Author’s mother-son holiday needed court consent
A BEST-SELLING writer was forced to ask a judge for permission to take her son on holiday during a bitter custody battle with her ex-lover, a court heard on Tuesday.
Janice Galloway, 58, planned to take her son James to Spain but had to be given the go-ahead because of her dispute with concert pianist Graeme McNaught, 54.
The pair met in 1990 and had a six year on-off relationship during which James, 22, a London-based graphic designer, was born.
McNaught, of Mount Vernon, Glasgow, is on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court and faces a total of 10 charges of placing Miss Galloway in a state of fear and alarm. He has denied all the claims against him.
On Tuesday Alison Cameron, 59, a council manager who shares a home with Miss Galloway and her husband Jonathan May, 53, in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, claimed McNaught ‘terrified’ Miss Galloway.
She said: “In October 1997 we were all shocked when sheriff officers turned up at the door with a letter telling her to go to court in Edinburgh.
“It was for a custody case that he had brought against her.
“He alleged that she was trying to take their son out of the country.
“We had arranged a holiday to get away in January 1998 and she had to go to the High Court in Edinburgh to get permission for us to go away on holiday.
“The next year was spent trying to fight a case where he was saying she was mentally ill and that she was an unfit mother, he wanted to remove James from her.
“Fortunately the custody action failed and he was granted access to him which was supervised at first and I used to take James to see him because Janice was terrified of Graeme.
“This all started in 1996, went on all the way through 1997 and a good bit into 1998, it seemed to go on forever. It was terrible.
Miss Cameron also told how Miss Galloway was forced to tell her son’s teachers to keep him in at break time because she was worried McNaught would try and take him.
She added “There had been an incident in 1997 where Graeme turned up to the house in a very distressed state and the next day we had to take action.
“We went to the school and told them to keep James in at break because there was a fear that Graeme would snatch him.”
The trial had earlier heard James McNaught claim his father had launched a legal bid to have a piano he had given him for a birthday present returned to him.
He said he had been given the piano as a present for his fourth birthday but had refused to give it back.
Mr McNaught also alleged he had been involved in a stand-off with his father in 2011 when he arrived uninvited at Miss Galloway’s home.
The trial before Sheriff Ray Small continues.