• Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: In shock - summoned to court over child neglect

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 month ago #75618

  • antlen
  • antlen's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 64
  • Thank you received: 2
Hi,

some of you maybe familiar with my story, for those of you who aren't:

I have been involved in a nasty custody battle with my ex over my soon to be 3 year old daughter. In the beginning of January this year, my daughter was in my care from Friday to Sunday. Over that weekend my Daughter was a nightmare screaming, hitting, kicking, throwing herself on the floor, pulling her hair out etc. On the Sunday she sustained a bruise below her left eye during one of her tantrums. I took photos and explained the incident to her mother. 3 days later, the police call and ask to interview my partner and I. It turns out that my daughter has sustained more bruising to her left cheek and also her right cheek, the doctor who examined my daughter confirmed it was a non accidental injury (They say it was caused by someone grabbing her face). We maintain our innocence to this day, social services even ruled my partner out due to her disability, which prevents her from gripping an object hard enough to cause bruising.

That was over 5 months ago, during that time I have done everything the police/social services have asked me to do, today though I have received a letter from my solicitor confirming that my partner and I will be charged with child neglect.

I am in total shock after reading the letter. To top it off, my partner is severely disabled and the stress this will cause her is very very bad. How do i break the news to her?

Also, has anyone been to court for something similar? what was the process like?

Finally, what differs child neglect from child abuse? And what could the punishment be, if the unthinkable happens?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. In total shock here

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 month ago #75620

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8561
  • Thank you received: 1815
Hi there

I'm really to sorry to hear this, unfortunately I have little knowledge of this area of law, it is a criminal rather than a civil matter so your solicitor would be best placed to answer any questions you may have.

I will try and look into the court process, I think you would have a preliminary hearing first and then a plea in case management hearing ....but I'm no expert.

It's probably best to tell your partner sooner rather than later to give her time to get her head round what is happening. Being charged doesn't mean that you will be found guilty and if your solicitor felt that the evidence was weak you are in with A chance of beating it.

Unlike the civil court there is no balance of probability and a criminal case has to be proven.

All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 month ago #75629

  • antlen
  • antlen's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 64
  • Thank you received: 2
Thanks for the reply.

Solicitor says I have to wait to receive summons from court before they can advise.

Will speak to my partner when I see her Thursday. Hurdle for now is to find the money for the solicitor!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 month ago #75793

  • antlen
  • antlen's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 64
  • Thank you received: 2
So, summons has arrived for both my partner and I. Partner took it really bad at first but after talking about it, she has calmed down abit. I have found a solicitor, who has experience in this type of case. Good news is my partner qualifies for legal aid, which is good :) However, I don't so finding the money is the next step....

the court date is not for a month yet, waiting is the hardest part. I am very worried about the affect of these accusations on my reputation, job etc. Anyone have any ideas how to stop worrying?

I also came to a very hard decision today. After this court hearing and the outcome, I will no longer be persuing custody of my daughter. 3 years of court appearances, police investigations, threats, disappointment, stress, paranoia and false allegations I can no longer take it, I feel like I am at breaking point.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 month ago #75795

Hello antlen,

Having read your post and how you describe your daughter's behaviour to be, quote, "throwing herself on the floor, pulling her hair out etc.," I wondered if she has ever been referred to a child psychologist as her behaviour appears to me to be very extreme and that of a deeply troubled child? In light of the accusations levelled at you, I wondered if a referral might shed some light as to the true situation which could be of help to you.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 month ago #75798

  • antlen
  • antlen's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 64
  • Thank you received: 2
Hi Motherofafather,

I have tried to get her referred many times, her mum, social workers, doctors etc all assure me that this is normal behaviour for a 2 year old.

They have also glossed over the fact that her mother has borderline personality disorder and how my daughter ticks all the boxes. When we were together my ex would scream, shout, hit, kick, slap, spit, ignore, cry and pull her hair out. Which is everything my daughter does.

I will be mentioning this to my solicitor, as I think it puts a lot things into perspective..

This whole situation is really stressing me out!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 month ago #75804

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8561
  • Thank you received: 1815
I'm sure it must be very distressing for you both, you have each ther to lean on and talking does help...you can always post here to if you need to vent about it. In the meantime just try and carry on as normal, keeping busy will help and if you are struggling too much it might help to talk to your GP about it.

I hope your solicitor has been able to give you some perspective about what to expect, I'm surprised it's got to court and the onus is on them to prove it beyond doubt so chin up and try not to worry.

All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 4 years 1 week ago #76335

  • antlen
  • antlen's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 64
  • Thank you received: 2
So plea hearing is in 5 days, to say I am nervous would be an understatement. My solicitor has said there is not alot we can do until hearing has taken place and evidence has been presented, allthough she did say that she is surprised it has gotten this far (must be a good sign).

My partner seems to be dealing with it better than I am and doesn't appear worried at all. I on the other hand am having trouble sleeping and continously worrying that we will be wrongly found guilty. Stress levels are very high!!

Hopefully, this can all be dealt with before the end of the year.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 3 years 11 months ago #76762

  • antlen
  • antlen's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Boarder
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 64
  • Thank you received: 2
We are due in crown court this monday for case management hearing. Solictor read the outline of case and immediately said the case cant be heard in a magistrates court. So first round was won by us, as magistrate granted this request.

Solicitor, is yet to receive all the evidence from CSP (phone copies, pictures, voice recordings, statements and partners medical letter from doctor). ONce we have all this and explain to the jury my history with my ex, solcitior is almost certain that the jury will see the truth.

Still very nervous and stressed about the whole thing, but feel better since meeting with solictor.

Has anyone had any experience in a crown court? Specifically talking infront of a jury.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 3 years 11 months ago #76785

  • Yoda
  • Yoda's Avatar
  • Away
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2661
  • Thank you received: 450
Hi antlen, I'm afraid I don't and not sure if many of our dads will as mostly they have experience of contact.

It's great that they have a solicitor and they will be able to guide you through the process. It will be the judge or barristers who you have to speak to and the jury usually sit to the side of you, that's about my knowledge on the matter I'm afraid.

Wishing you the best of luck and we are here for you.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

In shock - summoned to court over child neglect 3 years 11 months ago #76820

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8561
  • Thank you received: 1815
Hi there

As Yoda has said you'll be guided by your barrister, it's a case management hearing and you may be asked what you will plea. The hearing tomorrow will be about planning how the case will be managed, so you probably won't be in court for too long.

My knowledge is also limited, but it's good that you are in Crown and that your solicitor is optimistic for you.

As you are pleading not guilty I would imagine you will be questioned by the prosecution barrister, try not to worry, take a little time and think about your answers, keeping them short and truthful. Your barrister will also question you but their questions will be guided to show your innocence, whereas the other sides barrister will be trying to slip you up... That's why it's better not to waffle, keep your answers short and hopefully the truth will become apparent.

Of course if the evidence is weak, it might not get that far....it can be thrown out if the Barrister feels theres not enough evidence to convict, they may decide before going in that there's no case to answer.

Regardless, the onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond doubt that you are guilty and from what you have said, there are good reasons for the case not to be found.

All the best for tomorrow.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Samantha Downes