Dr Proudman wins appeal on behalf of rape complainant in family proceedings


GK v PR [2021] EWFC 106

Dr Proudman was successful on appeal on behalf of a mother in overturning a fact-finding decision in which no findings were made on the mother’s allegations of rape, domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour. The appellate court held that the trial judge minimised the significance of the allegations of abuse, for example, allegations that the father called the mother dirty, fat, fucking stupid, fucking die… were regarded by the judge as stuff of many a “matrimonial row” (§40). The appellate court also highlighted that the family court does not need to find “intentional misconduct” for a finding of abusive behaviour to be made (§40).  The appellate court also held that there is a duty on the court to ensure that there are special measures in place to assist a vulnerable witness to give her best evidence. In this case, a complainant of rape did not have special measures and she could see the father when giving evidence; she was subsequently admitted to hospital because she struggled to breathe; and she attended the remote hearing the following day from her hospital bed. Read the Judgment here.

Related barristers: Dr Charlotte Proudman


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