‘We didn’t use the word prison’: our family’s two-year sentence


When Lottie Moggach’s ex was jailed for fraud, she and her mother Deborah worried for her toddler son. How would he cope without his dad?

Lottie Moggach: On 1 July 2016, my son’s father, Chris Atkins, was given a five-year prison sentence for fraud. Although I’d been in court for most of the trial, including the verdict the previous week, I didn’t go in for the sentencing. Instead, I stayed at my mum’s house, half-watching Wimbledon, with our three-year-old, Kit.

Chris later said that as he was led down to the cells at Southwark crown court, en route to HMP Wandsworth, he experienced an unexpected release – as if a vice that had been steadily tightening around his head had suddenly been loosened. And across London, when a friend texted me the news from court, I also felt a wave of relief. Chris and I were separated, but remained close, sharing custody of Kit, and for me, too, the strain of the prosecution – for a complicated, historical tax fraud – had been building for years. Now, it was over.

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