Maternal grandmother gives evidence about her care of the child

The Evidence of the Maternal Grandmother

  1. The maternal grandmother adopted her affidavits as true and correct.
  2. Under cross-examination by counsel for the father she said that the father stayed with her and her husband in Queensland once for four to five days and seemed fine. On other visits he stayed in a hotel. She only knew he was in Queensland when he visited X for four to five days on each occasion. Either she or Mr G were there all the time.
  3. She recalled a visit in November 2014 when the father attended with Ms N. The father had X on Saturday to Sunday but not overnight. She left decisions to her husband. She was concerned that X fired a firearm. She had other concerns which were not in her affidavit. She did not know about the firearm until X told her. The father said this was an air rifle.
  4. The maternal grandmother was cross-examined about a birthday party on X’s birthday in 2016. This was at (omitted) and X met the paternal relations. X was excited. He thought, however, that the birthday party would be typical with balloons and other such matters. In fact, he was not excited at meeting the paternal grandmother. She had told him he would meet the paternal grandmother and X went “okay”. She said he is always like that in everything.
  5. X was not happy but was slumped in his seat and wanted to leave. He was excited to start off with but then very disappointed because he did not get what he expected. She accepted that X walked with the father to the pier. She was not able to say whether he enjoyed it because they were somewhat far away but she was watching. They had left when the meal was over and X said goodbye to the father.
  6. The father had phoned for up to three times per week for a very short period. This upset X too much. Then he phoned about once a week until he stopped. She said there was no way there were weekly calls from 2014 to 2016. Not a chance. Phone calls were sporadic without any pattern. She has spoken to the father about helping with X’s schoolwork. She had tried several other strategies. The one with the father did not work so she stopped it.
  7. When cross-examined about the (omitted) park meeting on 16 April 2016 she said X was excited to go. He loves the (omitted) park and was riding his scooter. It is a large (omitted) park. X said hello to his father and talked to him for three to five minutes and then went (hobby omitted). The (omitted) park has a length of approximately 50 metres. She sat down on a seat to watch him.
  8. The father said he did not want to sit and watch his son. He became angry. X moved around near them and was going round and round. The father was loud. People were looking at them. She did not agree that X was not aware of this. She went to Victoria Legal Aid (the affidavit material asserts that the mother refused the father’s request for overnight time and this is what made him angry).
  9. Mr Skinner has said at the (omitted) park that he wanted a court event. She was partly concerned about paternity but also what might happen if a case occurred. The maternal grandmother lost her train of thought at this point.
  10. Telephone contact stopped about that time. X told the maternal grandmother that the father has said he would move closer to him. In her mind she thought maybe the father knew where they were. This was a safety risk. The main thing was that he was using X to his own advantage because she had cut off contact.
  11. When questioned as to whether X wanted to see the father she said the only thing X has said is more relief he does not have to deal with it, not to have to travel to see the father. X is relieved not to have anything to do with his father. X has said, “I do not want anything to do with Mr Skinner”, several times, usually when court events are coming up most of the time. She responds, “If that is your choice you are entitled to have your opinion”. She tries to support X in his choices.
  12. The grandmother said when X was younger she hid everything about the father from him. X is now older and she talks differently now. She had never told X that his father did not love him. She said the father loves him in his own way. She said that X understands people love him when he gets what he wants. Contrary to paragraph 32 of the family report, she had not told X about the court proceedings and affidavits. X asks about court and she says she cannot answer. She tells him she will not break the law for him.
  13. X is aware he does not live with his parents because they are drug users. He goes to an organisation that helps children with this difficulty. He has been with that organisation most of the time they have been in Melbourne and started three to six months after they came to Melbourne. X has activities with them for one full day each school holidays. They do fun stuff. The last time was (omitted). There is another girl in his class with the same problem and he talks about her a lot. X says his parents use drugs. The grandmother would be honest and say so. There are no complaints by X that his father is violent.
  14. X is now less physically affectionate as he gets older. She could not say when this had changed. On one occasion she had told X to give the father a hug and he said he was not comfortable. He said she had told him he did not have to. X tries so hard to be a good boy. He hugs her and her daughter and also the rest of her family.


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