Please, miss, please may I watch my son’s school Christmas play?

An episode filmed in the lifelong family tragedy of one child’s ruined childhood, when he was only 4, helped lead to a courtroom comedy more than two years later.

Events including (but not confined to) those caught on camera as shown in the video, led to a court case that ended somewhat comically in 2017.  Comically, but, alas, not happily for the child concerned.

First, the incident that, in part, kicked off the court case.  The following video was shot in December 2014.

New-Twitter-Bird-Logo

Follow @John_Allman

Fast-forward to 2017, in the county court in Exeter, where a certain High Court judge had been brought in to do (in effect) a district judge’s job.  Mr Brett of Cornwall Council was representing the defendant multi-academy trust.

There follows shortly an official record of what was said.  It’s actually quite funny, so please enjoy it! 

IN THE COUNTY COURT AT EXETER

Case No. E1PP176A
Courtroom No. 10

Exeter Combined Court Centre
Southernhay
Exeter
Devon
EX1 1UH

10am – 10.30am
Wednesday, 8th March 2017

before

THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS

JOHN ALLMAN

– v –

AN DARAS MULTI ACADEMY TRUST

THE CLAIMANT appeared IN PERSON
MR S BRETT appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT

———-

WHOLE HEARING

———-

Case called on.

MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Thank you. Mr Brett?
MR BRETT: My Lord, I am Brett, I am here on behalf of the defendant in this matter.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: The applicant for today is An Daras Multi Academy Trust-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -which owns and run several primary schools in the Launceston[?] area, including St Stephen’s School-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -where the claimant’s son used to attend. Of course, the claimant is representing himself. My Lord, this is an application by the Trust to strike-out a summary judgment in respect of the claim against it.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right.
MR BRETT: Could I check that you have received a bundle of papers?
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: I have received two bundles and a skeleton argument all dated 5 March. Is that right?
MR BRETT: Indeed, My Lord, grateful. The two bundles will be identical copies as there is only one folder-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -in total.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. I saw that.
MR BRETT: Most of that does relate to previous, the previous history of these proceedings.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes, well, I know a lot more about the history because I am involved in the trial involving Mr A and Cornwall County Council.
MR BRETT: My Lord, can I ask if you had a chance to look through the skeleton argument?
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: I don’t propose to take you through it.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: You complain about this being Part 8 proceedings, but do harassment proceedings not always have to be Part 8?
MR BRETT: My Lord, we contend that if there is a substantial dispute of fact then it would be better placed as a Part 8.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: No, no, I understand that. However, do the Rules not require all good protection from harassment claims to start as Part 8?
MR ALLMAN: They do, My Lord.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. Did you not know that?
MR ALLMAN: On paper …
MR BRETT: We have certainly dealt with claims for harassment as both Part 7 and Part 8 before.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: I did not say whether you had dealt with claims before. Can we just check the Rules because one of your complaints is that he has not served a particulars of claim, etc., which, if it is a good point, is a proper point to take. However, I am pretty sure that the protection from harassment has to start as Part 8. It is unfortunate because, as you rightly point out, there are lots of disputes. Mr Allman, where is that?
MR ALLMAN: No, sorry, wrong form. Have a look at the particulars of, here we are [inaudible]. It’s on, there are no page numbers on this bundle, My Lord. It’s on, oh yes, it’s on the bottom. A1. No, A2.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: This claim is filed under Part 8 of the Civil Procedure …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: 65.28.
MR ALLMAN: Yes. 65.28.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right, Okay, wait.
[Pause]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: A claim under Section 3 must be brought under that.
MR BRETT: Grateful, My Lord. When will be …?
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: It just goes a bit wider than that. You are trying to strike-out a claim, I understand why, and I will come to whether there is any purpose for these claims with Mr Allman. However, it is not very impressive if you send in a skeleton argument moaning that he has used a Part 8 claim form, when he has to, is it?
MR BRETT: Indeed, My Lord, and apologies on behalf of the defendant for that. But in the circumstances, we would contend that it’s, our complaint is not so much that it is, it has to be done as Part 8, but more …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, that is obviously part of it. I have read through the correspondence and there is a lot of moaning that it is all Part 8 and you have not served a particulars of claim, etc. etc. and yet all he is doing is following the Rules. Anyway, your next point.
MR BRETT: My next point, My Lord, goes wider than that. Rather than, we don’t take issue so much with what is, the way in which he’s stated his case, but more so what is contained or rather what is not contained within it. And these …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: And you say there is no course of conduct?
MR BRETT: We say that, on the evidence available at this stage, there can’t possibly be a claim that will succeed against the Trust. But, at any event, this claim has been rendered wholly academic.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, hang on. Those are two separate points. Therefore, your first point is that there is no course of conduct. The closest we get to what is the course of conduct is at A7/A8, is that right?
MR BRETT: Indeed, My Lord. From what we can gather from the statement in support of the Part 8 claim form, is that the harassment complained of seems to relate to the school and allegedly preventing the claimant from attending the school.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: From a physical assault which is said to have taken place-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -at that school.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, there is no claim for trespass to the person. He is just dealing with harassment at the moment. Therefore, I am dealing with that.
MR BRETT: Interfering with leaflet distribution-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -and calling the police.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: If I can just say, it’s not calling the police, it’s misrepresenting to the police that there is, in force, a non-molestation order when there isn’t.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: You say that a school can exclude someone, revoke the implied licence?
MR BRETT: Yes, indeed, My Lord. The school …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Just on that, the law is set out in Wandsworth London Borough Council v A [2000] 1 WLR 1246. Have you checked that?
MR BRETT: Not for the purposes of this application.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: No. Well, that says that, of course, there is an implied licence to parents to attend schools. If schools want to revoke that implied licence, they have to treat it as quasi-public law proceedings. Give him the right to make representations and then revoke his implied licence. Did the school do that?
MR BRETT: The school did not do that in this case. The school …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: No. That is not, for a moment, to say that I am going to let the claim go through, but, again, there has just been no attempt by the defendant to grasp those issues. I mean, if you are a school and you are trying to exclude people, you cannot just say, ‘We can exclude anyone’, because the law is not that. Just make a note of it, Wandsworth London Borough Council v A [2000] 1 WLR 1246.
There is an implied licence on the right of parents to attend a school. A school can revoke that, of course they can, because they have to manage lots of difficult situations. However, they have to give the person affected a right to make representations. I rather suspect that if that course had gone through, a lot of this complaint about costs would have been avoided because we would not have these ridiculous proceedings.
MR ALLMAN: Would Mr Brett be kind enough to e-mail me the authority that …?
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: No. I will tell you what it is-
MR ALLMAN: Oh.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: -when I come to give judgment in this case.
MR ALLMAN: Okay.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Therefore, there is that aspect of it, but again, his claim is not for trespass to the person or wrongful repudiation of the implied licence.
MR BRETT: No, My Lord. The events, in principal, seem to relate to the school play.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: In December 2014?
MR BRETT: In December 2014.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: For which parents were required to have tickets to attend.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: And, of course, the defendant did not have a ticket-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -and was advised in advance that he would not be able to attend-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -and, the school says that he ignored that. He went to the premises and he tried pushing through people and pushing through doors-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -to gain entry-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -and that, in those circumstances, the school was quite entitled to contact the police-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -and to exclude him from the premises.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. Then, of course, it is what you then do afterwards that is the issue. However, in any event, you say that whatever it is, that would not amount to a course of conduct that is criminal for these purposes, that gets to that edge of harassment?
MR BRETT: Indeed, My Lord.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. The second point is that his child is no longer at the school and it is all academic, is that right?
MR BRETT: My Lord, it goes slightly further than that. If I may refer you to the witness statement in support of the application.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: It’s at Tab B,-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -at page B16.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: It is the witness statement of William Hermon, who is the Chief Executive of the Trust and it’s the …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: B16?
MR BRETT: B16, Sir, if we work back to B14, that’s that start of the statement.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. Yes.
MR BRETT: But then at paragraph 11-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -which is on B16, we can see that he refers to the Head Teacher, who is his, of course, the claimant refers to in respect of the incident. She is no longer employed by the Trust at the school.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: Reference to the son, who we refer to as ‘AB’ in this case.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Or ‘S’, yes.
MR BRETT: He no longer attends the school and …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: When did he stop attending? I see the letter of 15 March 2016, but when did he stop attending?
MR BRETT: We understand that it was in March.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: March 2016?
MR BRETT: March 2016.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: It may well be earlier than that.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Does he have the right, does Mr Allman have the right to ask for information about his son’s education or not? I mean you retained parental responsibility under the-
MR ALLMAN: Yes, My Lord.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: -County Court order.
MR BRETT: Indeed, My Lord, he does.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right.
MR ALLMAN: Well, no. The Family Court order doesn’t remove parental responsibility.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Therefore you-
MR ALLMAN: It doesn’t expressly say …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: No, but if it has not been removed, you have retained it, yes?
MR ALLMAN: Mm.
MR BRETT: There’s no argument about that.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: In fact, the school advised Mr Allman that his child was being educated at home, which was-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -which was, I think he was asking and, as I understand it-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Mm.
MR BRETT: -he didn’t receive that information elsewhere. So, the school entirely accept-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -that he had parental responsibility.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: He’s proved that by serving the relevant birth certificates-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -and other documentation and will provide him with the information where necessary. But, of course, whilst his son does not attend the school, there is no reason, in those circumstances, to …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Continue the claim.
MR BRETT: And, finally, paragraph 14,-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -the claimant may say, ‘Well, this Trust would say this wouldn’t it?’, but there’s a confirmation here that-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -first denies any harassment. He has no intention of harassing people …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: What is the relief sought, injunction?
MR BRETT: It’s an injunction, My Lord. It’s contained within the-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -the order the Part 8 he made-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS. Yes.
MR BRETT: -which is at page A4.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. I have got it, yes. Well, I mean, if you look at A1, it says the claim is for injunctive relief. There is no claim for the damages, is there? There is just simply the claim for injunctive relief.
MR BRETT: Indeed, My Lord.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. Okay.
MR BRETT: So, in those circumstances, the Trust contends that this claim is wholly academic-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -and there is a reference in that witness statement, it is at page B15, to the fact that the school has limited resources and that this case will involve a lot of time-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -it will cost the school, the legal fees and that will distract from directing money and time …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, I am well aware of the problems that every public body has at the moment in these times.
MR BRETT: My Lord, the claimant may say, well, he will suffer prejudice if this claim is struck-out at this stage. The Trust’s response to that is threefold.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: It would not be struck-out it would be a reverse summary judgment because the claim is properly, I know you said it was all wrongly constituted that that is hopeless because, to be honest, your side have not looked at the Rules and, indeed, it is your side that have failed to comply with court orders. However, your proper point is that, given the new factual situation, there is no prospect of obtaining an injunction because he is not at the school.
MR BRETT: My Lord, absolutely. I think we must concede …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right. Okay. Thank you, very much.
MR BRETT: My Lord, if I may just say-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -the Trust would not apply for costs if the matter, a summary judgment is given.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: And …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, I doubt I would have ordered it, if I do grant the summary judgment anyway, given the fact that there was a historic failure to take account of the right to give him to make representations, which is exactly one of the reasons why it exists. It is to avoid exactly this sort of misconceived litigation after the event when people just feel angry and have no other remedy. Anyway, there we are. Thank you. Yes, Mr Allman? Just so that you know-
MR ALLMAN: Yeah.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: -my provisional view is that the school should have given you the right to make representations in accordance with the authority that I referred to, and I will give you the reference at the end, on whether you should be as it were, ‘excluded’ from the premises, although at the end of the day, I doubt that would have made any difference because I rather suspect they still would have excluded you given the behaviour which occurred in December 2014.
You claim you were right in bringing the Part 8 claim form because you had to, on the other hand, in the situation now, where your son is not at the school, the Head Teacher has changed, I cannot see any point in allowing these proceedings to go forward, because you are never going to get and injunction against the school.
MR ALLMAN: I would agree with you entirely, My Lord, but for one factor. And it is the only sticking point-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: -negotiations which I can’t talk about …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, I am not interested in those things, so do not talk about them.
MR ALLMAN: I …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: What is the one factor?
MR ALLMAN: If my son had left the school and was settled at another school,-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: -then this litigation would not be before you anymore-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: -it would’ve gone by now. It would’ve been settled. Unfortunately, he is not. He has been taken out of one school, but he has not been sent to another.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yeah. Therefore, he is being home-schooled.
MR ALLMAN: I don’t know because I …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, inferentially, he is being home-schooled, yes. Yes.
MR ALLMAN: We think, I have asked the council what his school allocation is and they have not replied-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: -for a period of the best part of a year.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, we can deal with that in your other-
MR ALLMAN: Yes.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: -proceedings.
MR ALLMAN: And …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: That is nothing to do with this school which, frankly …
MR ALLMAN: I know, but the school is providing second hand information, but as far as they know, he’s being educated at home.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, that is probably all they do know.
MR ALLMAN: I don’t …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: What have you got to suggest that they did not? I am certainly not going to allow you to continue proceedings to get information from a second-hand body.
MR ALLMAN: Okay, My Lord.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: What is the proper reason for allowing this to continue?
MR ALLMAN: The, I’ll give you an easy reason. The application for summary judgment is not, does not comply with the Practice Direction.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right. Okay. Let us look at that. That would not surprise me because, so far, the defendant has failed to cover itself with glory in reading the Rules. Why do you say that it does not?
MR ALLMAN: May I have permission just to look up this Practice Direction, if I could?
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. Part 24.
MR ALLMAN: It’s PD 24.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: I think it’s at about paragraph 5.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: I’m just trying to get this up on the screen because …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Paragraph 2 is the procedure for making an application.
MR ALLMAN: Yep. I will get to, I will find it.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: What do you say that they do not do there?
MR ALLMAN: PD 24. Practice, yes, Practice Direction 24.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. We are looking at it.
MR ALLMAN: Yes. I’m looking at it as well, My Lord.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Paragraph?
MR ALLMAN: I’m just, just waiting for it to open. It’s, yes, paragraph 2(5). The application notice should draw the attention of the respondent to Rule 24.5(1).
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: It doesn’t.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right. Therefore, that is a failure, I can waive that.
MR ALLMAN: I’m asking you not to waive that because …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, I will not waive it if there is a point in these proceedings, if there is not, then I will because, to be honest, it is another good reason why I am not going to give any costs to the defendant, even if they ask for them.
MR ALLMAN: The defendant already has a costs order in a pending appeal on this which is awaiting a renewal[?] hearing.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right.
MR ALLMAN: Which is an appeal for interim relief.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, I am dealing with the application before me at the moment.
MR ALLMAN: Yes, I understand that. Okay. Well, only that my son is not at any school at all and …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: I really do understand the frustration that you feel in relation to-
MR ALLMAN: All I’ve …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: -that Mr A, but it is not their fault.
MR ALLMAN: My Lord, all I’ve asked for is, may I please meet with An Daras Trust, to discuss what is going to happen if, as soon as the defendant, as soon as ‘M’, we know who M is,-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: -learns that the coast is clear, she puts our, she puts S back in school and two out of the three schools in Launceston are presently managed-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: By this Trust. I understand that.
MR ALLMAN: -by this Trust, and the government-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Well, I am not saying you will not have a claim in the future, I am just dealing with this claim.
MR ALLMAN: -and the government launched a new policy saying that independent schools, ones that were not run by trusts, will then have to be taken over by trusts and they announced that the same month that my son left the school.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. Just because the government announces something does not mean it is going to happen.
MR ALLMAN: Well I appreciate that …
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: They have to legislate. There is a Parliament, we do live under the-
MR ALLMAN: Okay.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: -rule of law.
MR ALLMAN: I intend to go back to the Family Court to try to get my son educated in a school-
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes. Well, that is fine, but I am dealing with your injunction for harassment.
MR ALLMAN: -and two out of the three schools that he might be allocated to are run by this Trust-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right.
MR ALLMAN: -and they won’t even talk to me.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right.
MR ALLMAN: They won’t even sit down and have a, they won’t even talk to me on the telephone.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: I propose to say that they have acted, subject to anything that Mr Brett wants me to say, that they have acted in the past not in accordance with the relevant authorities, and draw their and your attention to the authorities with that. I also understand, and I hope this is not rude, that the school might consider you to be irritating and annoying and take up a lot of their time. However, that is still no reason why they should not comply with their obligations.
MR ALLMAN: They don’t want me to take up any of their time. It’s been a big war since the very beginning.
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right. Okay. However, that is no reason to keep these proceedings which are, at the moment, academic. They might become active, they might not in the future, and I will say that you can bring a claim in the future, but at the moment, I am just dealing with the claim which is, on the face of it, entirely in the past.
MR ALLMAN: Okay. Can I just seek agreement on something?
Background discussion.
MR BRETT: My Lord, if it will assist, [I think?] the claimant is inviting the Trust to agree to the order for costs made by District Judge Thomas-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR BRETT: -to be set aside.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes.
MR ALLMAN: As you rightly point out, the Trust hasn’t covered themselves in glory.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Covered themselves in glory and that it is no criticism. These Rules are far too complicated, even though they were meant to be easy although Mr Allman is capable of reading the Practice Directions, so ought professional lawyers instructing you.
MR BRETT: Indeed, My Lord and they have to accept that, in the circumstances, the Trust would be prepared to agree to set aside the …
[Crosstalk]
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Right. Well, okay. What I will do is give a short judgment and I will just record that.
MR ALLMAN: Can you make it by consent and then he needn’t get a judgment, is that correct, if it’s by consent?
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: No, this is before me-
MR ALLMAN: Okay.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: -and I will deal with it. Okay, thank you very much. Do sit down.
Judgment transcribed separately.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Good. Mr Brett, thank you very much. Do you want your bundles back? Or, whether you want them back or not, you are having them back. Mr Allman, is there anything further from your point of view?
MR ALLMAN: No, no, that is fine.
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: No, thank you. Good. Okay, right, well-
MR BRETT: Your Honour[?], would you like us to draw up an order-
MR JUSTICE DINGEMANS: Yes, if you can draw up an order and then email it through to Olly[?] that would be extremely kind, and then I will just sign it, as it were. Good. Thank you very much, so, Olly, I will rise briefly and then you will get the other parties in for the next one. Good, okay, thank you.

End of hearing.

This, like more-or-less every court hearing I’ve ever attended – and you can see I’ve attended a fair few just by glancing down the list of titles of posts on this blog – is nothing like an inexperienced member of the general public might expect, if he relied on courtroom dramas on the telly to inform his expectations of what real-life court hearings would be like.

Background (apart from the video itself, that is)

The actual claim I brought in 2015 is here (Yes, I know the original claim number had changed by 2017, and no I haven’t explained why in this post.)

The executive summary of the facts behind the courtroom comedy are (I say) as follows.

Simply loads of bad stuff that happened to me, which you can read about in outline in the initial court papers.  The bad stuff happened before, during and after the filmed events in the video.  I am here referring only to bad things inflicted upon me intentionally by the defendant, unlawfully, when I was doing nothing at all that ought to have caused any rational person mistakenly to think that anybody had the right to inflict such things on me.  They were bad things which Mr Justice Dingemans agreed (as you can see in the hilarious court transcript) shouldn’t have happened at all, if they had happened as I said, which he was in no position to decide.

The subplot about this being a “ticketed event” is (I say) something of a spin on the truth.  Rather, parents (including me) were invited to book places at one of two performances.  I had tried to do that (asking to be at whichever performance my ex wasn’t attending) and had been told I wasn’t welcome at either performance.  Nothing was said about “tickets”.

The school belatedly instructed Cornwall Council’s legal department to defend.  Cornwall Council failed to file a defence in time, but then went into obstructive mode.  The head of school in the video resigned.  Eventually, when it looked as though the obstruction might not work, the child was removed from school, to be home-schooled.

Comment

Things might have turned out better if only I’d sued greedily for damages for past harassment as well as suing virtuously merely for protection from future harassment.  Or if my ex hadn’t decided to home-school our son as soon as it looked as though the school trust were going to lose my harassment claim (and therefore to be forced to allow me to be involved in the school’s education of my son despite her wishes to exclude me).  In either event, the case would then have gone to trial (after a couple of years or so of delaying tactics), instead of succumbing to an application for reverse summary judgment, albeit with no order for costs.

Published whilst in Bucharest, on what is Good Friday in the UK

2 Comments

Filed under Children's Rights, Family Rights, Human Rights, Law, Men's Rights, Persecution of Minorities, Police, Political, Targeted

2 responses to “Please, miss, please may I watch my son’s school Christmas play?

  1. Daniel A. Montgomery

    What was the original substantive cause of action? Are you still doing this case? Why is “best interest” an issue?

    • Thank you for your interest.

      “What was the original substantive cause of action?”

      In the post, there is a link to the claim, which was brought under the Protection From Harassment Act.

      “Are you still doing this case?”

      No. The hearing recounted in the blog post brought that particular action to an end. There is a link to the judgment in the hearing transcript.

      “Why is ‘best interest’ an issue?”

      It isn’t. Nobody said it was. The phrase “best interest” wasn’t used during the hearing, in the judgment, or in the original substantive cause of action linked to in this blog post. It is used in the Children Act, which isn’t cited anywhere, and has thus entered common parlance. That might be where a police officer or the Head of School got the idea of dropping that phrase into the oral content in the video, if you noticed that. Is that the reason for your question?

Likes, follows and comments cheer me up!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s