A family judge has criticised a man who cheated on his wife for contesting a divorce in an ‘awful case’, in which his cross-examination of the couple’s daughter was described as ‘particularly excruciating’.
Her Honour Judge Lynn Roberts said the case, VW v BH, was ‘extraordinary’. Firstly, it was a three-day contested trial, one of around only 20 contested divorce trials a year. Secondly, BH contested the divorce despite admitting that he committed adultery for 22 years of their marriage.
The judgment states that the trial was meant to start on 5 September but adjourned because BH was reportedly attacked the night before. Roberts said she was ‘not satisfied that Mr H had been attacked as he said. I do not know’.
HHJ Roberts said BH required all of his wife’s witnesses to attend ‘and, if I had not intervened, would have questioned each of them for very long periods of time… It was a difficult and painful experience, in my judgment, for each of Ms W’s witnesses and for Ms W to observe. His cross-examination of his daughter, M, was particularly excruciating’. Later, Roberts says ‘unfortunately and wholly unnecessarily’ BH asked his daughter questions about herpes.
HHJ Roberts said BH emerged from all of the cross-examination as a ‘deeply dishonest man’. She said: ‘I do not believe him about any of the matters in issue in this case. His attitudes displayed in these proceedings are those which were common 40 years ago, not today.’ Roberts said she could only conclude that ‘this whole awful case has been so that he can delude people into thinking his conduct was not as shameful as it indeed is’.
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