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Woman who complained about psychologist fails to overturn family court ruling

Melanie Gill (James Manning/PA)
Melanie Gill (James Manning/PA)

A woman embroiled in a family court dispute who complained after a psychologist said she was alienating her children from their father has lost an appeal.

The woman, who says Melanie Gill is “not an appropriately qualified expert”, appealed after a judge who oversaw family court hearings in Peterborough refused to order a re-hearing of her case.

But Sir Andrew McFarlane, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, on Tuesday dismissed the woman’s challenge after overseeing an appeal hearing at the High Court in London.

Sir Andrew, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said he would give reasons for his decision on a date to be fixed.

Sir Andrew McFarlane
Sir Andrew McFarlane (Courts and Tribunals Judiciary/PA)

He said the children at the centre of the case could not be identified in media reports of the litigation.

The woman told the PA news agency she was “in shock” over the dismissal of her appeal.

Judge Lindsay Davies had said in a ruling that the children at the centre of the case had lived with their mother after their parents separated.

She said another judge had initially found there had been “coercive and controlling behaviour on the part of the father”.

Judge Davies subsequently ruled that the children should move from their mother’s care and live with their father, after accepting Ms Gill’s “conclusion about alienation”.

Ms Gill argues that she is an “expert” and has raised concern about a “witch-hunt”.