Appeal before the Honourable Mrs Jutistice Judd, against a case management decision to exclude evidence from a fact-finding hearing where there were allegations of domestic abuse. Appeal allowed.
The Hon Mrs Justice Judd considered a recorder's decision to exclude elements and allegations from the mother's statement. Whilst it was noted that the mother produced the new material late in the process and that the father and his legal advisors had had little time to absorb and respond to it, the allegations raised within that material was both admissible and relevant to the proceedings.
This case highlights the importance of ensuring that evidence and material are raised and filed in a timely fashion but also serves as a strong reminder that limiting the number of allegations a party can make, can give rise to patterns of behaviour being missed or overlooked by the court and failing to make out the more subtle aspects of abuse.
In this case, however, not only were the allegations highly significant but the hearing had to be adjourned in any event.