifts once per month.
The father appealed. The mother claimed the father had subjected her to significant domestic violence but at a fact-finding hearing only one allegation, that he spat at her, was proved but a non-molestation order remained in force and the father was arrested on a number of occasions for breaching it. Allowing the appeal. There was insufficient evidence to support a no contact order and displace the general principle that contact with both parents is in best interests of child.
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