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Leading questions to children

Family Law, Children, Adoption

Leading questions to children

Postby shootist » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:52 pm

A man I know is in conflict with an ex over his children regarding an accusation that he assaulted one of his children, aged about 7 IIRC. He denied this utterly and was questioned by police under caution about the matter. According to his solicitor, the police carried out a professional and competent interview but "their heart wasn't in it". He was advised that no further action would be taken and the matter was closed. During the interview the police quoted extracts from whichever social services / child protection agency / department who interviewed the children. One particular question, without the child mentioning anything about being scared of his father, was "How scared are you of your father?" To ask this of a seven year old child who is likely to be nervous of authority and will understand that something important is happening even if it is not sure what, seems to me to be unprofessional at best, and might amount to coaching the child at worst. Informed comments would be welcome.
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Re: Leading questions to children

Postby diy » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:46 pm

Not an informed comment.. but the alternative "are you scared of your father?" is perhaps too binary.. Also I would hope they would ask the questions several ways around. e.g. how scared are you of your mother.. Is your dad ever scary, what makes him angry, what frightens you at home. etc..

If my kids ( a little older) were asked.. who's scarier dad or mum they'd both say mum. but then so would I ;)
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Leading questions to children

Postby 3.14 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:21 pm

The SS tend to have a bias.
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Re: Leading questions to children

Postby dls » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:39 pm

It does appear to be an inappropriate question.
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