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Father ruins children''s lives over his rights yet again. Nice
24. On 11 April 2011, the Guardian supervised a contact session. At the beginning, the children were very reticent. J would not make eye contact and told his father he did not like him. B became tearful and told his father that he missed him and would like to see him more, and then gave his father a cuddle. The meeting then became more relaxed and by the end the children said they would like to see their father again. They became excited at the thought of doing some cooking at his flat and the occasion ended with the children cuddling their father and saying goodbye.
25. On 16 April 2011, a Sunday, the Guardian went to collect the children for a three hour visit to the father''s home. They were tearful and refused to go. Contact was cancelled. The Guardian again expressed concern that the children were being coached and influenced. She recommended further attempts, and these were ordered. Once again, they did not take place, and on 27 May 2011, the District Judge directed a psychological report.
26. That report was completed on 26 August 2011. The psychologist made a school visit, two home visits and four contact observations. In a detailed report, she reported that the children have a strong, secure emotional bond with their mother and a positive bond with their siblings and with Mr A. Their relationship with their father was anxious-avoidant in J''s case and anxious-ambivalent in B''s. The children were doing well at school and thriving at home, which was a calm and caring family environment. The psychologist advised that the children should have "regular, timetabled consistent experiences of direct contact", supervised in the first instance. She also recommended therapeutic intervention for the children and parallel therapy for the parents.
27. In the last week of the summer holidays, at the end of August 2011 and within a few days of this recommendation, the mother and children disappeared. Without any warning to anyone, the mother drove with the children to Devon. Her departure was unplanned. They all slept in the car for at least three days before finding somewhere to rent. The father found out in early September when he contacted the school in Blackpool at the beginning of term to find out how they were getting on.
28. The matter was returned to court on 12 September 2011. The mother did not attend and refused to tell her solicitor where she was. The matter was referred to a Circuit Judge, who made orders designed to establish the children''s whereabouts and ordered the mother to attend a hearing on 20 September. On that date the mother did not attend. She was ordered to attend a meeting with the Guardian and a further hearing on 3 October. The mother refused the Guardian access to the children on 30 September and failed to attend the hearing on 3 October. The father issued committal proceedings. An order was made that the mother should attend a hearing on 17 October or she would be arrested.