Thank you to the grandparent who has given permission for her story to be shared.
It is always difficult to be prepared to put your head above the parapet and it takes great courage.
“ When our son married he and his wife lived in London, when we visited everything seemed fine, although sometimes the atmosphere felt a little icy.
They made the decision to move to the west country, they found a property we paid the deposit and the first months rent. We helped to pay for furniture and I made curtains for them.
A couple of times our son came home as they had, had a row, his wife would beg him to go back and he would return. On one occasion our son had been with us for a month, I sent his wife a text saying that the two of them needed to sort themselves out. The abusive and foul language response was unbelievable. Our son decided to return and sided with his wife. We didn’t speak for 4 years.
Unexpectedly our son arrived on our doorstep, as his wife had thrown him out, accused him of cheating on her. The following Monday, she moved her new boyfriend in. She filed for divorce, her statement was riddled with lies. So he didn’t even contest it.
Then Social Services, Cafcass and solicitors were involved, she accused us of driving up and down her road, harassing them. She even accused our other son, a police officer, of doing the same thing, in his police car.
The first Christmas after the break up, I attended the children’s school performance of the Nativity, with our son. We received a solicitors letter accusing us of being rude and abusive to the school staff, and upsetting our granddaughter who played the role of Mary.
Our son was then allowed to see his children on a Saturday, providing we were not in the house. On one occasion, as the weather was so bad, we stayed at home. When the children came in we noticed marks on them, I questioned my granddaughter and was told that mummy held her around her neck and smacked her face so hard it left a mark and a blood shot eye. Our grandson had a big bruise on his side, he told us that his older step brother had done it. Our son recorded these statements. Cafcass and social services both listened to them.
My son then found out by chance, that she was going to move 300 miles away without telling him.
Cafcass and social services did nothing to help.
We went to court 8 times with our son. To attend it was a round trip of 500 miles, with an overnight stay. The judge was told by my sons’ ex and by Cafcass that they believed that it was not a safe environment for the children to be with us. All accusations were put before the court with evidence that they were all unfounded. Cafcass did not confirm that they heard the recording of the disclosure by our granddaughter.
At the last court appearance we just walked away.
Our son being cast as a bad father and us as the grandparents from hell, was too much.
My son and ourselves would never recommend ever going to court, it takes its toll, it has effected us all so badly. I don’t sleep, and have lost weight ,my son has been ill and my husband has just become silent.”