A judge has ordered a father convicted of violent crimes to only have indirect contact with his three children, and has told the London Borough of Newham that it must keep a watchful eye on the youngsters.
The London borough had applied for a care order for the children to allow them to take them away from their parents.
They did this because the man and his wife had told social services that they were going to stay together despite his crimes. However, the mother had changed her mind when the case reached the Family Court.
In September 2003, the father was convicted on four charges: attempted rape of a male under the age of 16; indecent assault of a male under the age of 16; actual bodily harm (against the victim of his sexual assaults) and a further count of attempted indecent assault on a male under the age of 16.
The victim of those offences was the same person – a young man aged 15 he had met and befriended at his mosque.
Two years later, the victim disclosed what had happened to the police. After going to the police, the victim was attacked with a hammer by the father of the children in question. For the offences, he was sentenced to prison for six years but released after 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.
By the time the case came to the Family Court, the mother of the three children had announced she intended to go through with both an Islamic divorce and a legal divorce.
Her Honour Judge Purkiss heard the application. She said the mother did not speak English, had very little education and was illiterate. The mother’s understanding of what had happened had largely come from the paternal family.
Judge Purkiss added she thought criticism of the mother for failing to protect her children was fair, “but I think her own circumstances provide a particular context for her slowly developing appreciation of the risk father posed and her actions/inaction needs to be viewed in that particular context.”
She said 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.”
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. The father, she ruled, would only be able to communicate with them through letters, emails or phone calls.