Deane & Deane 2014 FamCA 869

A couple had been married for several years and had two daughter aged 7 and 3 years at the time of the hearing.  During one year the father’s own mother died and the father did not enjoy the Christmas period as he felt that his grief had not been adequately recognised, that there was no sexual intimacy with his wife, and that he would not be missed if he left the family.  The wife subsequently made allegations about three types of incident over the holiday period: that the father had thrown one daughter against a wall, that the husband had raped the wife, and that there was sexual abuse of the children.  Criminal charges did not proceed due to lack of evidence.  The parents separated soon after, with the father maintaining contact with his children.

Allegations by both children about sexualised behaviour by the father continued.  Allegations included that the father was naked in the bedroom of one daughter, and that the father performed an unusual exercise involving movement of his groin.

The judge found that too many concerning factors had been raised (burden of proof).  The judge ruled that the father’s access with his children should be supervised, but that evidence from the father’s own family had been too partisan for the judge to be confident that their supervision would be objective.  The judge ruled that the risk to the children was an unacceptable risk and that indefinite or ongoing supervision was required.