Northern Ireland

Woman 'lied about child abuse' in divorce case

A High Court judge in Belfast has concluded that a woman involved in a divorce case falsely accused her ex-husband of sexually abusing their children.

In his judgement Mr Justice Weir said the woman's "lurid and extreme" allegations were so incredible and inconsistent that he initially thought she was suffering from some form of paranoid delusion.

However, he concluded that she was merely motivated by spite.

The woman, referred to as MG, eventually withdrew the allegations after the judge warned her of the consequences of lying under oath.

Details of the case, which was concluded in June, have been published by the Courts Service.

The couple split up in 2007 and each moved house so they lived about 80 miles apart.

The children continued to see their father on one weekend a month, when they stayed over at his parents' house.

That arrangement broke down in the summer of 2008 in a row over a birthday party.

Contradictory

Much later the woman would assert that the true reason for her refusal to continue with the arrangement was that she had found evidence of sexual abuse.

However, the judge found that her claims were inconsistent, contradictory and mendacious.

The judge also found that when the couple's five-year-old daughter, referred to as T, did make allegations of "improper behaviour" against her father it was only as a result of "coaching" by her mother.

A report by a child care centre, which was heard in evidence, noted that the woman "was obviously disappointed that T did not disclose anything of a sexual nature."

The court also heard that the woman prevented T from going on a school trip to a pantomime last Christmas because she said she was concerned her ex-husband would kidnap the girl.

The judge said that was "an entirely bogus" explanation and that the "fatuous decision" was made only to bolster her false claims against her ex-husband, regardless of the consequences for her child.

The children continue to live with their mother and a contact order has been agreed which will allow them to stay with their father one weekend a month.

Mr Justice Weir added that on one view it might be thought there was no need for him to deliver a judgement as the woman had withdrawn her claims.

However, he said he was "sufficiently concerned" about the woman's presentation to have the matters set down for the record.

He also ordered that copies of his judgment should be provided to Social Services and kept on their files.

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