CONTACT: Re R (Contact)

08 AUG 2007

(Court of Appeal; Ward, Mummery and Jacob LJJ; 8 August 2007)

The court allowed the mother's appeal against an interim order that the father have contact for two half-hour sessions over the summer holidays, within established contact sessions with the paternal grandparents, both the CAFCASS officer and the psychiatrist having expressed the view that contact should wait until the child was fully settled into school. The court held that the judge had misdirected himself in describing such contact as modest. In the context of a 5-year-old child who was visually impaired, suffered from Aspergers, and possibly ADHD, and who exhibited extreme behaviour at school, such contact was a giant leap for the child to take at her stage of development. A delay in the short-term would not seriously harm the child, and all the issues could be examined during the 3 day contact hearing due to take place.

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