Girl ‘refuses father access’ over social media bra-top photos

Mother tells court 10-year-old was very upset, father says she was ‘really proud’

Judge Paula Murphy at Dublin District Family Court said the evidence in a case around breach of access was conflicting and she would not make a finding on it. File photograph:  iStockPhoto

Judge Paula Murphy at Dublin District Family Court said the evidence in a case around breach of access was conflicting and she would not make a finding on it. File photograph: iStockPhoto

 

A young girl refused to attend access with her father after photos were taken of her in a bra top and posted on social media, the girl’s mother told the Dublin District Family Court.

The mother told Judge Paula Murphy her elder daughter, who is under the age of 10, had been trying to cover herself up in the photo.

“She was very upset about it,” she said.

The mother was in court for breaching the father’s access to his two young daughters on five occasions.

She told the judge the father had not shown up on time for some access visits and she could not wait for him. On the last occasion when access was due, she said, the elder girl hid under the table. She suffered from anxiety, the mother said, and had witnessed her father being threatening.

“He threatened to slash my throat in front of her. She remembers that and talks about it,” the mother said.

She had spoken to a GP about her daughter and the GP had sent a report to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. She also said she loved her children and believed they should see their father, but did not know what to do when her daughter refused.

‘Slashing incident’

Giving evidence, the father said the “slashing incident” never happened. He said he had not posted the photo of his daughter on social media.

He said he and his girlfriend had been clothes shopping with the children.

Because the elder girl was getting older, they thought she needed a “cameo bra”.

The girl was “really proud of it” when they bought it for her and had asked his girlfriend to take her photo. The photo had then been shared with his mother. Tusla had been in touch with him and had “no concerns”, he said.

He said he had informed his ex-partner he could not pick the children up at the arranged time because he had started a new job, and she had ignored him and refused to give him the children at a later time.

He also said the last time they were in court together, she had pushed him down the stairs afterwards and called him a “Muslim c***”. She had also called him a “fat b******” and a “scumbag” in front of his elder daughter.

The judge said the evidence around breach of access was conflicting and she would not make a finding on it. She ordered both parents to promote access and not to speak in derogatory terms about each other in front of the children.

Further hearings in the case, to change access and maintenance, are due to take place in October.

In a separate case, a grandmother took her son’s former partner to court for failing to provide access to her granddaughter.

A court order, in place since July, required the grandmother get access to the girl from 3pm to 5pm every Saturday.

The grandmother said she had only seen the child on three occasions since then. She and the child’s mother got on well, she said, until she was sent a text saying she was not to talk to her son about their arrangements.

Protection order

Giving evidence, the child’s mother agreed things went well initially, though Saturday did not always suit because of her daughter’s activities. Then she received a text from her ex-partner, against whom she had a domestic violence protection order, saying he was going to turn up at access with his mother.

“Do you think my mother is not going to let me see my daughter?” his message said.

The grandmother said she had not told her son the time of access, but she believed he had sent the message. “I know what he’s like,” she said.

The judge made an order changing access to an alternative day, told the grandmother she must not discuss the arrangement with her son, and struck out the breach proceedings.