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The Archers – When Art Imitates Life

Howlett Clarke Partner, and Head of Family Law, Fiona Connah, gives us her viewpoint on the high-publicised domestic abuse storyline in The Archers, and how we can help if you, or someone you know is in a situation similar to Helen.

The recent storyline on The Archers following Helen’s ordeal at the hands of her husband Rob Titchener, the criminal trial and then last week the family court proceedings has finally come to an end, and Henry and Jack will return to their Mother’s care.

Whether or not this is the end of court cases for Helen Titchener, remains to be seen. In my experience these types of cases can go on for many years, and the first set of proceedings are rarely the last! Helen has had to defend herself in court against allegations she attempted to murder Rob and has then had to go on to prove in the family court that it would not be in the best interests of the boys for them to have contact with Rob. As Henry is not his son the judge ruled that Rob should not see him. However, Jack (the baby), is Rob’s son and supervised contact has been ordered.

What Helen had to prove to the court is very difficult to do. Often some one who has suffered abuse normalises the behaviour or is in shock and unable to give details. It is however detailed clear descriptions often given in the form of a statement that help most in these sorts of case. Helen was helped by an extremely able lawyer and whilst some bits of the court story (as in any radio drama) don’t ring quite true it was in most ways very realistic. Court proceedings at the best of times can be intimidating, but when the future of your children is at stake, well in all honesty, I am sure only some one who has been through that experience can truly understand how a parent feels. Helen’s story for most of us is just that a story, but for thousands of families it is a situation that unfortunately they are only too familiar with.  

At Quality Solicitor’s Howlett Clarke we have a wealth of experience in dealing with children Act proceedings and domestic abuse cases. Both Fiona and Hannah are accredited Resolution specialist lawyers and offer an Ask the Legal Expert appointment; 45 minutes of advice for £99 - at our Brighton and Southwick offices.

To find out more, or to book an appointment with our legal team call 01273 327272 .


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