Wednesday, October 7, 2015

4-year-old boy ordered to visit drug-addicted father who previously threatened boy's mother with shotgun (Australia)

The brutal triumph of the fathers rights movement--and the death of decency and common sense.

Gosh, what could possibly go wrong here?

Dad is identified as "Mr Tierney."

Boy, 4, ordered to visit ice dad

The Australian
October 01, 2015 12:00AM
Nicola Berkovic
Legal affairs correspondent

A four-year-old boy has been ­ordered by a judge to spend at least two hours a fortnight with his father despite evidence the ­father had been using the drug ice and served jail time for allegedly threatening the mother with a shotgun.

The father had also previously threatened to slit his own throat with a knife and had taken the boy without consent at least twice and spirited him interstate.

Federal Circuit Court judge Warwick Neville made ­orders in Canberra for the boy to spend “no less than two hours per fortnight” with the father at a contact centre.

The father, known as “Mr Tierney”, had been fighting the mother to spend regular, substantial time with his son and had ­denied using ice.

But his drug screen showed he had been using methylamphetamine and the prescription painkiller Endone, also dubbed “hillbilly heroin”.

He also denied previously threatening the ­mother with a shotgun and ­instead said that he had been threatening to shoot himself.

Mr Tierney urged the court to allow him to care for his son every second weekend and every Tuesday after school.

But the mother, who was ­legally represented, said the boy should live with her and spend two hours a fortnight with the ­father while supervised at a contact centre.

Judge Neville said the father’s previous threats of violent self-harm and positive drug test “alone warranted” that his time with the child “should be supervised”.

He made interim orders for fortnightly supervised contact until a report from a court- ­appointed psychiatrist could be prepared.

It is not clear whether the mother of the four-year-old boy felt uneasy about her son spending time with his father.

However, Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston said she came across many cases in which ­mothers felt pressured to agree to court orders they did not feel were in their children’s best interests to avoid being seen as trying to alienate the other parent.

“No court should ever allow a parent to make that decision” and lawyers should fight harder to ­ensure they did not do so, she said. “We see it all the time and we hear it all the time and it’s heartbreaking,” she said.

“These are parents who want to protect their children from clearly dangerous partners, who are being advised by their own legal representation, because of the way the system currently works, to make decisions that are not in the best interests of their own children.”

She questioned how super- ­visors at a children’s contact ­centre could guarantee the safety of the boy if the father arrived under the influence of ice or armed with a weapon.

The West Australian mother of “Abbey” — a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide after being forced to spend time with her pedophile father — told The Australian yesterday that she had felt pressured to consent to family law orders for her daughter to have contact with her ex- husband even though her “gut said no”.

“You are thrown into this system where you have to consent,” she said. “My gut said no ... but there is pressure from all around you. It’s the best-case scenario in a no-win situation.”