In late July, Ella applied for permission to appeal the findings of Mrs Justice Pauffley on 19 March 2015. She also applied to introduce additional evidence—including the a report she felt would challenge Mrs Pauffley’s assessment of the veracity of the children’s video descriptions, and the content of the BBC interview the children’s father gave to Victoria Derbyshire.
You might recall the appeal hearing, though it was overshadowed by Sabine’s dramatic arrest in the courthouse. Oh, and apparently the hearing was so important to Ella that she couldn’t be arsed to show up for it. You know, just another day in Hoaxtead.
The actual appeal judgement was released 04 August, and we present it here: Court of Appeal Judgement
It’s heavy sledding at times, with a lot of possibly unfamiliar legal jargon, but we think the basics come across.
For example, the legal team representing the children themselves disagree with Ella’s claim that the police botched the investigation:
- Grounds 1 and 2 are repetitive and stripped of some meaningless phraseology, they represent a submission that the police investigation (note, not the court proceedings) were procedurally irregular because there was (A) a lack of prompt investigation, (B) a lack of effective investigation and (C) a breach of Police and Criminal Evidence Act codes which separately or together represented a breach of the children’s Article 3 ECHR rights.
- It is to be noted that the independent legal team representing the children do not support the mother’s position in this regard.
Then there’s this gem:
- Before this court, in order to obtain permission, the Appellant must demonstrate a real as opposed to a fanciful prospect of success. She cannot do so on the material provided to this court.
Well, there’s a shocker. In polite terms, it sounds as though the court is saying, “Pull the other one, Ella”.
As to why Ella failed to attend the original hearing before Mrs Pauffley:
- In support of the permission to appeal application there is no material which suggests that the mother was prevented from participating in the fact finding hearing. … There is no witness statement from the mother and no application to adduce additional evidence from her relating to her participation. That is a remarkable omission given the strength with which the mother’s present lawyers assert that her Article 6 right to a fair trial has been violated.
But wait, there’s more!
- It should be recollected that the mother had previously chosen to divest herself of her lawyers for reasons which she is entitled to keep to herself. The judge invited her to participate and she chose not to do so.
- The mother could have attended the court as a litigant in person with or without her McKenzie friend, and insofar as it was proper, she would have been assisted by the court to put her case. She could have requested a telephone or video link. She could have requested an adjournment.
- She did none of these things because she chose not to participate. There is a finding of fact from the judge to that effect. In my judgment, the judge had ample material upon which to base her conclusion. Accordingly, it is wrong to say that the mother was “prevented from participating” in the hearing.
As we’ve said all along, Ella and Abe created this situation, and all their machinations to turn it to their own advantage have failed miserably:
- The judge’s findings of fact are not dependent on her impression of the ABE interviews. There was much more. In reality, the mother and Mr C created the case against themselves by their own extended and arguably abusive investigation of the children, which was critical to the impression to which the judge came.
On the matter of Dr Hode’s use of a questionable technique to determine whether sexual abuse had taken place:
- The paediatrician’s opinion was but one element in the evidence that was available to the judge. It was clearly a bold opinion at odds with the published reports and advice in the specialist profession of paediatrics of which the expert was a member and the judge was entitled to take note of that.
- …that is a side issue. It was the judge who weighed up all of the evidence and this was but one part. Even if she had accepted the evidence of Dr Hodes, the overall balance of the evidence was still against sexual abuse.
On the topic of Ricky Dearman’s BBC appearance:
- Finally, in respect of the first appeal against the findings of fact, there is an application to adduce the additional evidence of a BBC interview with the father conducted after the fact finding hearing in April 2015. It is said in that interview that the father sets out a false version of the police investigation of him and that that can be used to cast doubt on his credibility.
- I remind myself that there are many reasons for someone not telling the truth, not all of which are indicative of them being an abuser. Even if the Appellant is correct about the light in which this interview casts the father, I cannot see how it can materially effect the judge’s factual conclusions which centre on the children’s treatment by Mr C and the mother.
There’s more, but this is enough of a chunk to digest for now.
It’s hardly surprising that the Hoaxtead hawkers aren’t making much of a fuss over this judgement: it really doesn’t show Ella and Abe in the best possible light, and it tears apart some of their fondest delusions, such as the fantasy that Ella was ‘driven abroad’, or that Dr Hode’s diagnosis was in any way valid.
It does explain one thing we’ve wondered about: Abe’s recent and very intense obsession with birthmarks and tattoos (or as he likes to call them, TATTOOS).
Really, given the way this judge tore apart the rest of Ella’s appeal, there’s not much left to focus on, is there?