a father who is on trial for indecency towards his two daughters has been granted the right to supervised contact
The 64 year old was previously denied direct or indirect contact with his daughters and was not allowed to approach within 100 meters. However, when he petitioned to vary his bail the court granted him two hours a week of supervised access with his daughters.
The girls were reportedly not happy about it. A detective in the case said that the girls cried when told about the visitation. The prosecution protested against the grant, contending that it will put psychological pressure on the girls, could generate conflicting feelings and make them uncooperative witnesses. In short, the prosecution’s case may be seriously damaged against the father who is currently charged with six “extremely serious” acts of indecency.
It is the girls themselves who described the alleged indecent acts through drawings which were already submitted to Court. As an explanation, Magistrate David Mossop said that the unfortunate delays likely before the man faced trial in the Supreme Court were influential in his decision. He assured that the interaction between the father and his daughters would be closely monitored and scrutinized.
The bold move of the Magistrate to grant the supervised access is an unwelcome surprise considering that the man is under trial for six “extremely serious” charges of acts of indecency. The man is basically accused of committing child abuse, aside from violating criminal laws.
Under Section 4(1) of the Family Law Act, Abuse, in relation to a child is defined as:
(a) an assault, including a sexual assault, of the child; or
(b) a person (the first person) involving the child in a sexual activity with the first person or another person in which the child is used, directly or indirectly, as a sexual object by the first person or the other person, and where there is an unequal power in the relationship between the child and the first person;
Section 60 CC of the Family Law provides that whenever courts determine what is in the best interest of the child, a primary consideration is the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm, from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.
It is a struggle to think how the supervised visitation could be in the best interests of the children. Rather, it might just cause them more psychological harm. The court could have at least maintained the status quo until after the termination of the entire case.
Sources:Knaus, C. (2013, February 27). Father accused of indecent acts given supervised access.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.