(Family Division, Peter Jackson J, 14 January 2013)
The mother and father were cousins, who originated from Pakistan. The mother and three children had been moved to an unknown location following the mother's serious allegations against the father and his family of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. She also believed the paternal family were responsible for the death of her cousin and her first born child but no dependable evidence existed to support this belief.
The paternal family denied the allegations and claimed the mother was in a relationship with a drug dealer by whom she had a fourth child. The mother gave false evidence to the court claiming the child was born as a result of a one night stand and that she had no further relationship with the man. However, the mother gave evidence that conflicted with that assertion at the man's criminal trial. During the fact-finding hearing the mother claimed she lied to the court because she feared for the safety of herself and her child.
The judge found that the mother's deception regarding her relationship was deplorable and made it harder for the court to determine the truth. However, her other allegations were not undermined by this, taking into account all the evidence. Her explanation that she was trying to protect herself and her children was credible given the history.
On the balance of probabilities the mother's allegations, excluding those in relation to her cousin and first born child, were made out.