The Team

Letter to Children in Contact case published by Sheriff
Letter to Children in Contact case published by Sheriff

In an acrimonious Contact case at Glasgow Sheriff Court, as part of her judgement, Sheriff Aisha Y Anwar has published a letter to the children of the marriage.

During the course of a lengthy Proof, the Sheriff heard evidence from the parties, various family members, a Detective Constable, who interviewed the older children following allegations of sexual abuse and a clinical psychologist who specialises in working with children.

As we have indicated, the case was very acrimonious, and in delivering her judgement, the Sheriff said “I regret that I found chapters of the evidence of both the defender and the pursuer to be largely self-serving. I had concerns regarding the reliability and credibility of the parties’ account of events. Their account of events was filtered through a prism of animosity and hostility. They very clearly continue to bear a great deal of ill will towards each other and neither was willing to give the other the benefit of the doubt. There were bitter reprisals and allegations and counter allegations throughout the parties’ evidence.”

The Sheriff decided to hold a special hearing because the relationship between the father and the children had deteriorated badly.  The purpose of the hearing was to decide how matters should be taken forward if Contact was to be awarded. At the end of the hearing, the parties agreed:

  • that the pursuer (the father) would undertake the Triple P Parenting course;
  • that a psychologist would be instructed by both parties, to work with the children, to assist them to develop a relationship with the pursuer, with the pursuer meeting the expenses of her appointment;
  • that the parties would work with family therapists, as a precursor to mediation, with each party meeting their own costs;
  • and that thereafter, both parties would instruct a mediator, with the pursuer meeting the costs of her appointment.

Dr Khan, the clinical psychologist involved in the case “… explained that it was important for the children, who hold entrenched views, to understand that the court had considered all of the information and had decided what was best for the children, and why. She explained that it was important for the children to hear the decision from a neutral third person, who was not allied to either parent.”

Along with her judgement, Sheriff Anwar attached the text of a letter to the children and instructed Dr Khan to read the letter to the two older children. You can read the full text of the letter here.

The case details are: Patrick v Patrick [2017] SC GLA 46 and you can view the judgement by clicking here.