||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 85 (Oct)
||Court of Appeal, Civil Division
Thorpe, Keene LJJ and Hedley J
||Janet Bazley QC for the mother.
||Jane Probyn for the father.
||9 October 2008
Family proceedings - Evidence - Child making disclosure to teaching assistant regarding father's inappropriate sexual behaviour - Teaching assistant unable to remember precisely comment made by child - Mother commencing private law proceedings - Expert witness giving evidence at fact finding hearing - Judge vacating hearing following submission by father that no basis for five-day hearing - Whether judge erring.
Family proceedings Evidence. Court of Appeal, Civil Division: In a case where the mother had commenced private law proceedings following a remark made by her daughter, K, aged five, regarding inappropriate sexual behaviour by the father, the judge had erred in vacating further days listed for a fact finding hearing following hearing only the expert witness. It was crucial for the judge, at a minimum, to hear the evidence of the person to whom K had made the disclosure and the evidence of the parents. In all the circumstances, the judge had been premature in aborting the hearing. The substance of the core concerns were not negated by the failings of proper procedure; nor were they negated by differences in what K had said to several individuals.
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