Whilst the consultant psychologist instructed as an expert in these proceedings was criticised by the Judge it was not because of the standard of his assessment or the quality of his reports or oral evidence. In fact, it was entirely unrelated to his expertise and instead arose because of an email he sent to counsel representing Mother who had clearly caused this expert some annoyance by suggesting that parental alienation was his ’hobby horse.’ The expert subsequently emailed this counsel very shortly after concluding his evidence the word ‘muppet.’
The Judge determined that whilst his email to counsel required judicial condemnation it did not make his assessment unreliable.
The sending of that email was clearly an error of judgment and inappropriate and has resulted in this expert no longer being permitted to assist with this case. It is a lesson in the exercise of restraint!