Boy wins legal victory against revenge of the mummy

09.08.04: TWO LANDMARK cases this week highlight the law's determination to crack down on failing parents. A High Court judge has awarded a London boy more than £100,000 damages because his mother refused to let him see his father for four years following their divorce; and a Nuneaton divorcée has been fined £1,000 for failing to read to her seven-year-old daughter.

Ten-year-old Daniel D, who now lives with his father, claimed that his mother did him irreparable psychological damage by refusing him contact with his father.

Barristers for the boy have claimed the mother suffers from Revenge syndrome, in which a betrayed parent will use a child as a pawn in an effort to get even with a former partner.

And a 36-year-old divorced mother of four who cannot be named has been fined £1,000 for failing to comply with a school contract requiring her to spend 15 minutes a day reading with her seven-year-old.

The child, who has exceptional mathematical abilities and also suffers from attention deficit disorder, had been doing well in school after undergoing a school-initiated anger management programme.

Following her initial compliance, the mother's performance dropped when her husband left the family home, and she refused to attend mandatory parenting classes. Her barrister said she was not able to attend the class or comply with the reading requirement because, in order to balance the family budget, she works at night in a supermarket. MF

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Should parents be fined for failing to read to their children?

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