In an unprecedented step, a senior high court judge in London set out his judgement through a personal letter to a 14-year-old boy explaining why he turned down his request to move with his father in Scandinavia. Justice Peter Jackson, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, did not identify the youngster but gave him the pseudonym “Sam” in the published version of the letter.
In the letter, the judge said that he felt the teenager had brought the case to the High Court “as a way of showing your dad how much you love him”. “Your parents have very different personalities. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s one of the joys of life that people are different. One of your homes is quite conventional, the other very unconventional. There’s nothing wrong with that either,” he says in the letter.
‘What is of concern to me is … I see your mother and [your stepfather] Paul as being content with the life they lead, but I don’t see that in your father.He is a man with some great qualities. When he is relaxed, he has charm and intelligence. But underneath that, I see someone who is troubled, not happy. He has not achieved his goals in life – apart of course from having you, he further adds.
Turning down his request the judge said, his father was a “self-centred” and “troubled” man who exerted too much influence over him and did not appear to have his son’s best interests at heart.
“I believe your father has in some ways lost sight of what is best for you. I would worry about how it would be for you if things started to go wrong. I think you would find it exciting at first, but when reality set in, you might become sad and isolated. I also don’t think it is good for you to be with your father 24/7.” he said in the letter.
“I believe that (maybe sincerely and without realising it) he needs you to fall in with his way of thinking. I also think it would be very harmful to be living so far away from your mum.” he added.
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