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(Court of Appeal, Sullivan, Rafferty LJJ, Ryder J, 20 March 2013)
When the parents of two children, aged 7 and 6, separated the father sought contact. A fact-finding hearing took place to determine the truthfulness of the mother's allegations against the father. Findings were made that: the father raped the mother; the father assaulted the mother; the father twice smacked one of the children; the father claimed that having one of the children sat on his lap gave him an erection and that the mother did not make that allegation maliciously; the father was responsible for a message sent from the mother's Facebook account. The father appealed.
It was not necessary for a judge to give a reason for every decision. That would only be required where there would otherwise be a logically fatal inconsistency which would render the judge's acceptance of evidence plainly wrong. In a case such as this though there was often little more that a judge could say on a particular issue other than that he believed X or disbelieved Y.
There could be no complaint of the judge's careful analysis of the allegations and it was clear that the mother's evidence was preferred to that of the father. The allegations were taken in the context of that view as to credibility and careful reasons were provided for that decision. Appeal dismissed.
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