Tell us about yourself
As at 1st November this year I have been a solicitor for twenty years. I qualified later than most having done a variety of things after my Law Degree at Southampton (1980 – 1983) including advertising copywriter, worked in the City for a year or so in the heady mid 80’s, graphic design, petrol pump monkey, painter and decorator on building sites, gardener and a host of other long-forgotten best forgotten fill-in jobs. Accidentally started doing family law and felt at home in the hurly burly world of the family courts. I quickly learnt to pick up a case and run with it and ended up doing Care work which strikes me as one of the most worthwhile ways of earning a living I can think of. I love the people involved – the great and the good as well as the mad and bad! I like the fact that the other lawyers in Care – even we disagree completely with each other – are usually able to work together for the good of the children involved. There is a good deal of respect for the other lawyers because they are doing a hard job in difficult circumstances but we do try and do our best. Sometimes we even succeed.
What drew you to the law?
I loved history and the people I respected at the time, Thomas Moore, Erasmus (that lot) were often lawyers (as were the artists Cezanne and Sisley). On the very first day at University, my tutor said to me: “I know why you’re doing law. For the money!” I didn’t realise that. Not sure how true that is even now!
What do you offer clients?
Straight talking and absolute commitment to do my best for my client.
What do you do when you are not working?
I have three great children so that takes up most of the time. Otherwise I read if I can and paint portraits. I have painted all my life.
Can you sum yourself up in 5 words?
No. I’m far too vain.
This is the approved Judgement of Mrs Justice Pauffley in the case of Ricky Dearman
This is a summary of Mrs Justice Pauffley’s findings –
Neither child has been sexually abused by any of the following – Ricky Dearman, teachers at Christchurch Primary School Hampstead, the parents of students at that school, the priest at the adjacent church, teachers at any of the Hampstead or Highgate schools, members of the Metropolitan Police, social workers employed by the London Borough of Camden, officers of Cafcass or anyone else mentioned by Ms Draper or Mr Christie.
The children’s half brother, his father and stepmother – Will and Sarah Draper – are likewise exonerated of any illicit or abusive acts involving the children.
There was no satanic or other cult at which babies were murdered and children were sexually abused.
All of the material promulgated by Ms Draper now published on the internet is nothing other than utter nonsense.
The children’s false stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse. Torture is the most accurate way to describe what was done by Mr Christie in collaboration with Ms
Both children were assaulted by Mr Christie by being hit with a metal spoon on multiple occasions over their head and legs, by being pushed into walls, punched, pinched and kicked. Water was poured over them as they knelt semi-clothed.
The long term emotional and psychological harm of what was done to the children is incalculable. The impact of the internet campaign is likely to have the most devastating consequences for P and Q.
June Venters QC spoke this morning on BBC News about the new changes that will seek family’s attend mediation prior to proceedings being issued, and the reduced time frame for care proceedings.