Couple loses court fight over surveillance by private investigator

A couple who said they were unfairly placed under surveillance by social services bosses have lost a family court fight.

The couple, who have two children aged six months and 15 months, said a council's decision to have them watched by a private investigator was unjustifiable and a breach of the human right to respect for private and family life.

But a family court judge has ruled against them.

Judge Kambiz Moradifar, who is based in Reading, Berkshire, has concluded that the surveillance evidence is relevant and can be included in the council's file of evidence.

Council bosses had told the judge that the man was a drug dealer who was "extremely violent" towards the woman.

Social workers said evidence showed that he had raped her, controlled her and "prostituted her".

They said his behaviour towards her meant that the children were at risk.

The couple said they had been separated for more than seven months.

But bosses said surveillance evidence showed that the man had been staying at her address.

Judge Moradifar said in a written ruling that in the circumstances, he had assessed the surveillance evidence to be "relevant and admissible".

He said no one involved could be identified.

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