Vargas & Clarke 2014 FamCA 109

The father submitted that the mother had a mental illness of schizophrenia; that she had been admitted to hospital for this; that she consumed excessive alcohol; and that she became violent and abusive towards the child.

The mother alleged that the father had shown an excessive and almost obsessive attitude towards the child by taking the child to medical practitioners virtually every time that he had unsupervised contact with the child; that he was obsessed with the child’s injuries and that he had photographed the child on 14 occasions in 6 months, on virtually every occasion that he had contact with the child.

A doctor reported two small finger-type bruises on the child’s arm that were not consistent with normal childhood injuries and that the doctor considered were brought about by a hard pressure being applied by a hand to the child, as if the child was held tightly.  The judge did not see much moment in that evidence.

The judge was satisfied on the evidence that the mother did not have mental problems of any substance.

The judge found that the father had indications of narcissistic personality traits and was paranoid; that the father was obsessive in relation to the child; that the father’s continually taking the child to medical practitioners and to hospitals did not benefit the child; and that the father had not prioritised the welfare of the child.  The child was ordered to live with the mother and the mother was granted sole parental responsibility.  The father was ordered to have permanently supervised contact with the child.