Judge rules against Newcastle fan accused of leaving sons home alone to attend Arsenal game

St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture by PA
St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture by PA

A Newcastle United fan whose ex-wife accused him of leaving their two sons home alone while he watched his side play Arsenal has lost the latest round of a long-running family court fight.

She said she stopped letting him see the boys six years ago after he went to St James' Park and left them unsupervised while they were staying at his home.

The man had not seen his younger son, now 14, since and has now failed in his latest bid to be allowed to meet up with the youngster.

Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling published by a judge following a private family court hearing in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The man had asked Judge Simon Wood to rule he had to see his younger son.

But Judge Wood has dismissed his application.

He said the family involved could not be named.

The man complained his ex-wife had deliberately alienated the younger boy from him.

But she denied his allegation and said he was unable to prioritise his children's needs.

She said his decision to leave the youngsters home alone was a "culmination of circumstances".

The woman said neither the 14-year-old boy nor his older brother, now 19, wanted to see him.

Judge Wood said neither teenager was "alienated" as their father suggested.

The judge said the man lacked "insight" into the harm he had caused.

He said the man was "utterly obsessed" with placing blame on his ex-wife while saying he was a "wholly innocent victim".

Judge Wood said the man had denied leaving his children home alone while going to watch Newcastle.

The man said he had left them alone for "an hour or so" while taking his St James' Park season ticket to a friend.

He said the boys were aged eight and 13 at the time and he denied doing "anything inappropriate".

The February 5 2011 game turned out to be one of the most famous in Newcastle's recent history.

Arsenal had gone 4-0 up but the home side came back to earn a 4-4 draw.