A mother may never be allowed to care for her four children again after refusing to leave her violent partner who ‘destroyed any kind of acceptable family life’.
Senior family judge, Lord Justice Thorpe, said that the mother had formed a relationship with the man after the father of her three older children died in a road accident.
She had to choose between her children, the youngest aged under two, and the man who wrecked her family but had proved ‘quite incapable of breaking the obsessive relationship’.
The youngest child, a boy, was taken into care and placed for adoption after the mother refused to break up with his father. Special guardianship orders were made in respect of the other three children who were removed from their mother's care.
At the Court of Appeal, the mother argued that the orders were ‘draconian’ and that she was as much a victim of domestic violence as her children were.
However, rejecting her appeal as ‘hopeless’, Lord Justice Thorpe said that her ‘extremely violent and abusive’ partner had destroyed any semblance of happy family life and that there was no prospect of her being allowed to care for her children unless she breaks her obsession with him.
The children had suffered ‘emotional harm’ as a result the violence pervading their home and the judge said that the oldest child, a girl aged 11, had in effect acted ‘as her mother's advocate and protector’.