Local authority to monitor children of violent criminal

prison, children, parents

The London Borough of Newham has been told it must keep a watchful eye on the three children of a man convicted of violent crimes.

In 2003, the father was found guilty of offences which included attempted rape, indecent assault, actual bodily harm and attempted indecent assault. The victim of all of these crimes was a 15 year-old boy he met at a mosque. When the sexual attacks were reported to the police, the father attacked the young man with a hammer. After a trial he was initially sentenced to prison for six years but was released after only four.

Last year, he was convicted of rape and attempted rape. This time the victim was an 11 year-old girl. The father was still awaiting sentence when the local authority launched care proceedings over his children.

The Borough applied for a care order which would allow them to take the children away from their parents. They decided on this course of action because the man and his wife had told social services that they were going to stay together despite his crimes. However, the story changed when the case reached the Family Court. The mother said she intended to go through with both an Islamic divorce and a legal divorce “when she is in a financial position to do so”.

Her Honour Judge Purkiss heard the application. She said the evidence was clear that the father posed a serious risk to the children’s safety so he should not be allowed to see them even when he is released from prison.

By contrast, the mother would be “well able to meet their emotional needs” and that with appropriate support, she would be “well able to meet their physical and educational needs” the judge added.

Instead of the care order sought, Judge Purkiss made a ‘supervision order’ which would be put in place for a year. This would allow the children to remain in their mother’s care but under the supervision of the local authority. She also ruled that the father would be limited “indirect contact” with the children once a year, meaning he could only communicate with them through letters, emails or phone calls rather than seeing them in person.

Read London Borough Of Newham v BR & Ors in full here.

Photo by meesh via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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Andrew - March 21, 2016 at 5:29pm

Am I alone at being concerned that the judge twice refers to the mother’s intention to seek an Islamic divorce?
See section 44 of the Family Law Act 1986 – there is in the UK no such thing as an Islamic divorce. There is a divorce granted by a court of civil jurisdiction, in England the County Court. And that is all there is. If this proposed action is to be in England the word “divorce” should be in quotation marks to emphasise that it will be without legal effect.
I get similarly annoyed when social workers and occasionally judges refer to a “cultural marriage”. Either there is a marriage within the meaning of the Act of 1949 as amended or there is not. A cultural “marriage” in England is a non-event, a non-marriage, not even a void marriage.
In fact I suppose the only time when an Islamic “divorce” has a function is to “dissolve” an Islamic cultural “marriage”. As Lord Macaulay said: a forged receipt on a forged cheque.
. Anyone disagree?

JamesB - March 22, 2016 at 10:08am


In Jagger vs Jagger the Judge said Mick had to pay Jerry anyway.

With Henry VIII there was an issue on if one of his wives was married before – so the marriage would be annulled – by giving herself to the man as common law wife, or was adultery then Henry would need a divorce.

As a lawyer you will dispute the existence of common law husband and wife. That it doesn’t exist in your books doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

If two people believe themselves to be married before God, whether it be subject to Islamic law or not I don’t think you can say they are not. As per your earlier post, people should stick to their word. So you perhaps are going against that a bit by saying there is not a marriage unless the courts say there is.

Like in a Few Good Men, where they talk about code reds. Because they are not in the book doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Just thought I’d try and bring the lawyers back down to reality again. They do like this take it or leave it thing they do and think they run the place. Well, with the numbers avoiding the official version of marriage I suggest the official version of marriage (or rather ancillary relief) should be amended to have more consent with regards to how people live and want to live, less subject to the dodgy people in the houses of parliament and family law courts as they are presently. Thus your denial of sharia law and divorce and justice in the UK doesn’t really help. Denying something exists doesn’t make it not exist. Like the stages of grief perhaps. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

As Gandi said, First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win. Denying the thing as you suggest isn’t the way. We should put in place better laws then to ban it (Sharia and other such courts) and lock people up who adhere to or attend such courts and laws. Not before we have fairer laws though as currently would be locking up millions of sharia married or common law married or Bin Deth married or Hindu married etc.

I haven’t read the original post, only the comments. Thought I’d put the other side to that Andrew. Plus yes, not doing the lawyer thing and arguing something I don’t believe. With the possible exception of the locking up people for living together without getting married under UK law I do believe what I have posted here. Regards.

JamesB - March 22, 2016 at 10:24am

Only God can marry people Andrew, and that happens when they agree to marry each other, whether or not they sign the document you mention doesn’t mean they are or are not married. I agree it would be better if this were done under civil law though, not least for the protection of women having children or less wealthy spouse just not under MCA 73 which is prohibitively expensive.

Andrew - March 22, 2016 at 2:03pm

I don’t do theology. But if only God can marry people then in England He does it through the mechanisms set up under the Marriage Acts which ensure that everyone seeking to marry (1) signs a declaration before a public official under criminal penalty if it is not true that s/he is free to marry the other person under English law (not already married, not within the prohibited degrees, old enough) and (2) registers the marriage and gets a certificate in the form which English officialdom, courts and public are used to. There is nothing unnatural about that.
As for divorce that is entrusted to the courts. I would prefer it to be the Registrar but in either event it is in the hands of a public authority which is as it should be.
There is nothing to stop mosques (as this case concerns Muslims) from being registered for marriages as other non-Anglican places of worship are; then like chapels and synagogues and those few mosques which are registered they could marry people without a separate civil ceremony.
But there is no place for religious divorces unless they go hand in hand with a legal civil divorce.

JamesB - March 22, 2016 at 11:09am

Not just to protect women but to protect men as well. Like the guy who married Nicole Kidman, I think he gets $100000 per year he is married to her and a $1000000 every ten years. Think he’s a singer and other things also not just Mr Kidman. If you don’t believe me look it up.

JamesB - March 22, 2016 at 1:00pm

There is something called natural law. You should look it up. Civil or criminal or man made laws should not diverge from it too much or they will become ignored like what is happening with MCA 1973 and CSA/CMEC/CMS and other examples.

Luke - March 21, 2016 at 8:21pm

“When the sexual attacks were reported to the police, the father attacked the young man with a hammer. After a trial he was initially sentenced to prison for six years but was released after only four.

Last year, he was convicted of rape and attempted rape. This time the victim was an 11 year-old girl.”
That in a nutshell highlights one of the biggest issues in our shambles of a criminal justice system, it’s pathetically weak.
The man should still have been looking at the inside of 4 walls from his previous offence when he raped the 11 year old.

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