Court powerless to save diplomat's 6 children from horrific abuse
London - A husband and wife who savagely beat their children will escape punishment because he has diplomatic immunity, a High Court judge has ruled.
The envoy at a London embassy, a father of six, hit his children with broken chair legs and belts, and dragged his daughter by her hair.
Their mother drew blood from their nine-year-old with a belt as punishment for breaking the television, and forced her children to stand in agonising positions.
A 17-year-old said sight in one eye was impaired and she suffers pain from an attack by her father two years ago.
Mr Justice Mostyn said in a judgement made public yesterday that all six children would be taken from the parents into care by social workers were it not for the protection from British law enjoyed by the father because of his diplomatic status.
He said social workers and the courts could not intervene to stop the brutality of the parents or help the children. The judge ruled: ‘By virtue of diplomatic immunity these proceedings cannot proceed.’
The case of the envoy left free to harm his children is unprecedented in British law.
Mr Justice Mostyn was critical of the failure of Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to act in the case. He said Mr Raab and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had declined invitations to get involved, even though Foreign Office intervention in relevant court cases is routine. ‘This is extremely surprising. I would have been greatly assisted had the Foreign & Commonwealth Office made submissions,’ he said.
The judge said social workers should write to Mr Raab, and that it was open to the Foreign Secretary either to ask the government of the diplomat’s country to waive immunity, or to expel him so he could be dealt with in his homeland.
In keeping with the secrecy of the family court, the diplomat and his country cannot be named, and the identity of the council of the social workers who tried to help the children has also been suppressed.
The children, aged between five and 18, first complained to social workers last November.
In January a teacher at the primary school attended by the two youngest told social workers that a nine-year-old had revealed: ‘I get hit with a thick belt every day by my mum, but my dad is much worse.’
The parents ensured their attacks did not force them to take the children to hospital. They were told by their father they would pay for telling tales and were made to send social workers an email saying: ‘We didn’t mean what we said.’Daily Mail