Father breached court order by wishing daughter a happy first birthday
PUBLISHED: 14:04 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:24 04 July 2019
A father desperate to meet his daughter for the first time breached a court order by wishing her a happy first birthday.
Daniel Edwards, of Highfield Road, Ipswich, has seen four pictures of his child since she was born, and is banned from contacting her mother, who lives in Lowestoft, until the family dispute is resolved.
On the child's first birthday earlier this year, Edwards sent his ex-partner a Facebook message, despite an interim non-molestation order being imposed by Ipswich Magistrates Court in July 2018 pending the outcome of proceedings.
The orders can be granted to protect possible victims from current or former partners or family members.
The 31-year-old appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Wednesday, July 3, where he admitted breaching the order.
Stacie Cossey, prosecuting, said: "The order involved no contact with the victim except through her solicitors.
"He wished their daughter a happy birthday and said he hoped she had a happy day."
Edwards was fined £50 for breaching the order and must pay a victim surcharge of £32.
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Lucy Brakewell, mitigating, said: "This young man is someone who was in a relationship with the victim in 2017 and, as a result, a child was born in 2018.
"The woman said she did not want anything to do with him and firstly said it wasn't his baby.
"He has started proceedings to gain access and has proven he is the father with a DNA test.
"He accepts he is not allowed to see the child but he wants her to know that he wants contact.
"There was nothing unpleasant or leading about the message.
"The wording of the order has confused him. It says he is not allowed contact with the woman without reasonable excuse, and he thought sending this message was reasonable.
"Police initially marked the case as needing 'no further action' as the victim was not intending on making a complaint until her solicitors urged her to pursue it."
Speaking after the proceedings, Edwards said: "My daughter is now 15 months old and I have seen four photos of her.
"I have been dragged up from Ipswich for a 10 minute hearing because I said happy birthday to my own daughter.
"As a father, I think sending that message is reasonable."