Daughter makes legal history in custody row
Published 16/04/2010 | 05:00
AN Irish-born father whose daughter was just five when she spoke of her fear of him has lost a legal battle in Britain to have his children return to live with him here.
In a case that has made legal history, a British judge ruled that the girl (now 6) and her brother (8), had "attained an age and level of maturity" to have their wishes taken into account.
They had earlier told support services of their objections to living with their father.
The details of the family law case emerged yesterday after an appeal this week by the father against a judge's decision in the British Court of Appeal.
The siblings and their younger brother lived in Ireland before their mother removed them to England last summer without telling their father of her intentions -- he came home from work to find his family had gone.
Last month, Mrs Justice Black, sitting in the British High Court's Family Division in London, rejected an application by the father for the return of the children.
Details of that decision emerged following an unsuccessful move this week by the father to challenge her ruling.
The girl was aged just five when she was interviewed by an officer from Britain's Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.She and her older brother said that they did not love their father and that they were scared of him.