Sheffield access dad wins unique ruling

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A Sheffield father who last year lost a lengthy legal battle to gain access to his daughter has had the ruling overturned in the Court of Appeal - which found his Human Rights had been breached.

The family justice system admitted it had violated the human rights of the 60-year-old dad who was banned from his seeing his 14-year-old daughter after 13 years fighting his mentally unstable ex-partner in the courts.

Last year Judge Alan Goldsack QC, sitting as a family judge, banned the dad from direct contact, restricting him to sending the girl emails, cards and presents at Christmas and on her birthday.

The girl was aged just one when her parents separated in 2001 and the legal marathon began.

Since 2006, the family courts have made a staggering 82 court orders in an attempt to break the impasse between the warring former parents.

But in a unique decision, Appeal Court judges yesterday ruled that both father and daughter’s human rights to respect for their family lives had been breached by ‘systemic failure’ within the family justice system.

Ordering a re-hearing of the dad’s plea for direct contact, Lord Justice McFarlane said the court had never encountered a case in which the family justice system had ‘failed a family so completely’.