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Submission by Robert Whiston, former PSA-8 Committee Member
Judge Walker stated the following in evidence to the committee on Nov 9th, (Q.93), "If I may say so, we are all human - judges too. 19 children have been killed during contact since 1999 and no judge wants one of those 19 cases to be a case where he made a contact order. One is instinctively trying to do one's best to protect the children."
I would be very interested in knowing where Judge Walker derives this number. The figure of about 19 children is one that is promulgated by women activists and it was one such a group that raised the issue two years ago during a PSA-8 Committee Child Safety meeting.
The Lord Chancellors Dept looked into it and found evidence of only 3 deaths relating to contact matters in the last 10 years (I can forward a copy upon request).
As a PSA-8 committee member I discovered that once the committee as a whole had been informed of the error in the women's group information they did not want to discuss the false allegation further.
This year I discovered that the same falsehood remains on the same women's website. It is for this reason that I feel that unless the error in the judge's evidence is corrected it will become another of those 'urban myths' with which we are all so familiar with in our PC world.
All the judges were either unaware of this or failed to highlight the newer evidence in their testimony to the committee.
Also omitted was evidence regarding the most extreme forms of child abuse, i.e. neglect, cruelty and the number of child deaths, mostly perpetrated by mothers.
We all wrongly assume that custody with mother is best and safest, but examination of NSPCC statistics will make the point forcefully that the safest place for any child is to be with his/her father.
If the committee is to reach conclusions based on sound evidence I urge that these facts and observations be taken on board.
Robert Whiston FRSA
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