This isn’t an English case, but people were kind enough to send me the link yesterday, and it is a cracker, so I can’t resist.
Couple lose custody of their child after using a stuffed lion as their lawyer
(bad choice already. Why did they do that?)
They thought the lion was Jesus.
I’m not about to talk smack about Jesus, but he’s not known for his Court room skills. The guy had one trial, and that didn’t work out for him. He would not be my first call. Even if he does have a clear diary and now, a fluffy tail.
I’ve written this week about a press report based on a court case with a misleading headline (and I see that some people on my Twitter feed have got the BBC to change their headline), but this one isn’t.
In the Supreme Court of British Columbia
AJ v British Columbia 2018
There’s some quite nasty stuff in the body of the allegations, which I won’t repeat.
The parents certainly had strong views about religion
 On April 28, 2017, A.J. sent an email to a social worker, Melanie Crowston, to schedule future access dates but also wrote the following:
God is doing a great work here. And believe me, you want the wicked and corrupt things addressed, because everyone suffers when evil is allowed to harm you and families. So we need Jesus to clean up the corruption and bring justice back to this place. How filthy and corrupt your job is and the people you work for. I am ashamed for you. It is evil. I’m sorry you work for such an ugly corrupted company too…
 As evidenced by this email, the parents continued to have difficulty working cooperatively with others. The mother often demonized those seeking to help her. For example, the parents were asked to leave the parish they were attending. On April 29, 2017, the pastor, on the recommendation of the church leadership, called the police to see what steps were needed to get a restraining order against the appellants. The parents returned to the church on May 3, 2017 and caused another disturbance at a support group meeting. The pastor then sent the parents an email indicating that they were no longer welcome to attend the church.
 On May 10, 2017, A.J. sent an email to [then] counsel for the Director stating the following:
Be prepared for your house to see a very large debt come across and bankruptcy due to the criminal charges against the court system and the ministry of children and youth and particularly the judicial system that has imposed the degradation of children and harm to the families. The Lord Jesus has now come in to judge and he has seen the demise of what He had set in place for good has now been corrupted and covered in greed and filth.
 The trial judge stated that the email “could be perceived as threatening”. At this stage, correspondence was being directed through the office of the Director because the parents refused to communicate with the social worker.
I know, you all want to know about Jesus, Lawyer Lion. Hold on, it’s not far off
 At the October hearing, the trial judge heard that the parents continued to attend churches with the goal of cleansing them from demonic influences. The parents had also refused to participate in the parental capacity assessment.
 At trial, A.J. testified that she had an application pending to change the name of the child. She wanted C.J. to have a hyphenated first name including Jesus and a middle name of JoyoftheLord. She was also applying for a change in her first name to the Risen Lord Jesus–A, a new middle name of Refinersfire–Deanne, and a change in her last name to add the name Christ.
 One last issue in this case was the conduct of the appellants at trial. First, they refused legal aid assistance and maintained that their legal counsel was the Lord Jesus. Second, the parents verbalized words that were not discernible to the court; they appeared to be speaking in tongues. They spoke in tongues to their stuffed animal, a lion, and claimed that through this lion they were hearing directly from their counsel the Lord. Third, when cross-examining witnesses, the appellants advised each witness that it was their lawyer Jesus Christ asking the questions through the voice of the parent. Fourth, the trial judge found the parents not to be credible witnesses: see paras. 43, 72, 95 and 100.
I thought that the stuffed lion lawyer who was also Jesus was the best detail, until I read ‘the judge found the parents not to be credible witnesses’. What a beautiful bit of understatement.
The appeal was refused. There is no name of a lawyer representing the parents in the appeal, so I don’t know if they were in person, or if the Lawyer Lion padded up for the appeal too.
Obviously whilst there are amusing elements to this story, it is ultimately sad, and I hope the child is okay and that the parents get the help that they clearly need.