A woman who signed off text messages with a kiss was not being “flirtatious” with her estranged husband, a judge has ruled.

The unnamed former couple are in the middle of a family court dispute involving their child.

Judge Farooq Ahmed had been asked to make a “findings of fact” after the woman accused the man of abusing her.

In his defence, the man, who denied the allegation, told the judge the woman “repeatedly” signed off her text messages to him with an “x”, signalling a kiss.

He said it was “flirtatious” and argued she would not have sent them if she had really regarded him as an abuser.

But the judge disagreed, saying the kiss was “just her way of signing off”.

The details of the ruling emerged after they were published by the judge who hears private family cases in Kent and Sussex.

He did not identify anyone involved.

Judge Ahmed wrote: “The father relies upon numerous text messages… in which the mother repeatedly signs off with a kiss.

“He regards this as flirtatious and not something that she would have done had she really regarded him as an abuser.

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“I find that the mother was not being flirtatious. It was just her way of signing off. The father is wrong to read anything into it.”

The judge ruled the father had abused his former wife on a number of occasions during their marriage.