Posted by Norman Hartnell on 29th March 2018
Last updated 3rd September 2020

I recently acted for a mum who told me that she had suffered a miscarriage of justice. Some years previously a decision was made in which the Court did not believe that she had been subject to domestic violence because there was no external evidence (as there often isn’t) of assaults, and her ex at the time was found to be plausible by the Court.

In fact, he had been arrested for causing criminal damage to her car whilst she and the child were in it, but because he pleaded not guilty his criminal trial was postponed until a year or so later. During this time, a number of decisions had been made based on the mum being unreasonably resistant, on the basis that there was no evidence of an abusive relationship.

Before the mum came to see us, one decision after another had been made that put her in a poor light – notwithstanding the fact that when it came to the criminal trial her ex had been convicted of criminal damage and made subject to a Restraining Order to protect her. That fact was largely overlooked in the approach of the Court and the expert.

It seemed to me that there was an obvious injustice here in that the two previous sets of conclusions of the Criminal and Family Court were inconsistent. I asked the Judge to allow the mum to have a hearing to look at matters afresh.

The mum was distraught when the more senior Judge said no but not to be deterred. I helped her appeal against that Order. The High Court Judge hearing the appeal agreed that there needed to be a fresh look at all matters, and that the fact that her ex had been found guilty and convicted (having pleaded not guilty to the criminal charge) was obviously a matter that should be taken into account when looking at the other accusations being made about the abusive relationships.

The case is reported at [2017] EWHC2626.

What the case proves is that if you can show a mistake has been made, the Courts will ultimately listen and justice can be served.

Need some advice? Get in touch today

Norman is Joint Managing Director and a vastly experienced family law solicitor. He has spent over 30 years specialising in Family Law and was one of the country’s first family mediators. He is a pioneer in changing the face of family law and in driving the business from its creation to the striving business it is today.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
The information submitted here is used and stored for the purpose of replying to the enquiry. For more information on how we process data please visit our Privacy Policy.

Information Articles

+ More Blog Articles
Would you like to speak to someone? Find out how to get in touch...