Court Dismisses Appeal Over Return Of Children From Bangladesh

Judge’s hands tied as child relocation to Sweden goes ahead

Mr Justice Mostyn
Mr Justice Mostyn

A High Court Judge has described overseas relocation of a child is one of the hardest decisions he has to make and regretted the inevitable “bitter disappointment” faced by one of the parents.

In NJ v OV [2014] EWHC 4130 (Fam) Judge Mostyn said the decision was essentially a black and white one with no discretion to find solutions acceptable to both parents.

The mother of the four year old girl at the centre of dispute was said to have had a turbulent relationship with her rather dysfunctional family in Sweden and the girl’s Swedish grandfather had been jailed for arson. The mother had also previously abducted the girl and taken her back to Sweden – and been forced to return to the UK under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Whilst her daughter was in the care of her mother in the UK, her nursery school reported that the girl was displaying sexualised behaviour. The girl also sustained a cut and bruising on her left eye and bruising on her behind and on her chest at separate times and ended up being placed upon a child protection plan.

The mother was also found, following a hair strand test because the nursery school reported she smelled of alcohol, to be drinking excessively over a prolonged period. She also formed a relationship with a new partner who was abusive and sexually violent. There were several police visits and the girl witnessed some of this.

Despite all this the judge accepted the mother had begun to turn round her “anarchic and dysfunctional life.” He also accepted her psychological report that her emotional well- being would be damaged if she was forced to remain in London.

The Judge pointed out that the legal system here appeared to punish self -sacrifice and virtue and to reward selfish and uncontrolled emotions and described this as a complete reversal of the Judgement of King Solomon where loving acceptance was rewarded.  He ruled that the child should live in Sweden with her mother and that the father should travel there to visit her.

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