Dad fails in court appeal to see his daughters

A dad from the Swindon area has lost his appeal to find out why his children do not want to see him for five years

A dad from the Swindon area has lost his appeal to find out why his children do not want to see him for five years

First published in News

A DAD who has not been allowed to see his children for five years has lost a Court of Appeal bid to find out why they do not want to be with him.

The father-of-two last saw his two daughters in 2009 after an acrimonious parting from their mother tore the family, from the Swindon area, apart.

She had accused him of domestic abuse and raised concerns about the girls seeing their paternal grandparents.

He was cleared of the allegations, but despite the attempts of the authorities, the dad has not seen the children since their last “happy” contact five years ago.

In June last year, he took his case to the Bristol District Registry where he asked a judge to order that there be direct contact between him and his children, aged 10 and seven.

But his case was refused and now, after a desperate plea to Court of Appeal judges, the decision has been upheld.

The London court heard that the children’s court-appointed guardian said their desire not to see their father could not be any clearer.

However, the dad argued that court-ordered attempts to “desensitize” the children with a view to increasing contact were insufficient.

Inadequate account had been given by the Bristol judge to the detrimental impact not seeing their father might have on the girls, he continued.

And he complained that no one had yet managed to find out just why his children do not want to see him.

Giving judgment and rejecting his plea for direct contact, Lady Justice Black said: “It is understandable that he should wish to know and that he may think that knowing would unlock the door to contact by enabling someone to overcome their apprehensions.

“However, it is not always possible to find out reliably, or at all, what the root cause of feelings is and there are very often a number of factors in play.

“There has already been a considerable amount of expert input into the children’s lives without a firm diagnosis being arrived at.

“The judge’s decision, supported by the guardian, was that the time had come when it was not in the children’s interests to pursue matters further and I do not think he can be said to have been wrong.”

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Ryder and Sir Stanley Burnton, rejected the dad’s appeal.

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