Judge refers serious allegations made against father of baby boy to gardaí
Claims arose during family law court hearing over father’s access to 11-month-old child
After reading the woman’s statement, the judge said: “I am directing that the registrar send a copy of this information to the gardaí.”
A judge in a family law court has directed that gardaí be made aware of “hugely serious” abuse allegations made against the father of an 11-month-old boy.
The allegations were made by the child’s mother in a statement to the court when seeking a safety order for herself and the child.
The father contested the application.
At the outset of the application, the judge detailed the allegations made by the mother in her statement against the child’s father.
Commenting on these he said: “I am not saying that the father is guilty or not guilty - I am making no judgement. All I am saying is that allegations have been made - hugely serious allegations - and if they are correct they are hugely criminal.”
He directed the court registrar to forward the mother’s statement to the Garda.
The boy’s parents are estranged and the father has had access to him.
In her statement the mother alleged that after access with his father, the baby would come back to her “with unexplained marks and bruises on his body”.
The mother said that after the baby was returned last Sunday after access, “while changing his nappy” she noticed marks.
The mother provided a photo of the alleged injury to court.
“There is a history of unexplained marks and bruises on my son after access with his father. I believe that his father is causing these bruises,” she said. “These marks and bruises are similar to the marks that this man inflicted on me while pregnant. I am in fear for the safety of my son and seek the protection of the court.”
No further access
After reading out the woman’s statement, the judge said: “I am directing that the registrar send a copy of this information to the gardaí.
“These are very serious allegations and such allegations are a matter for the gardaí - not for the district family law court.”
He said that it was his view that no further access for the father should be take place until the allegations are investigated and clarified.
In response, a solicitor for the father said: “Allegations have been made numerous times - referrals have been made by the mother to Tusla and no findings are coming out of that.”
The solicitor said a judge in a family law court elsewhere has ordered a report “to assess the parenting capacity of the mother because of the repeated submission of the child for medicals”.
In response, the judge said: “I am not saying that the father is guilty or not guilty, that is not the issue. The issue is I have something before me that is very serious in relation to a child.”
The judge said it was open to the mother to apply to a court to end the access of the father to the baby. It was now a matter for the baby’s mother to take the appropriate steps and he struck out the safety order application.