A violent dad whose battered ex-partner faced jail over her refusal to let him see their son has dropped his legal case for access.
The mum, 24, from Glasgow, was fined £1,000 by Sheriff Aisha Anwar last year for contempt of a court order giving her son’s father access, despite him failing to attend anger management courses.
We told, in October, how the court warned she could face up to 28 days in jail if she continued to disobey the order as the violent dad continued to demand she “be punished”.
But last week the father finally withdrew his case after a five-year legal battle, and agreed not to fight for access to his son.
The mum said: “I feel a huge burden has been lifted from us. After years of nightmare legal battles, I can finally start to enjoy my wee family without having to worry about whether I’d be thrown in jail.
“I can’t thank The Sunday Post enough for highlighting this issue.
“I hope our victory will give others encouragement to fight for what they believe to be right, and the justice system is forced to look again at how they handle cases like this. A court upheld that I was a battered mum and there were very sound reasons why I, and the court-appointed social worker, had concerns about access and the fact my ex failed to attend anger management despite the recommendation of that expert there should be no unsupervised access until then.
“It was devastating to discover the system appeared not to take his conviction and the expert concerns into account because I was ordered to take our son to see his father and very quickly he was given unsupervised access.”
The mum said her “nightmare” began just two weeks after her baby was born when his father assaulted her at her home in Maryhill.
Her former partner was convicted in 2018 at Dumbarton Sheriff Court over the 2014 attack, and given a suspended sentence.
The mum said: “I truly believed that either I or my baby were going to be badly hurt or killed that day.
“We’d split up by the time it happened. He lost his temper and slammed me against a wall because I wouldn’t let him take the baby away for several hours on his own because I was breastfeeding.”
The mum said she was shattered to receive a huge fine for contempt.
“I was struggling on little more than £50 a week income support and my baby son’s father was paying just £4 for his upkeep when Sheriff Anwar fined me £1,000 last year.
“Because my ex continued to claim I was breaking an access agreement and demanded I be further punished, I was warned in court I’d face jail.”
The mum ended up on antidepressants” and had to abandon her teacher training course.
Now she plans to go back to university in the summer.She said: “I finally feel we have a chance of a happy future.”
The mum gave evidence to Scottish Government ministers as they prepared reforms to the Children (Scotland) Bill last year, but she hopes further change is on the cards.
Her MSP Bob Doris said: “She has finally secured a positive outcome through the courts, not because of the system but rather despite it. We have made the Scottish Government well aware of the deficiencies that exist.”
Glasgow City Council child protection officers launched a probe after the family’s GP raised concerns last August that the boy may have been abused during an unsupervised visit.
Solicitor Advocate Mark O’Hanlon, who specialises in child custody cases and acted for the mum, said: “ I’m delighted we have achieved this outcome, and hope it gives others in the same situation the courage to fight on.”