Mother who tried to bar ex-partner from seeing child’s body loses court fight

The Royal Courts of Justice in central London (PA) (PA Archive)
The Royal Courts of Justice in central London (PA) (PA Archive)

A woman who does not want her ex-partner to visit a chapel of rest where the body of their child is lying has lost a court fight.

The woman complained to a High Court judge about the way the child’s father, and members of his family, had mistreated her.

She said, because of that, she did not want him to see the child’s body – or attend the funeral.

The man asked for orders allowing him to visit the chapel of rest and the funeral.

Mr Justice Williams on Friday ruled that the man could visit the chapel of rest.

He is scheduled to decide later this month whether the man can attend the funeral.

The judge, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, considered the dispute at a private online hearing.

He heard how the child, a toddler who had lived with the mother, had died after an illness.

The mother had raised concerns about the father’s “abusive” behaviour towards her – and the behaviour of other members of his family – and had objected to him seeing the child’s body at the chapel of rest, or attending the funeral.

Mr Justice Williams said such a dispute was not unprecedented in family courts but was “particularly poignant” following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The mother wanted the judge to ban reporting of Friday’s hearing – the father was happy with limited coverage.

Mr Justice Williams ruled that some detail could be revealed in media reports, after a journalist made free-speech arguments.

But he said reports must not reveal the child’s identity, age, or gender – or give any indication of where the parents lived or where the child’s body was.