(Court of Appeal; Wilson LJ and Henderson J; 21 January 2010)
The judge found that the father had been guilty of sexual misconduct towards the child when the child was very young and towards the maternal grandmother. The father had begun to enjoy supervised non-staying contact.
The child, now 9, questioned the need for supervision and the court decided that the child should be informed about the findings by the consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist. After this the child became increasingly resistant to seeing the father. The judge ordered a gradual increase in contact with both the father and the paternal grandparents, to which the child reacted in a very negative fashion. The guardian and four other professionals associated with the child recommended that no contact be forced on the child for a while. However, the judge ordered almost an immediate staying contact with the paternal grandparents.
Appeal allowed. Failure to explain departure from recommendation by guardian.