07/15/2015 14:25 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 01:12 EDT

B.C. ministry failed to protect children sexually abused by father: judge

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia judge says the province recklessly disregarded its obligation to protect young children who were molested by their father after their mother was wrongly portrayed as mentally ill.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker also ruled the father sexually abused his toddler while the kids were in the care of the Children's Ministry.

The mother's lawsuit stems from a 2012 custody trial where Walker ruled that the father had molested his three eldest children and gave her sole custody.

Walker ruled Tuesday that the director of child protection must pay the mother special costs from that trial.

The scathing judgment details the mother's tireless efforts to persuade the ministry to act on her children's allegations.

The judge writes that social workers approached the case with a closed mind and failed to investigate because they believed the mother had coached her kids to make false accusations.

The Canadian Press