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Dad launches 'criminal' charges against ex-wife

A Melbourne man is bringing a historic private criminal prosecution against his ex-wife accusing her of perjury, assault and making a threat to kill.

Sunday Herald Sun said
The case stems from a criminal trial during which Bill spent two years fighting charges based on his wife's allegations. He was eventually acquitted, but the ordeal cost him his job, his home and about $450,000 in lost income and legal costs. The case is also based on similar accusations of sexual abuse of their children made by the ex-wife during a bitter Family Court battle. The Family Court judge found Bill's ex-wife to be violent, untruthful, lacking moral values and responsible for the psychological and emotional abuse of her children - but still gave her custody of the two girls, now aged 9 and 11, because they had become estranged from their father.
Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne)
24 January 2010

Dad launches 'criminal' charges against ex-wife
By Laurie Nowell

A Melbourne man is bringing a historic private criminal prosecution against his ex-wife accusing her of perjury, assault and making a threat to kill.

The legal action, believed to be a first for Victoria, will set a controversial precedent and could open the floodgates to similar cases.

"Bill", whose identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons, is alleging his wife deliberately lied when she made allegations that he had sexually abused their children.

His affidavit was accepted by the Melbourne Magistrates' Court last week, a hearing date has been set for next month and a summons was due to be served on Friday.

The case stems from a criminal trial during which Bill spent two years fighting charges based on his wife's allegations.

He was eventually acquitted, but the ordeal cost him his job, his home and about $450,000 in lost income and legal costs. The case is also based on similar accusations of sexual abuse of their children made by the ex-wife during a bitter Family Court battle.

The Family Court judge found Bill's ex-wife to be violent, untruthful, lacking moral values and responsible for the psychological and emotional abuse of her children - but still gave her custody of the two girls, now aged 9 and 11, because they had become estranged from their father.

By contrast, Bill was found to have shown "laudable forbearance in the face of the most challenging circumstances".

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show about 2.5 million Australians are denied access to family because of family law proceedings, and about 680,000 fathers see their children as little as once a year.

ABS figures also show 700,000 children have no meaningful contact with one of their non-custodial parents - mostly fathers.

Bill said yesterday he was bringing the case because he felt betrayed by the justice system.

"The Family Court have cut me off from my children effectively because of false evidence brought by my wife," Bill said.

"In 2005, she went to the police and made the allegations and then prepared the children on what they should say. The result was my kids were taken away from me.

"I proved my own innocence and that she had lied on both occasions - in the criminal trial and in the Family Court matter.

"My life with my kids was destroyed. If people can lie in court and hurt others by their utterances and statements, what is the point of the law?"

The case will intensify the current national debate over the operation of the Family Court and the principle of shared parenting, which is under attack by women's groups and is being reviewed by the Rudd Government.

Bill's ex-wife is facing charges of perjury, assault and making a threat to kill.

The charges allege that she knowingly and wilfully made 10 pages of false statements to police in September 2005 and perjured herself by repeating the allegations in a sworn affidavit during a Family Court hearing in 2008.

She is also accused of threatening to kill Bill in 2004 and of assaulting him with chopsticks and fingernails in 2000.

Law Institute of Victoria chief executive Michael Brett Young said private criminal prosecutions were rare, but not unheard of.

"This man will have to prove his case, like anyone else, in the criminal courts," Mr Young said.
Those of us that have been involved in cases of 'proven' false allegations will follow this carefully. I wish this gentleman all the luck going.

 If you do suspect sexual abuse, please report it, this type of legal action is not against someone who had a 'reasonable' belief in sexual abuse.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
I wish him the very best of luck.

"If people can lie in court and hurt others by their utterances and statements, what is the point of the law?"

I have to agree, anyone who makes false allegations which are proven to be false should be prosecuted.
I hope people note monteverdi's comments - and that Overington et al don't try to use this case to justify their campaign against shared parenting. It's one thing to raise genuine fears on reasonable grounds; quite another to deliberately lie about something so horrific and even worse to encourage children to lie about it.

Any Update

This was January and was to be served February.  Is there an update anywhere?

I would also like to understand the mechanics.  The newspaper report shows a "historic private criminal prosecution" and as it says Melbourne is he fighting it under the Victorian Crimes Act?  My understanding is that the Perjury was comitted against the court (and not the man) and therefore the man could not have her committed of the crime of Perjury which was against the state.  Therefore is this really a civil matter resulting from the Perjury and not a criminal matter as reported?  Did the woman face the possibility of a 10 year prison sentance?
This has thoroughly depressed me reading this as although not as horrific the lies come hard and fast. Unfortunately some people are compulsive liars and lie so much they start believing their own lies it takes time to fix.
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