Man stripped of parental rights for calling autistic son 'retarded' in rare legal move
Judge Frances Judd QC ruled that it was in the child's best interest to remove the father's parental responsibility after he wrote about his son 'in dreadful terms'
An abusive father has been stripped of his parental rights in what has been described as a rare legal move after he repeatedly called his six-year-old autistic son "retarded". Deputy High Court Judge Frances Judd QC ruled that it was in the child's best interest to remove the father's parental responsibility after he wrote about his son "in dreadful terms".
The Daily Mail reports that this is believed to be only the third time in the history of the Court in England and Wales that it has approved the removal of parental responsibility, which is a legal concept that sets out the rights and responsibilities of parents.
A hearing that took place in the Family Division of the Court of Appeals in London was told how, last year, the father posted the vile notes to his former partner's neighbors telling them that the boy was "retarded" and that he could not enjoy trick or treating and Halloween.
In November last year, he also wrote a letter to the mother's attorney saying: "I have the greatest pleasure knowing that C (the mother) is struggling to cope with her retarded son and that she will now be spending a lot of her time with various autism support and parenting programmes etc. and given the severity of her son’s autism, the pleasure of her son going to a special school for retarded children in the future."
The father also added that he was happy that his ex-partner and their autistic son had to sleep in her parents' bedroom while the parents slept on the couch in the living room. He wrote: "I will continue to ensure that my income will continue to remain below the threshold to qualify for any maintenance payments whatsoever."
The couple was only in a relationship for two years which came to an end when their son was born in 2012. Social workers also became involved after claims were made that the father was emotionally abusive, intimidating, and controlling. The mother won a non-molestation order against the man from the high court in November last year. She told the jury that he had blocked all her efforts of getting their son medical and educational support.
The woman also said that the father was intimidating and that he would use his parental responsibility role in order to delay any treatment that their autistic son needed. In her ruling, the judge said that the man viewed himself as a victim and that he regularly sent very disturbing emails to various people. She also said that there was no chance that his attitude, which was belligerent, abusive, and intimidating, would change.
She wrote in the ruling: "The father is so bound up in himself and his own anger that he has been prepared to write about his son in dreadful terms, terms that will be deeply distressing to B if he ever comes to know about it."
Judge Judd then said that she agreed that the child needed a happy and confident mother and that the father's involvement in his life was more about his desperate need to control his former partner than to care for their son. She wrote: "I have... come to the conclusion that it is in (the boy’s) best interests for his father’s parental responsibility to be removed."