(Court of Appeal, Sullivan, Black, Ryder LJJ, 2 July 2013)
When the parents of the 2-year-old child separated, a non-molestation order in favour of the mother was granted due to serious allegations of the father's behaviour, including his drug and alcohol addiction, physical and sexual abuse as well as his administration of a noxious substance to the child. She failed to attend the family hearings claiming to be petrified. The father was granted a prohibited steps order in the mother's absence preventing her from removing the child from the jurisdiction to live in Cyprus where she had family. The mother appealed.
The appeal was dismissed. In circumstances where there was no residence order in place the justices had rightly given consideration to the risk of the child's removal. The Art 8, European Convention rights of the child, mother and father were all engaged and while the order was an interference of those rights, it had not been disproportionate.