Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Woman lied about child abuse out of spite after divorce

A High Court judge has urged Social Services to monitor the children of a woman who falsely accused their father of sexually abusing them.

Mr Justice Weir held that the woman lied consistently about her former husband and was motivated by spite during a divorce case he heard.

The judge described her as a highly unsatisfactory witness whose “many lurid and extreme allegations” were completely without foundation.

He said he was sufficiently concerned about her claims to direct that copies of his judgment, which have just been published, should be provided to Social Services and kept on file.

In his ruling he noted how she had prevented one child from going on a school trip to a pantomime last Christmas, and would have blocked another outing but for his intervention.

“Her explanation for those fatuous decisions was an expressed concern that the child might be kidnapped by the respondent (her ex-husband) while on either of the trips,” Mr Justice Weir said.

“I am satisfied that that explanation was entirely bogus and that the petitioner's selfish action in that regard was solely for the purpose of attempting to bolster her false claims against the respondent regardless of its consequences for her child.”

The couple split up in June 2007. Later the woman moved 80 miles from her ex-husband with their two children.

In July 2008, she refused to allow the children to attend a planned birthday party at the man’s parents’ house.

It later emerged that her reason for preventing the children from visiting their paternal grandparents was due to allegations of sexual abuse by her ex-husband.

The woman unaccountably agreed that she did not mention these serious matters to the grandparents in whose care the children had previously been, Mr Justice Weir commented.

There was also a delay in reporting the matter to a health visitor.

“Her evidence was most inconsistent and at times frankly incredible. She repeatedly contradicted herself in the course of her evidence,” the judge said.

“Initially I thought that she might be suffering from some form of paranoid delusion but as her evidence proceeded and its frailties were painstakingly exposed to her I concluded rather that she was motivated in large measure by spite directed towards the respondent and that her evidence was mendacious.”

Mr Justice Weir also disclosed how, on the final day of the hearing, he cautioned the woman about the possible consequences of lying under oath.

Eventually the woman agreed to withdraw the allegations she had made against her ex-husband.

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