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F v F [2007] EWHC 2543 (Fam)

Judgment in contested contact and residence proceedings.

There were six applications before the judge. The mother was seeking the father's committal for breach of a previous order, permission to change the children's surnames and imposition of a s91(14) order on the husband. The father was seeking immediate custody of the children, a residence order and that the judge recuse himself from the case.

In a lengthy judgment the judge reviews the bitter history of the litigation and concludes, with "despair", that direct contact between father and the children was not in the children's best interests and granted the change of surname and s91(14) applications.


Neutral Citation Number: [2007] EWHC 2543 (Fam)

Case No: FD06P00679/NN05P03426

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 02/11/2007

Before :

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Between :

TF (Applicant)

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RF (1st Respondent)

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DF and NMF (2nd & 3rd Respondents)

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The Applicant was unrepresented and appeared in person
Miss van Spall (instructed by dfa law) for the1st Respondent
Mr Bruce Coleman instructed by Borneo Linnells Solicitors) for the 2nd and 3rd Respondents
(through their Guardian ad litem)

Hearing dates: 3, 4 & 5 September 2007
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Approved Judgment
I direct that pursuant to CPR PD 39A para 6.1 no official shorthand note shall be taken of this Judgment and that copies of this version as handed down may be treated as authentic.



This judgment is being handed down in private on 2 November 2007. It consists of 31 pages and has been signed and dated by the judge. The judge hereby gives leave for it to be reported.

The judgment is being distributed on the strict understanding that in any report no person other than the advocates or the solicitors instructing them (and other persons identified by name in the judgment itself) may be identified by name or location and that in particular the anonymity of the children and the adult members of their family must be strictly preserved.

The Hon. Mr Justice Sumner :
Introduction and outline
1. On 3, 4, and 5 September I heard applications by the Applicant father, 38 year old Mr T F, and by the Respondent mother, 30 year-old Miss R F. They all concern their two children, 9 year old D (24.1.98), and 6 year old N (19.4.01). They follow on from my judgment in January 2007 after a four-day hearing on issues of residence and contact in December 2006.

2. In brief the parties lived together latterly in N for 9 years before separating in 2005. The father works in information technology. The mother worked in a bank but is not presently in employment.

3. In early 2005 they purchased a seaside a home in Mexico, where the father now lives with his partner, 23 year old Miss M. When the father returned from a holiday there in September 2005, he proposed that the children should live six months of the year there with him. The other six months of the year they would spend with the mother in England.

4. The mother did not agree. She wanted the children to remain living with her. The parties separated in October 2005. The children have lived with the mother since then.

5. Two years of bitter litigation have followed leading up to the present hearing. The father, who has acted in person, maintains his proposals. The mother accepts that the last 2 periods of supervised contact in April and May 2007 went well. However she seeks an order supported by the Guardian that there should be no direct contact.

6. Even if matters had not gone so wrong as she alleges, she would have been opposed to shared care as proposed, though holidays in Mexico might well have continued. As it is, she says that the history as set out in my last judgment and the events since make the continuation of any direct contact no longer in the children's best interests.

7. I outline the parties' cases at this stage. It may assist in following the quite lengthy review which is a necessary prelude to my further findings and conclusions. I add a list of headings and paragraph numbers for easier reference.

The mother's case 8
The father's case 13
Present applications 15
Background 16
The hearing in December 2006 37
January – September 2007 46
Hearing on 29 August 58
Hearing on 31 August 62
Email messages 65
The hearing in September 2007 -
The father's evidence 79
Mr Flatman's report 95
Mr Flatman's evidence 111
The mother's evidence and statements 118
Miss Ward 131
Mrs Burke 133
The Guardian 142
Written submissions –
The mother 146
The father 151
The Guardian 158
Application to recuse 170
Change of name 190
Section 91(14) order 198
Conclusions 206

The mother's case
8. Miss van Spall, counsel on her behalf, points to my earlier findings. The father seriously harassed the mother following the separation for which he was convicted. He engaged in a sustained tirade against the mother and all whom he saw as opposing him. He threatened to take the children to Mexico and secretly tried to obtain passports for them.

9. In May 2006 the mother on advice left a friend's home where she was staying to stay in a refuge, because of the father's threats. Later in 2006 she moved finally moving from Northampton to an undisclosed address in L.

10. She accepted his devotion to the children and their love for him. But his attitude and threats made only supervised contact possible.

11. At the hearing in December 2006 he appeared able to recognise some of the difficulties he had created and the wild accusations he had made. Supervised contact followed.

12. In May 2007 he turned up at the mother's home in Lincoln, he says by accident. It caused the mother to start committal proceedings and return to a refuge before finding a new home in another area. The father she says has almost no insight into his conduct. His tirade and threats have continued. In a psychologist's view he has traits in common with an antisocial disorder. Contact has been suspended. Change is needed before it can resume but this is not apparent. The Guardian represented by Mr Coleman agrees.

The father's case
13. His devotion to the children has not been questioned. It is accepted that the 2 periods on supervised contact this year went well. If he had wanted to abduct the children he could have done so. Both I and the Guardian should no longer be in the case.

14. There is no good reason why he should not have regular contact to the children who want to see him and to live with him in Mexico. He has expressed himself clearly to all who have attempted to prevent him having a proper relationship with his children, but he can be polite.

Present applications
15. There are the following applications before me:

i) An application by the mother of 3 May 2007 for contact to be suspended and for the committal of the father. It is alleged that the father, in breach of an order and an undertaking, had taken steps to discover where the mother was. On 1 May he waited in his car outside their home before the children went to school.
ii) An application by the mother of 4 June 2007 for permission to change the children's surnames. This was to prevent the father discovering where the children were living and going to school.
iii) An application by the father of 11 June 2007 for the immediate custody of the children. This was based on the mother's neglect and physical abuse. She had previously abused the children, but now D had a fractured arm. Also the children were at risk of sexual abuse from the mother's partner.
iv) An application by the mother of 13 July 2007 under s.91(14) of the Children Act 1989, requiring the father to obtain the court's permission to make any application for the next 3 years. This was based on the number and nature of the applications made by the father and the need for her and the children to have peace and stability.
v) A further application by the father of 10 August 2007 for a residence order in respect of the 2 children. The grounds were that the mother had broken D's arm, deliberately burned him with hot oven gloves, and dislocated N's arm on a number of occasions. Also the children were in contact with her partner who has been investigated by the police for offences against children.
vi) An application by the father also of 10 August 2007 that I should recuse myself from the case. I had shown bias towards the mother, accepting her evidence when it was shown she was lying. I had also disregarded the legal process making an order as if it was on notice when I knew it was not. He enlarged on these grounds during the course of his submissions.

16. The facts as I found them are shortly as follows. The quotations are from my earlier judgment.

17. Following the disagreement between the parties about the children's residence, the mother took the children's passports to a solicitor. She feared the father would abduct the children. It is a fear which remains.

18. Both applied within days to courts in Northampton. The father tried unsuccessfully to remove the children from their school. He told the mother that he would have the children taken away because she was not a fit mother.

19. The father was granted parental responsibility and a residence order was made in favour of the mother. While the father was on a short holiday in Mexico with the children in October 2005, the mother moved to the home of a friend.

20. When she tried to leave with the two boys, the father became aggressive. The police were called. The father accused the mother of abduction. The mother was unable to take the children who were very distressed and screaming. In breach of an undertaking he did not return the children until the following morning.

21. The father asked for the children back later the same day, or he would break down the door. He is a tall man of powerful physique; the mother is much shorter and slimmer.

22. He did return, banging on the door. The police were called. He returned again at 9 p.m., shouting accusations. The police were called again.

23. Two days later he visited the mother's solicitors, having threatened to punch them. He was shouting and abusive, so that the police had to be summoned. As a result, the mother had to change solicitors.

24. Thereafter the father repeatedly called the mother and visited her home unannounced. On 29 October, when he parked his car opposite the mother's home with the headlights on, he was arrested. Two days later the mother obtained non-molestation orders.

25. There were negotiations over contact, the father accusing the mother of making ludicrous claims and false statements designed to influence the court. "It was the beginning of a virulent exchange of messages on the father's part. It continued over the following year, where his views of the mother and those advising her are made clear. They did not moderate in their tone. It was an attitude adopted by the father in respect of anyone with whom he disagreed".

He also made lengthy, obsessive, and abusive telephone calls to the mother.

26. Contact was agreed at court on 10 November, the father seeing the children every other weekend and a further weekday. He was abusive to the mother's solicitors and described her as lying, cheating, and deceitful. She abused the children. She was a disgrace and not fit to care for them. Later he described her as so insignificant that her lies were a complete irrelevance. His allegations I should add were baseless.

27. His diatribe continued. He accused the mother's solicitors of using the situation to make money, threatened them and the mother with criminal offences, and described the mother as a manipulative and disgusting excuse for a human being.

28. On 1 March 2006 the mother moved to a refuge with the support of CAFCASS after they had heard the father say at court that he would have to resolve matters in another way. They had also heard from the father's aunt, the father telling her that if the mother obtained the orders she was seeking, he would have the children on a plane to Mexico by the weekend.

29. Finally the school reported on 28 February that the father had rung to say that he was collecting them at the end of the day. They recommended the mother to remove them for their safety.

30. He threatened that if the mother continued her abusive behaviour, he would remove the children from her care. She esTated that there were some 100 calls from him with threats of arrest, imprisonment, and the hope that she would die.

31. Contact continued despite the father informing the mother's solicitors that if the children were not there he would turn up on the doorstep, because he knew where the mother was. Anonymously he further threatened the mother by saying that he had made a call, and he was going to have her raped and killed.

32. The father's intentions were subsequently made clear when it was revealed as I found that he had applied to the British Embassy in Mexico on 10 March, seeking replacement passports for the two children. He falsely said that they had been lost. He subsequently denied this intention, despite the clearest evidence.

33. His abusive and threatening behaviour continued against all whom he perceived as opposing him, reporting Judge Mitchell to the LCD and seeking the removal of the CAFCASS reporter on specious allegations. He made a series of grossly abusive and threatening calls to the mother in April and May 2006, which she had transcribed from her mobile. He pressed the children's school to information about where they were.

34. In July 2006 he pleaded guilty to harassing the mother. He blamed the police for his plea, which I did not accept. He received a community order.

35. The father's abusive and threatening attitude continued until November 2006. He said the mother was a paranoid schizophrenic, he wanted her committed to an institution, and she should be assessed before the court sectioned her.

36. The children had already been described by CAFCASS as unsettled and anxious with D being angry as well. There were then six periods of supervised contact between August and December 2006 at St Stephen's Place Children's Centre, London.

The hearing in December 2006
37. The Centre reported and the senior experienced supervisor, Miss Iwi, gave evidence to me in December. She commented on many positive aspects of the contact, but there were deficits as well. The children had mixed and contradictory feelings about contact.

38. She said the father had showed much hostility to the mother. He did not accept the feedback that might lead him to give up the hostility or his wish to control others. He was not open to considering the children's needs. It was not possible to see how to draw boundaries round them. He had a detrimental impact on the mother and her parenting ability, and there was a substantial abduction risk.

39. The children were vulnerable with behavioural problems, which his parenting style did not help. She recommended only supervised contact. She had concerns over how beneficial this would be.

40. The experienced Guardian, Ms Welton, said that there was no evidence that the mother had provided other than very good parenting. The animosity shown by the father had not lessened. Listening to the father giving evidence and cross examining had given her grave concern, she felt quite overwhelmed by the degree of hostility. It would be very hard for the children to come to terms with this, trying to protect each parent.

41. I heard from the father and the mother. The father showed little insight and limited regret for his behaviour. The mother set out how threatened she had felt, but she was not opposing supervised contact.

42. I concluded that it was a very sad case, because the father loved the children and wanted to see them. He had single-mindedly reduced the prospects of a successful future relationship with them to a very low point. I referred to the numerous e-mails from the father.


"It is rare to read such a sustained diatribe even in family cases. I am satisfied there is no hope of contact being negotiated between father and mother without the mother becoming once more the victim of the father's aggression and contempt. The children will not be immune from it … the fathers sustained abuse, aggression, and criticism of all he sees as opposing him and in particular, the mother is remarkable… his insight is severely limited …".


"I share the view of the experts that at this stage it is not possible to see how contact could continue unless it is strictly supervised. I want that situation to come to an end. It has been clear during the hearing that my wishes have gone ahead of the sensible, careful, and justifiable views of Ms W."

45. By the order eventually drawn on 28 February 2007, there was a residence order of both children in favour of the mother. There was to be supervised contact to the father once a month.

January – September 2007
46. Contact supervised by a Mr Flatman, a clinical psychologist, was arranged in March 2007. At a hearing before Ryder J on 23 March 2007 the father applied for a further period of contact. On that occasion he gave an undertaking not to attempt to go to or go to the address where he believed the children were residing. Mr Flatman reported in April and gave evidence before me in September. I shall refer to his evidence later.

47. By this time the mother had left the refuge in Northampton to which she had gone in March 2006. She moved firstly to another refuge and then to rented accommodation in Lincoln.

48. It was soon apparent that there was going to be no change in the father's attitude. In January 2007 he has suggested the mother was committing perjury. In March he accused her solicitor of being incapable of telling the truth and of colluding with left wing men-haters. He referred to their rather pathetic attempts to influence proceedings by lies.

49. Despite his undertaking in April 2007 he told the mother's solicitors that the police had no jurisdiction, they could stop their stupid threats, and that he would collect his children from their home address when he felt like it. "I am not interested in new orders of the court, as they have no interest in my children ……"

50. On 1 May 2007 the mother alleges that when she left her home with the children for school, the father was outside in a car. She went straight to a refuge. It appeared from the father's cross examination of the mother that he did not contest being there but said his presence was entirely coincidental.

51. On 8 May 2007 on the mother's application I made an order suspending contact. The same day the father was arrested for breach of the restraining order and remanded in custody for eight days.

52. Two days later, in a separate application, the mother alleged that the father had told a CAFCASS reporter that he would remove the children to a place of safety. She also said that the father had abused her and her legal representatives on the last two occasions when she was at court. This alleged abuse at court was hardly touched on during the hearing before me in September until the final day, and only then after my last attempt to prevent the father leaving had failed.

53. I expressed my concern if the allegations were correct. Despite orders being made for the protection of the mother, it appeared she was not availing herself of them. On 20 June the father's appeal against my order of 8 May was dismissed.

54. In an application of 11 June seeking the immediate custody of the children, the father alleged that the mother neglected and physically abused the children. D had a broken arm, and there was no explanation for the circumstances. The children were at risk of sexual abuse from the mother's partner, who had been interviewed on a number of occasions about sexual abuse of children.

55. On 16 July the father made an application before me without notice relating to D and a recent fracture of the arm. He alleged that he had been informed of this on 11 June, but no further details would be provided. I adjourned the application, declaring that it would be reasonable to him to know how the fracture occurred.

56. In fact he had been told by the mother's solicitors on 11 June that he had suffered a minor fracture to his wrist, which would heal quickly. The father responded by asking for a full explanation within four hours, or he would seek an immediate order for the care of the children. He was informed the same day that D was playing and fell awkwardly and this caused the injury. He was immediately taken to a hospital. The father failed to reveal any of this information to me on 16 July.

57. The father made two further applications before me on notice on the 29 and 31 August. They are important as further evidence of the father's attitude.

Hearing on 29 August
58. The father told me he had been arrested on arriving at Heathrow airport and detained for two to three hours. He said that the reason for his arrest was that the mother had said that the children were not with her. He sought an order confirming their whereabouts. Her solicitor had refused to give him the information.

59. I indicated that, given the history, I was not minded to make an order in the absence of the mother. I said the application could be renewed on 31 August, when he was again appearing in court. The father offered me in a sarcastic manner the money that he had on him if I would make an order.

60. A little later the father interrupted me. I subsequently ordered a transcript. He said – "meanwhile, I am going to get my children. I am going to find out where my children are and I am going to get them." He then left.

61. I was most concerned by his words and his manner. In the absence of my clerk, I rang the mother's solicitors and repeated what I took to be a direct threat to abduct the children. They subsequently applied over the telephone for a warrant for the arrest of the father should he go within a stated distance of the mother's home which I granted. This was to enable the local police to execute the warrant should he try and take the children.

Hearing on 31 August
62. This was the date listed for the father's application that I should recuse myself from hearing his application for a residence order and other applications three days later. The mother was neither present nor represented.

63. I told the father of the steps that I had taken in telephoning the mother's solicitors and the order I had made. I had refused such an application to recuse myself on 26 July but given the father permission to renew the application on notice. Despite this, the mother and the Guardian had only been served with notice the day before the hearing. Neither counsel instructed for the hearing on 3 September was able to attend.

64. I heard argument from the father. I adjourned the application to 3 September for assistance on some of the factual allegations. I dismissed the application on that day. I did not give my reasons in order that the hearing should not be further delayed. I set them out later.

Email messages
65. Between January and September 2007 there are some 250 pages of messages involving the father. I have already referred to some of them. In the course of the earlier hearing, I had pointed out to the father that he had considerable skills as a parent. The children could benefit greatly from a good relationship with him. It was my strong wish that that should happen, but if the case against him was proved, there had to be demonstrable changes which were maintained.

66. The father argued in December 2006 that he had changed. He no longer wrote in the same way. I described the father's sustained abuse, aggression, and criticism of all whom he saw as opposing him as remarkable. Though he had modified his views of the mother when giving evidence, I was not then satisfied that he was capable of presenting her in a positive light to the children.

67. The father could have been in no doubt what was expected of him if he was to have the full and beneficial relationship with his children which he wanted so strongly. I had hoped that the hearing in December 2006 had driven the message home to him in the clearest terms.

68. The messages are one indication that this has not happened. Miss van Spall for the mother has drawn attention to certain of them in her written submissions. He said in February 2007 that there was no evidence that he had made an attempt to abduct his children and that therefore it was not his intention. He then said on three occasions in March and three occasions in April that he would collect the children from their home. In the light of his behaviour he should not be surprised that these are taken seriously.

69. It appears common ground that he attended on 1 May outside the mother's home. He did not shrink from stating in court on 29 August that he was going to find out where the children were and he was going to get them.

70. She lists a further 10 occasions between May and August when he threatened to take the children, speak to them, or telephone them. He then went on to say in evidence that he had seen them twice and was in regular telephone communication.

71. Extracts from the messages give a flavour of his approach. In May he said that there was no evidence that the children were not being abused by that paedophile (referring to the mother's partner). If the court did not protect them he would and if he needed to, he would withdraw the children from the abusive proceedings.

72. The same month he accused the Guardian's solicitor of making perverted applications purely to generate money. In June he said that the delay in obtaining police checks meant that the partner was a paedophile and the Guardian was trying to cover it up by falsifying documents.

73. The same day he said the Guardian's solicitor was an abusive parasite, that he knew exactly where the children were and would protect them from people like him and that paedophile at all costs. He would pay more attention to human faeces than scum like him.

74. He accused the mother of grooming the children with her partner. I did not seem to consider the sexual and physical abuse important enough to warrant any attention. He would take steps if the court did not.

75. He was then informed that the police checks showed that there was no concern in respect of the children from the mother's partner. He threatened to call the police if he did not have information within an hour of where the children's toys that he had given them were located.

76. He continued to address the mother's solicitor in abusive terms. On 29 June he said that he was well aware of exactly where the children were being forced to live and which schools they attended. He followed this up in July by saying that if the mother disrupted the children by moving them, he would ensure that she was taken into custody and charged with neglect.

77. Three days later he threatened to attend the children's school and ensure that they had their birthday gifts within the next few days. He said that a case was pending against Miss van Spall for perjury in relation to certain of the proceedings.

78. Finally on 29 August, having described the Guardian's solicitor as a sad excuse for a human being, he accused him of providing sexual favours to me. He had seen the children twice in the last month and would continue to do so. He had no interest in any orders as the children were more important than the solicitor's profiteering, who as a person was more worthless and disgusting than anything he had scraped off the bottom of his shoes.

The hearing in September 2007 – the father's evidence
79. After the father's application for me to recuse myself was complete, he applied next for the Guardian Miss Welton, to be removed from the case. He said she was biased and had told the children that they would not see him again. I refused the application.

80. He then gave evidence. His evidence is otherwise in short statements within his applications. His partner, Miss M, was with him throughout. I refer to her in paragraphs 6 and 101 of my earlier judgment.

81. His opening remarks give a flavour of his approach. He said the mother was a liar and supported by liars. The court was not fair; it was a kangaroo court. The children had said independently that they wanted to live with him. The idiot court looked after the idiot mother who abused them.

82. He wanted the children there to give evidence and the mother committed to prison for perjury. He said that the psychologist Mr Flatman contradicted himself and as psychology was not a science, it was completely irrelevant.

83. He thought it was understandable if he was aggressive and a bit annoyed. He thought a lot with hindsight, but nothing with regret. The only abuse had been by the mother. The children had no respect for her. He knew because had spoken to them recently. He had spoken to them between two and three dozen times on a regular basis.

84. He knew what they wanted, and everyone in the courtroom ignored it. He proposed 50% of their time with their mother, and explained about the American and Spanish schools where he lived. He was in the process of setting up a business. He would be mostly at home. He expected to be successful.

85. There were a lot of people he did not like but he could be civil. If he needed to be civil to the mother he could be, but he would not tolerate abuse. The emails were with people trying to make as much profit as they could; they were scum, the solicitors blew everything out of proportion.

86. He could talk to the mother, and he would be civil to her, even if they did not agree. There were hostilities as long as he was prevented from seeing the children and the solicitors were only doing it for their wallets.

87. He would not give the telephone number he had used to contact the children, claiming it was not on his phone. He said he would pass it on when he returned to Mexico. Later, he said he was not prepared to do so. He had seen the children twice in the last month. He maintained that the mother had physically abused D and N.

88. He pointed out that he had had plenty of opportunity to remove the children, and he could have done so. It should be assumed that he was not going to remove the children.

89. On the third day of the hearing, he went into the witness box again. He said that he had made an application on the previous day before Charles J. without notice. As I informed the parties I spoke to Charles J. I do not know the nature of the application, nor will I and the other parties do so until I have delivered this judgment.

90. He said words to the effect that he was not going to let the mother get away with this. He had however not gone up and spoken to the mother at court on 23 March 2007. He had no recollection of the incident.

91. He did accept that he had said that there was nothing good about the mother's case, and the only harm was the abuse by her. He accepted as well that he had no respect for her, she lied, and that she caused the children physical injuries. He believed what he had said about her grooming the children for sexual and physical abuse by her partner.

92. The Guardian Ms Welton was capable of falsifying documents to hide the fact that the children were with the paedophile. It was no longer his belief that sexual favours had been provided to me.

93. He was financially secure. He would give details to the court, but not to the other parties.

94. He said he would see the children regardless of what orders I made, and he did propose to go on seeing them. He would always be in contact, he would not abandon them. If that meant going to prison, so be it.

Mr Flatman's report
95. He produced a careful, balanced, and comprehensive report running to nearly 70 pages. He is a most experienced psychologist. I highlight the main points, and note in particular that the father cooperated in a full discussion with him. When Mr Flatman explained his conclusions to the father, he neither argued with him nor made accusations. Only at the hearing did he raise criticisms.

96. In his summary at the beginning of his report, Mr Flatman noted that the mother knew that the boys missed their father a great deal and considered that they should have contact with him if this was a positive experience for them. She said however that he constantly presented difficult situations.

97. He considered that she did not have any psychological condition. She was periodically affected by low mood, she suffered anxiety, and probably had a tendency to brood. These symptoms were to be from unresolved issues from her past and from highly stressful events relating to the present proceedings. She would benefit from counselling.

98. The two-hour contact that he saw with the father and the children was of excellent quality. From tests, he considered that the father had extremely high intellectual ability. He probably had weak primary attachments and limited emotional connection with his parents. He had a criminal history, marked by a lack of moral conscience and acting purely through expediency.

99. He might have traits in common with the criteria for dissocial personality disorder, though such a diagnosis was a matter for psychiatric expertise. This influenced how he perceived and responded to life events. It led to conflict with others which was of little emotional concern to him. He was indifferent to the emotional response of others, unless it was a matter of practical expediency.

100. He did have intense caring and protective feelings for his children probably connected to his own early emotional neglect. Whilst his personality was supportive of the children, unintentionally he places them at risk of harm, either through abduction or because of his conduct towards others. The children needed contact with their father but this would need to be monitored and supervised.

101. At the end of the formal assessment, the father appeared perfectly willing to talk, listen and reflect. He pointed out the traits in the father's personality and his strong emotions with regard to care issues. He referred him to reading which might be helpful.

102. He spoke to the father about his apparent lack of moral conscience, and how his behaviour seemed to be directed through expediency. The father agreed. It had never crossed his mind.

103. He told him of the very powerful traits in his personality. The one that was a sociopathic trait, the other was his strong emotions with regard to the children.

104. He considered that from a psychological point of view, the father had features in common with adults with dissocial personality disorder. Because of its importance, I mention the characteristics which Mr Flatman set out (pE132).

"Personality disorder, usually coming to attention because of gross disparity between behaviour and the prevailing social norms, and characterised by:

callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules and obligations;
incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
marked proneness to blame others, or to offer plausible rationalisations for the behaviour that has brought the individual into conflict with society.
there may also be persistent irritability, as an associated feature. Conduct disorder during childhood and adolescence, though not invariably present, made further support the diagnosis."

105. Mr Flatman concluded –

" Essentially Mr F is a person with a significantly reduced level of conscience, and therefore is unlikely to experience guilt or to profit from experience resulting from the consequences for others … this is one of the personality traits; experiencing shallow emotions, and being outraged by matters which are relatively insignificant to others."

106. He pointed out that characteristic c) above may not be true of the father. It may be one of the reasons why he should not be classified with social personality disorder.

"Mr F does have a callousness and a lack of empathy, and often does not even know from an intellectual standpoint when observing the behaviour of others that they may have been hurt or distressed by his behaviour. He has poor behavioural controls at Tes, when his emotions run high …

Another example (of this) was that Mr F wished to impress upon me was his complete indifference to Ms F as a person. He said that were he contacted to inform him she had died his next question (and therefore the only possible concern) would be to ask when he could pick up the children.

Obviously, under the circumstances that have pertained it is not surprising that Mr F does not have caring feelings for Miss F, but it was Mr F's desire to illustrate the complete absence of feelings which was so telling."

107. He said that the father was most helpful during the course of the assessment. He might wish to consider the opinion and seek his own developmental route in the light of his undoubted loving care of his children.

"Mr F cares intensely and passionately about the care and protection of his boys and part of this is said he considers it crucial that he and they have an ongoing and sustained relationship. Because of his lack of development of moral conscience and empathy, he does not see that despite the powerful nature of his intentions for his boys, that his contact can cause some significant harm, in certain areas of his life, particularly involving relationship and interactions with others. He can therefore seem to be disinhibited and simply not concerned about possible consequences of his behaviour where others would express deep concern...

Because of Mr F's personality characteristics, his perception of reality and his habitual modes of conduct, he does present as a risk to his boys with regard to absconding with them, or placing them at further risk of harm, through his contact with others, especially concerning high levels of emotional, behavioural and relationship discord …

Because of the above risk factors, my opinion is that contact will need to be supervised with this being kept under review ... indications of positive change in Mr F will need to be sustained over a significant period of time before changes to contact arrangements are made … within this context. I did not consider that there is a particular form of treatment or intervention, to be prescribed by others, which might assist Mr F."

108. Mr Flatman made an additional report on 20 August. He was aware of the further allegations made by the mother.

109. He commented that the father's conduct had reduced the chances of further direct contact with his children being both safe and a positive experience for them. There was now an increased risk of harm with direct contact.

"Despite the good quality of his contact time with the children, his conduct outside the contact sessions is such that the children had been placed at risk of emotional harm through having to move and change schools on three occasions, by presumably frequently experiencing situations of divided loyalty, by risk of abduction, and indirectly by causing their mother and primary carer undue stress and anxiety"

110. On the basis that the father had traced the family and indicated that he would not be inhibited by court orders. In his opinion it excluded the possibility of direct contact.

Mr Flatman's evidence.
111. He said that without the father's wish there was no reasonable prospect of change. He had a blind spot in regard to his disability. It was somewhat surprising that he did not come to a point of seeing the consequences of his own conduct. At the time of his first report he tended to hope that the father would realise that, but he accepted there was no evidence yet.

112. All his conclusions were based on his approach as a psychologist. If he had felt it crucial for there to be a positive diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder, he would have referred him for that. He considered his description sufficient.

113. The more of a corner the father felt he was in, the bigger was the threat he presented. He felt the references to abduction were concerning. They were overtly quite threatening and should be taken as a serious threat.

114. The quality of contact was good but it was what happened outside which was the problem. The father believes that he demonstrates no risk of emotional harm to the children, and he cannot see that behaviour outside of this has placed the children at risk of harm.

115. If he decided he needed to change, then he could change. He does not see the point, though he has not said this. He pointed out the impact of the father's words on the mother and the disruption that it causes.

116. He said that the children must know about this due to the very high level of discord. There was really far too high a level of conflict and discord directly affecting them. "It creates ongoing chronic stress in children. Children are left in a position that they cannot relax and get on with life."

117. He pointed out to the force on the mother of believing that the children were going to be removed. The mother would be extremely stressed by such matters over a period of Te, and it could lead to her not coping. The children need peace and quiet to get on with life. It was difficult to believe they did not know at some level what was going on, and this was directly emotionally harmful to them.

The mother's statements and evidence
118. She filed statements on 13 July and 1 August. She said that her position had been that under supervised conditions the father should be allowed to maintain a relationship with the children. After what had happened on 1 May when he was outside her home, she no longer felt that the benefit of contact outweighed the risks.

119. She was concerned not only about his attitude to her but to people in general. She felt the only way was to close the door on the prospect of the father finding her and the children.

120. She denied the allegations that she had ever deliberately burned D. The incident, some years ago, was an accidental one involving oven gloves hotter than she realised. They caused no injury.

121. There had been an incident where she was involved in a fracture of N's shoulder. She had sought immediately medical assistance. She pointed out that the first time it occurred. It was caused by the father, who initially refused to allow her to take him to hospital. In relation to D's recent simple fracture of the arm, he had fallen awkwardly, he was taken immediately to a hospital, and he had now been fully discharged.

122. She set out grounds for asking that no further application be made without permission of the court. She pointed to the number of applications made by the father and the unfounded and unbalanced basis for them, she and the children had been involved in litigation for two years, and she was anxious for stability for the children. They needed a period of settled calm, safe and secure and protected from the father's behaviour.

123. In evidence she said that she was unaware of the father's telephone calls to the children. She was very distressed, as the children were that day starting at a new school, and last week had been very upsetting.

124. The effect on her was very closely related to the effect on the children. When they left Northampton, they felt they had abandoned their lives. It was their possessions, their friends, their community, and the local football. They had founded a new home and now they had lost it.

125. This Te, when they had seen their father, they knew that their immediate lives would be turned upside down. They could not go to school. They were aware of her stress. She had stopped them playing outside, and she had had to explain. N was worried that his father would take him away and not bring him back.

126. She told the father that she believed he would carry out his threats if given the opportunity. She denied, as the father put to her, that she suffered from paranoid delusions. She had never knowingly lied.

127. She was afraid he knew where she was and she was afraid of him. He was aggressive, bullying, and made threats. She said it was through his e-mails and the names he used, two days previously having called her a fucking whore.

128. The children do love him, but they are aware of the huge animosity. They are afraid of him when he shouts. It frightened the children to think of him in proximity to her.

129. She thought that he would morally damage the children, whom she wanted to grow up with the basic courtesies with proper life skills. They would not learn them from him.

130. She cited his attitude to other people in the street. He made it quite apparent when he thought they were worthless. There was also in his attitude to money which he boasted and bragged about it. She did not equate money with happiness.

Miss Ward
131. She had supervised the two occasions of contact on 17 March and 22 April. The details are set out at F 44-51. The father wished her to be called, though her statements about how well the contact went were accepted.

132. It is to be noted that the father did not ask the children about their current home. They occasionally mentioned things to him, but he did not prompt or seek further information. She said that the children very much enjoyed their time with the father; it was a very positive experience.

Mrs Burke
133. Miss van Spall asked if she could be called. The father objected. Her evidence related to the mother's application to commit. She is a solicitor employed in the Resources Directorate of Lincoln County Council. She had attended court to give evidence of 2 conversations she said she had had with the father on the 3 May. She had kept a contemporaneous record.

134. I did not anticipate her evidence to be contentious. I permitted her to do so. Further reading since has caused me some concern.

135. In Miss van Spall's case summary she pointed to the order made on 2 May 2006 by Ryder J. It prohibited the father from making any enquiries as to the whereabouts of the children of or the mother, or which might result in their whereabouts being discovered.

136. She said there had the father had made enquiries of Lincolnshire County Council. He had informed them that he would obtain fake passports and take the children out of the country. In the mother's notice to show good reason, which is not dated, it is said that the father made inquiries of an unknown source thus locating the whereabouts of the mother and the children.

137. Mrs Burke's evidence, in summary, was that the father rang her to say that he had visited the children's primary school. He had wanted this to see the children's school records, for which he could not obtain permission. This he now sought. If he was not able to see them he would go to the High Court.

138. Mrs Burke checked and rang Mr F back to tell him that his request had to go through the Guardian. The father told her that he had no dealings with the Guardian, and he did not have dealings with abusers of children. Mrs Burke suggested that he obtained a court order. The father responded that he intended to obtain fake passports for the children and take the children out of the country.

139. She was cross-examined by the father. She denied either lying or colluding with the school. She was in my judgment transparently honest.

140. I am not clear what relevance this has in relation to the notice to show cause as it is presently drafted. It may need to be reconsidered.

141. It is relevant to the present application because it is another occasion I find that when the father has threatened to take the children out of the country. It caused Mrs Burke such concern that she wrote to the mother's solicitors that day.

The Guardian
142. In Miss Welton's report of 24 August she said that she was not aware of the father's position because he had not been prepared to see her. She had seen Mr Flatman's report. She had seen the children. They do love their father, and enjoyed spending time with him then him in the past.

"However they accepted that contact was to be stopped, and why and are aware that it may be decided that further contact in the near future may not be reinstated. Since all direct contact was suspended, they have e-mailed their father, and have been very upset that they have received nothing in return. They have always lived with that mother and would wish that this to remain the position."

143. She considered that the mother had provided the children with extremely good care. She agreed with Mr Flatman that the father's conduct in recent months had reduced the chances of future contact being both safe and a positive experience for the boys. It was difficult to see how court orders could protect the children if Mr F was deliberately breaching those orders. She supported the making of a s.91 (14).

144. In evidence, she said that she had seen the children at the beginning of the school holidays. They had found it very distressing having to move. They were upset about the new school. They had left Lincoln without all their possessions.

145. She accepted Mr Flatman's assessment. She did not see any other way forward. She was told by the children that they did not wish to live with the father in Mexico, a holiday there, but not permanently. This was on the previous occasion.

Written submissions - the mother
146. She resists the father's application for a residence order. This was in the light of my earlier judgment, the subsequent reports, and the evidence that I had heard.

147. The positive contact records are accepted, but the mother has been guided by the professionals. Miss Van Spall cites the various examples in the email messages to which I have referred where the father refers to taking the children and additional evidence of Mrs Burke. The father continues to make threats, and there is reference to some 10 occasions.

148. The only safe way of communication was by e-mail. The mother was prepared to provide the father with a report three times a year.

149. In relation to the change of names, the mother's primary position is that every measure possible should be taken to ensure the safety, well-being, and stability of the children. The only purpose in seeking this permission was to prevent, if not slow down the father's ability to trace them. They should continue to be referred to by their former names on other occasions.

150. She pressed for an order requiring permission before any further proceedings are started. She also wished that the children's passports held by her solicitors could be released so that she could take the children on holiday in the usual position of a resident parent. She seeks injunctive relief in terms wide enough to protect the mother and the children.

Written submissions – the father
151. He set these out in some 33 paragraphs. He started by saying that the only application before the court related to residence. He said no evidence had been given in relation to the section 91 application.

152. There is no risk of abduction because he has had plenty of opportunities and it has not taken place. The allegations have now lessened.

153. The mother said that the children are now fearful of being removed. This information had come from her and was an indication of using the children as weapons.

154. He emphasised the favourable reports from Miss Ward on contact. In the light of that it was inconceivable for the court to stop direct contact. This evidence should be preferred to the risks referred to by Mr Flatman. It was not said that he had had any inappropriate conversation with the children. He sought telephone calls which he offered to have recorded.

155. He claimed that everyone accepted that changing the children's surnames would not prevent him from finding them. Accordingly there was no power to make such an order. The children did not want this. It will make them think that their father poses a threat to them which is very damaging for them.

156. He was content for an order returning the passports provided that the court made an order prohibiting the mother from travelling to Pakistan or the Indian subcontinent. He asked that immigration control should be notified of this order, and the power of arrest be attached to stop the mother seeking to remove the children to Pakistan.

157. Finally he pointed out that an order preventing someone from going to an unspecified place was not enforceable. It was also contrary to his Human Rights.

Written submissions on behalf of the Guardian
158. Mr Coleman said that the Guardian started from the premise that contact was in the best interest of the children if this could be managed safely. He then referred to the risk of abduction.

159. The risk had not diminished. It was now greater. It was to be seen in the messages, and the evidence of Mrs Burke. He rightly says that there is hearsay evidence that the father's remark to Mrs Burke was also made to Mrs Johnson, the headmistress of the boys' school.

160. The father appears to accept that he found out where the children were despite the injunctions that had been made. Whilst he was entitled not to say how he found out, other than that it was by accident, it leaves no explanation.

161. Furthermore the father's present claims that he knows where the children are living have to be taken seriously. His evidence that he could not remember that telephone numbers was incredible. There has to be a reason why he would not give this information. I agree.

162. He also claimed to know the identity of the mother's fiancé, but would not tell the court. He said he knew where the children were living. There is in any event concern that he has placed a tracking device with one of the children.

163. He claims a shared care arrangement. Given the allegations that he has recently made against the mother and her fiancé in his applications, this is a sham. The only purpose is to seek to remove the children.

164. His contempt of court orders, means that the usual means of managing contact are of little value. He said clearly that he would see the children regardless of court orders.

165. He points out that at the end of the last hearing the hope was that the father would seek help a moderate his behaviour. He said he would no longer make offensive remarks about the mother; he had gone too far in alleging bribery against the judges at Northampton, and suggesting that the mother had deliberately burned D.

166. In fact, the allegations are now arguably worse. He refers to what he describes as the florid accusations which had been made. It is now clear that the father has no intention of changing or seeking help. There appears to be in no way forward, because the father will not understand the effect abduction would have upon the children. It is worrying that the father cannot accept his responsibility.

167. The Guardian agrees with Mr Flatman that the risk of abduction is too great and the contact has to be suspended. She supports e-mail contact, provided that it is appropriate and provided that a suitable third party can be found to forward such emails.

168. The Guardian sadly, considers that the change of surnames is proportionate to the risk that is faced by the children. She supports all appropriate measures to prevent the father of abducting the children. This includes an application under section 91(14) of the Children Act 1989.

169. Mr Coleman finished in these terms.

"This is a said case in which the father potentially has so much to offer his sons. But because of the extreme nature of his personality poses a severe risk to them. Mr F appears to be genuinely unable to see that his behaviour causes distress, and that this impact upon the boys in the number of ways and has led to their education and friendships being disrupted. In the absence of any attempt to address these problems, the Guardian considers that the orders sought by the mother are proportionate and necessary for the protection of the children."

Application to recuse myself
170. As I have mentioned, on 31 August 2007 the father appeared before me in person to make an application that I should recuse myself. Despite giving advance warning to me that he was making this application, he had failed to serve his application in Te. It reached the mother's and the Guardian's solicitors on the day before as he knew. I was informed that neither Miss Van Spall nor Mr Coleman were available on 31 August to appear before me. Had they done so they would have had no advance warning of what was to be said.

171. In the hope that time might be saved on 3, 4 & 5 September, I permitted the father to proceed. The father told me that I was biased. He relied upon the following matters:

172. As I understood it these were the particular points on which the father relied. I adjourned the application to 3 September so that I could be assisted both with factual matters and on the law. Through my clerk Miss Van Spall and Mr Coleman were informed of this.

73. On 3 September the father asked for the Guardian to be removed. The father alleged that if she heard the mother's evidence she would agree with it. He added that she had probably been bribed. I dismissed his application. I considered it without any proper foundation.

174. He made the following additional points about recusing myself –

175. Miss van Spall told me that in relation to the application to change names, the application had been submitted on 28 May, a cheque accompanying it had been cashed on 6 June however through error it had not been formally issued until 23 July. They had not been able to serve on notice.

176. There was an ambiguity in the order in relation to names as she accepted. It had been submitted to me and I had drawn attention to the fact that the change of names was solely for the purpose of registering at school. Unfortunately the order did not make this clear and the wrong copy had been sealed.

177. Mr Coleman reminded me that not dissimilar allegations had been made against other judges. Judge Koenig and Judge Mitchell had been said to have been bribed.

178. I announced my decision. It was to refuse the application with reasons to follow.

179. I turn to the law. I make it clear that all such applications have to be considered seriously even if they are, as here, in part wild and extravagant. I remind myself of a passage from the judgment of Burton J in Ansar v Lloyds TSB Bank plc (2006) EWCA Civ 1462 approved by the Court of Appeal where he said, paragraph 19 –

"The nature of the allegations may, on occasion, be decisive although it does not follow that even if an allegation of wholly outrageous conduct, such as the taking of a bribe, were made, that would necessarily qualify as a ground for recusal, if it was manifestly fanciful or unfounded."

180. The Court of Appeal accepted Burton J's summary of the law set out in 11 paragraphs. I have also been referred to the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Howell and others v Millais and others (2007) EWCA Civ 720. For the purposes of this application I set out the following principles.

i) Justice must be seen to be done but that does not mean that judges should too readily accept suggestions of appearance of bias thereby encouraging parties to believe that they might thereby obtain someone more likely to favour their case.
ii) The fact that a judge had commented adversely on a party or witness or found them to be unreliable would not found an objection unless there were further grounds.
iii) A real danger of bias might well be thought to arise –

a) if there was personal friendship or animosity between a judge and any member of the public involved in the case,
b) if the judge was too closely acquainted with such a person,
c) if the judge had rejected the evidence of such a person or expressed views in such extreme or unbalanced terms such as to throw doubts on their ability to approach the person or the issue with an open mind,
d) or for those or other reasons cause doubt in the ability of the judge to ignore extraneous matters or prejudices and bring an objective judgment to bear.

iv) A judge should resist the temptation to recuse himself simply because it would be more comfortable to do so as for instance when the litigant appears to have lost confidence in the judge.
v) The test remains, having considered all the circumstances bearing on the suggestion that the judge could be biased, whether those circumstances would lead a fair minded and informed observer adopting a balanced approach to conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased.

181. Such applications are not uncommon in the Family Division from litigants in person. That is understandable given the highly emotional aspect of many of the cases, the tense atmosphere, and the antipathy that often exists between the parties. That is added to by the merits of judicial continuity. It may lead to the same judge giving a series of judgments between the same parties, often with one of them being unsuccessful on a number or all occasions.

182. Those factors which are not comprehensive may give rise to an appearance that the judge is too involved, or that the prospect of favouring the party who has not so far been successful becomes improbable. There is an added factor. The sheer number of decisions taken by a particular judge, or the length of time over which they have presided in relation to particular parties may make it prudent for a fresh approach to be preferred. This is particularly so when it might assist the losing party more readily to understand the situation and thereby increase the prospects of some agreement between the parties.

183. These considerations had been very much in the forefront of my consideration. In a difficult situation I have been troubled because of the approach adopted by the father in both argument and questioning before me on the 3 days of the hearing.

184. From the start the father made it clear that he regarded it as a kangaroo court where no decision was going to be made in his favour. He adopted a sarcastic, mocking, and supercilious manner. He threatened on a number of occasions to walk out of court because of his lack of confidence that justice as he saw it would be done. While this became evident later, the tone had already been well set before I announced my decision.

185. It is a matter of deep regret that this has happened. It is especially so because the father feels strongly about the children with whom he had good contact twice this year. It is in part because of lack of confidence in me that he adopts the approach which I have described.

186. I have endeavoured to analyse what I have said and how it might appear to a fair-minded and informed observer. I have discounted the wild allegations made by the father against me personally. I regret that errors in the drawing of orders should have occurred.

187. But I am not persuaded that my approach or my manner has reached the level where I should recuse myself, even though I am so anxious to obtain the father's cooperation and acceptance of the right way forward. That would be clearly in the best interests of the children.

188. I take into account the traits identified by Mr Flatman, whose evidence I accept. It follows that the father is therefore more likely to take the approach that he has and to raise the objections which I am considering. That in my judgment in no way relieves me of the responsibility of approaching the father's applications with anxiety and care.

189. Allowing for that, I do not consider that there are sufficient grounds for me to recuse myself. If on the other hand I thought that a different approach from another judge would assist, I would willingly transfer the case. The fact that I am not the first judge to be the subject of personal attack does not suggest that is likely.

Change of name
190. The circumstances in which this was done on a without notice application are set out in the judgment of Wilson LJ on 29 August which I have circulated. My immediate concern when I made the interim order was the protection of the children and taking all proper steps to ensure the father would not trace them.

191. The application is understandably upsetting and even offensive to the father. It is one always to be considered carefully especially as it is such an obvious way of excluding fathers from childrens' lives.

192. I remind myself that in my considerations the welfare of the 2 boys is paramount. I should have regard to the fact that they were registered under the name of F. I should also bear in mind the commitment of the father, and that he has parental responsibility.

193. Finally I should not permit such a change without evidence that it would improve the children's welfare. I refer to Dawson v Wearmouth (1999) 1 FLR 1167 and Re W, Re A, Re B (Change of Name) (1991) 2 FLR 930.

194. There is no question about the father's commitment. There are only 2 essential points. The first is the manner in which he has shown that commitment. The second is the fear of abduction.

195. It is the second allied to the first which has caused the mother firstly to go to a refuge, then to Lincoln, and now to a new address. These actions have not been random or ill-considered. They have been rational and on sound advice to avoid the risk of confrontation and the greater risk of abduction.

196. I cannot ignore the father's attitude nor his repeated threats to take the children. I mention in particular his efforts to obtain passports in Mexico and his threats to his aunt and more recently to Mrs Burke. I have to treat the threat of abduction no less seriously than the professionals.

197. If a change of surname provides some extra protection against abduction, that adds to the children's welfare. I find that enormous upset to the boys would be caused if the father were to take them. The risk of that is significant. With the Guardian I agree that a change of surname to reduce that risk is justified and in the boy's best interests.

198. I am satisfied that permission to change the children's surnames for all purposes is justified as supported by the Guardian. The father has worked as a consultant for the NHS. Medical records might therefore be accessible to him given his IT skills.

199. This application has been forced on the mother by the father's conduct. She and the children require safeguards to avoid further disruption to their lives. This I have to conclude is a proportionate response to the risks posed by the father.

Section 91(14) order
200. I have set out the number and nature of the father's applications this year. Twice he has applied for a residence order, not withstanding my judgment in January, and based on no change of circumstances. He resolutely ignored what was required of him.

201. Three times he made applications without notice. In the first he did not disclose the full background. He then sought to find out where the children were. Finally he applied on a Friday for me to recuse myself from a 3 day case due to start on the Monday.

202. I bear in mind not only the history of abuse and threats but the manner in which he has conducted the litigation to which I have referred. The mother has to look after the children and be confronted by the father at court, allegedly confrontational outside and belittling and condescending to her in court.

203. Above all she justifiably blames the father for the change of names with the major disruption to the children's lives. Rightly she can seek such protection for the children and her ability to care for them as the court allows.

204. I gratefully adopt the principles involved from the summary in Hershman and McFarlane Children Law and Practice Vol 1 B 910.

"a) The children's welfare is the paramount consideration.
b) The power to restrict applications is discretionary and in exercising its discretion the court must weight in the balance all the relevant circumstances;
c) An important consideration is that to impose a restriction is a statutory intrusion into the right of a party to bring proceedings before the court and to be heard;
d) The power should therefore be used sparingly and should be the exception and not the rule;
(even without the history)
e) The facts went beyond the commonly encountered need for a time to settle to a regime ordered by the court and the all too common situation where there was animosity between the parties (adults and/or local authority); and
f) That there was a serious risk that, without the imposition of the restriction, the child or primary carers would be subject to unacceptable strain."

205. In this instance what the court is looking for is change in the father. The welfare of the children demands they be protected with their mother from hopeless applications for residence, un-warranted applications without notice, and relentless abuse and threats. Their need for stability and absence of stress has now reached a very high point.

206. Only such an order can further protect them as their welfare requires. The mother was right to equate her well-being with that of the children. She needs to be resolute to meet the difficulties created by the father's behaviour.

207. I shall make such an order for a term of 2 years. It does not stop the father making applications but it does provide the necessary filter of the court's sanction.

208. Whether it is his psychological makeup or other reasons, the real tragedy of this hearing is that the father has demonstrated that he has learned nothing. I repeat the changes expected after December 2006. His continued aggressive and sarcastic manner combined with his lack of insight make his prospects for the future even worse than they were. There has been no insight and not even the modest concessions made in December.

209. I have continued to search for a lifeline as I did in December 2006. It is becoming increasingly difficult to see how there can be meaningful and beneficial contact by the father with the children, given his sustained attitude and the substantial history that I have set out.

210. It may assist if I list the main points which affect the father:

211. I have commented on the father's behaviour both in my January judgment and in the course of this judgment. His attitude has not changed (see e.g. paragraphs 184 and 210). Whilst the father's suppressed anger and frustration have always been there, I am more concerned now about this than before.

212. I cannot ignore the tone of his remarks, his abuse, his contempt for the mother, his repeated threats to take the children, and lack of regard for court orders so freely acknowledged by him. It has directly affected the mother and the children to their detriment. The mother has not exaggerated the impact. The children have been exposed to verbal abuse and aggression. They had to leave Northampton and their lives have been disrupted, all because of the father.

213. Their lives have been gravely disturbed by the father's actions quite apart from his appearance outside their home on 1 May 2007. The mother has had a very great deal to contend with. She has reacted with good sense and moderation. I have accepted her evidence.

214. I cannot also ignore also the careful analysis of Mr Flatman which I have found compelling. Traits in common with an anti-social personality disorder is from a psychological point of view well established. It fits so much of the father's behaviour. I have set out his conclusions and evidence at some length in the hope the father may yet read and learn from it. His recommendation together with those of the Guardian that there should be no contact is one of last resort for both of them.

215. I have sought in vain for an alternative. I have looked for some prospect of change but only seen a deteriorating picture since December 2006. The future for contact between the father and the children is bleak unless the father takes advice and changes.

216. Taking the children's welfare as my paramount consideration and having regard to the welfare checklist, I am forced with reluctance to conclude that continuing contact even supervised is not at this time in the children's best interests. It surely cannot take much for the father to understand how readily be could change the position. If his personality makes that too difficult then it is a real tragedy.

217. I would willingly consider alternatives or some other assistance. I had considered a psychiatrist's report and would do so if there was a prospect this would help the father to understand and change. As it is I see no alternative if the father will not take advice and does not change.

218. The mother and the children require quiet and stability from the father until he displays some understanding of what he has done and how he can change. They need to be protected from court applications which lack this element. They need all proper injunctive relief to ensure they are not traced and thereby the continued threat of abduction is reduced.

219. Sadly I consider that a change of surname for school registers is a proper part of that protection. A s.91(14) is another necessary part. I shall restore the children's passports to the mother with the condition that if she proposes to take the children to Pakistan she shall give the father at least 21 days of her intention.

220. I have seldom concluded a case with the despair I feel. A father who has so much potentially to offer has driven his much loved children away by his words and behaviour which have been without thought of the dire consequences.

221. It follows I have accepted all the evidence I have heard and read save that of the father. The submissions of the mother and the Guardian for which I am grateful all have force. I shall consider a draft order on future injunctive relief.

222. The draft of this judgment was sent to counsel on 16 October. There have been a few minor amendments.