Man appeals against ban on replying to children

A father-of-four has criticised an "absurd" court order that bans him from returning his children's text messages or phone calls.

The man has been engaged in a lengthy custody row with the mother of his children and was at the Appeal Court yesterday to challenge a judge's order barring him from phoning or texting his children despite them living under his roof for part of the week.

Speaking after the hearing he condemned the restrictions, which were imposed by Luton County Court earlier this year.

Under the order the man's children are "free to ring or text him whenever they please", senior family judge Lord Justice Thorpe explained at the Appeal Court.

However, if he fails to answer in time and misses one of their calls, he is banned from "initiating" contact by responding in any way.

The man, who lives in the Watford area but cannot be named for legal reasons, was granted permission to appeal against the order by Lord Justice Thorpe, who expressed the hope that a "middle way" could now be found.