Father who lives as woman after leaving Jewish community ends court challenge over children

A father of five who began a new life as a woman after leaving an ultra-orthodox Jewish community has abandoned a family court fight over her children.

The woman has not seen the youngsters since leaving the North Manchester Charedi Jewish community several years ago.

She had said she wanted to be “sensitively reintroduced” to them, but her estranged wife said allowing the children to see their father could lead to them being ostracised by the community.

Lawyers representing the woman have now told a judge she has withdrawn an application for an order allowing her to have contact with the children.

Mr Justice Hayden, who was told the children did not want to see their father, drew the litigation to a close at a private hearing in London on Monday.

The judge, based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said little detail could be reported and the family could not be identified in media reports of the case.

But he said the public should know that litigation had ended.

He said the woman had decided that pursuing her contact application would be “emotionally harmful” to the children.

Mr Justice Hayden described the family as “courageous” and said he hoped they could move forward.

Another judge had initially analysed the case a hearing in Manchester.

Mr Justice Peter Jackson had concluded that the children should not see their father, but should be allowed to exchange letters and cards.

The woman had challenged that decision at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

Appeal judges ruled in her favour and said Mr Justice Hayden should reconsider evidence.

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