A Judge at the London County Court yesterday (Friday 13th February 2015) threw-out legal action against Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey & Southampton North, brought against her by the founder of Fathers4Justice, Matt O’Connor, and his wife, Nadine O’Connor following alleged harassment, stalking, assault, trespass and breach of privacy.
The judge went on to award costs of £7,400 to Caroline Nokes, which her website states, does not cover the full costs of defending the case.
The MP whose area includes Stockbridge, Kings Somborne and Chilbolton has been locked in a legal wrangling with the Father4Justice duo after an incident at their home in February 2014, which involved Adrian Yalland, a friend of Caroline Nokes.
Mr Yalland had visited the O’Connor’s Stockbridge home with the intent of hand-delivering papers relating to court action for libel. Caroline Nokes drove Mr Yalland to the town, and became embroiled with legal actions following a physical altercation between Mr Yalland, Matt O’Connor and his landlord.
Speaking after the case, Caroline Nokes said, “Over the last two years, Mr and Mrs O’Connor, and their supporters, have abused and sought to intimidate me. Their ‘war’ against me has destroyed their credibility as a campaign group. It’s now time for the O’Connors to wake up and realise the damage they are doing to what is a really worthy cause.”
A statement published on Nadine O’Connor’s blog, and the Fathers4Justice website, hit back at yesterday’s ruling by stating, “Given there are ongoing legal proceedings, and a further hearing on 13th March relating to these matters, we are surprised and concerned by the actions of the County Court in making this decision without all parties being present, especially given the court has yet to hear the full body of evidence relating to a 9-month campaign of harassment that targeted our children and family.”
It seems that despite yesterday’s ruling, the ongoing battle between Caroline Nokes and Fathers4Justice is far from over.
*Picture of the O’Connors, courtesy of Justin Sutcliffe/The Independent