Document Sample
					                                                                                                                      ISSN 1468-0866

                                                                         WINTER 2001/2                               ISSUE 51

                    Stricter Rules To Be Approved

                   ENFORCING CONTACT:
                   COURTS TO GET TOUGH
                   PRESSURE IS BUILDING on himself a High Court Family                        sequences they face if they break
                   the government to approve Division Judge, attended the recent              contact orders.
FNF House
FNF House          tough new enforcement of conference in London on contact                     Stage two comes when a contact
News p4
News p4            contact rulings, following an and is thought by observers to               order is broken for the first time.
                   extensive consultation process. favour a tougher approach.                 The offending party can be required
                     The Lord Chancellor's Depart- The Sub-Committee's report has             to attend a parenting programme
Family Law
Family Law         ment (LCD) launched its ‘Making now been completed.                        and extra contact time is awarded
                   Contact Work’ paper back in March                                          to the other parent.
Brief p5
Brief p5           2001, and FNF was amongst the                   Sanctions                    The final stage, for repeat
                   contributors who replied in detail.                                        offenders, can lead to a spell of
                     Responses were collated by the The Australian model came into            community service or a require-
Society p6
Society p6         Children Act Sub-Committee of the force a year ago. It is based on a       ment to put up a money bond. This
                   Lord Chancellor's Advisory three-stage scheme of sanctions                 may then be forfeited if any further
                   Committee on Family Law, which which gradually get tougher.                breaches take place.
Review p7
Review p7          will give its final decision early in The first stage is prevention,         As an ultimate sanction, offenders
                   the New Year.                         when parents are informed of their   can be fined or even sentenced to a
Follow up p8                                             responsibilities and the con-        term of up to a year in prison.
Follow up p8                  Compliance

11st Person p10
   st                FNF and other organisations
      Person p10   pointed to numerous cases where
                   divorced or estranged mothers
Between            deliberately and repeatedly
Between            flouted the terms of contact rulings
the lines p11
the lines p11      specified by the courts. Yet the same
                   courts then refused to intervene to
                   make these women comply.
Internet p12
Internet p12         Now it looks as if the LCD will
                   adopt measures similar to those
                   already in operation in Australia,
Media              where community service orders
Monitor p13
Monitor p13        and fines are employed to ensure
                   that reluctant mothers comply with
                   the letter of the law.
Books p14
Books p14            Children Act Sub-Committee
                   chairman Sir Nicholas Wall,             Cardiff - Silent Protest Speaks Volumes Story - Page 4
Letters p14

and much
and much
                               Families Need Fathers
                               Keeping Children and Parents in Contact since 1974             Registered Charity No. 276899
                               134 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AR Tel 020 7613 5060 Company No. 1396139
                   FNF meetings are run by volunteers. Attenders must
NUMBER                  themselves assess the value of advice or
                      opinions offered. FNF cannot accept liability.
                   LONDON CENTRAL - Every Tuesday, 8pm,

                   King's Arms, Northington St, WC1
                   020 7613 5060 - bobnkaren@compuserve.com
                   LONDON EAST - Every Monday, 8pm,
                   Dewana Social Club, 229 Romford Road, E7
                   020 8556 3598
     WINTER        LONDON NORTH, - 2nd/4th Monday each month, 8pm,
                   The Elephant, Ballards Lane, N12
                                                                                                   Ji m Parton
    2001/2         07751 049 220                                                               PARLIAMENT is once more
                   BANSTEAD - 2nd Tuesday each month, 8pm,                                     debating whether Parental Respons-
                   The Duke's Head, Dorking Road, Tadworth, KT20                               ibility should go to unmarried fathers
                   01737 359 473 - gary+@london.com                                            automatically, if it's their name on the
                                                                                               birth certificate. The government’s
     EDITOR        BIRMINGHAM - 2nd Monday each month, 7.30pm,                                 five-year promise may at last be kept.
                   Tap & Spile, Gas Street, B1
                   01543 411 155 - fnfwestmidlands@yahoo.co.uk                                   FNF believes nearly all fathers should
      Nick                                                                                     get PR, and retrospectively too. With or
                   BRISTOL - 3rd Wednesday each month, 7.30pm,                                 without PR, the Child Support Agency,
     Anning        Royal George Inn, Gloucester Rd,Horfield, Bristol, BS7                      for example, still comes for you.
                   0117 974 4535 - info@fnfbristol.org.uk - www.fnfbristol.org.uk                But in the real world we'll settle for
                   FARNHAM, 2nd Wednesday each month, 8pm,                                     what will be a marked improvement.
                   Friends Meeting House, 36 Tilford Road, GU9                                   Living in a world of its own is the
                   0207 613 5060 - ramon_faro@hotmail.com                                      Solicitors' Family Law Association. Last
                   MAIDENHEAD - Every Monday, 8.30pm,                                          year’s chairman Rosemary Carter was
 McKenzie is                                                                                   heard opposing this much needed reform
                   The Hind's Head, High St, Bray SL6
 distributed       01628 681 168 - amail@talk21.com                                            on Marcel Berlins' influential Radio 4
                                                                                               programme, 'Law in Action'.
   free to         MANCHESTER - 2nd Thursday each month, 7pm,                                    She worried that by having his name
                   Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St, M2                                       on the birth certificate, an unmarried
members of         0161 436 4624                                                               father would have a role in education
  Families         NEWMARKET - 2nd Monday each month, 7.30pm,                                  and other matters concerning the
                   The Stable, High Street, CB8                                                upbringing of the child.
Need Fathers       01638 668 065 - tonyesler@deltabloodtock.freeserve.co.uk                      Er... Yes. That's the whole point.
                   NOTTINGHAM - 1st Thursday each month, 7.30pm,                                 "Why should a mother have to go to
                   I.C.C., 61b Mansfield Road, NG1                                             court to undo parental responsibility?"
Members are        0115 910 7581 - jon.ruben@ntlworld.com                                      Rosemary Carter went on to ask.
  invited to                                                                                     Answer: she shouldn’t. She should
                   SOUTHPORT - Last Thursday each month, 7.30pm,                               encourage the father to take respons-
    submit         The Lodge, Mornington Rd, Southport, PR9
                   01704 510 899 - ics@carpenters-law.co.uk                                    ibility, for the sake of the children.
   articles                                                                                      Carter even argued that a mother is in
                   CARDIFF - 1st Tuesday each month, 7.30pm,                                   an emotional state after childbirth and can
for inclusion      The Institute, High Street, Llandaff, CF5                                   easily be coerced into allowing a father’s
                   07866 566 045 - matthewmudge@classicfm.net                                  name to be on the birth certificate.
                   EDINBURGH                                                                     'Allow,' Rosemary? And who does the
Submissions        0131 555 0135                                                               child 'belong to', anyway? Why stop
                   GLASGOW - Last Tuesday each month, 7pm,                                     there? Let's take PR away from married
   may be                                                                                      fathers too. Not all are responsible. Any
                   The Corn Exchange Bar, 88 Gordon St, G1(near Central Station)
 edited for        0141 586 6556                                                               more than all mothers.
                                                                                                 Unmarried mothers automatically
  space or         NORTHERN IRELAND - 1st/3rd Tuesday each month, 8pm                          have PR. If the SFLA believes fathers
                   Jury's Hotel, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT1                           shouldn't, that can only be by virtue of
   content         02890 290 710 or 02892 670 653 - fnfni@ntlworld.com                         their sex. The SFLA, alone of all legal
    at the         JERSEY                                                                      bodies, has taken this sexist view.
                   01534 821 310 or 07797 710 276 (mobile)                                     Institutional sexism sits badly in so
discretion of                                                                                  influential a body. (Unless their secret
                   Please telephone to confirm as meetings may change over Xmas.
 the Editor                                                                                    concern is all the fees they'll lose).

                   Gift Every £1 you donate could bring FNFImportant Notice an occasional or regular contributor Gift
    To advertise
    in McKenzie
       No. 52
                   £££££££££££                              28p more in tax relief! If you are
                   Aid Contact FNF office for details and GiftAid form on: 020 7613 5060
                            to FNF funds, you can now declare your donation as 'GiftAid' under the new government tax rules.

                                         FNF National Council, Officers, Trustees & Staff
                               CHAIRMAN:         Jim Parton                 TRUSTEES: John Baker, Martin Crapper,
     020 7613                                    Colin Hale                 Ramon Faro, Charles Kenyon, Elisabeth Lakey,
                               VICE CHAIR:
       5060                    SECRETARY:        Matthew Stannard           Fairless Masterman, Nigel Planer, Karen Randall,
                               PRESIDENT:        Trevor Berry               Bob Rushworth
                               TREASURER:        Jeremy Thomas              ADMIN: Tim Rait           EDITOR: Nick Anning
                                       McKenzie 51    Winter 2001/2    Families Need Fathers
COMPANY VALUES                               PROTEST POINT                                                        DPP-PREFERRED?                       Got
SOME OF Britain's top-earning            THE SPECIAL ‘Making Contact                                        DOMESTIC VIOLENCE cases
companies stand accused of               Work’ conference, organised by the                                 should not be dropped just because
skimping when it comes to                Lord Chancellor's Department,                                      the alleged victim declines to give
donations to charity.
  However, according to a survey of
                                         was held at the Financial Times
                                         offices in London on November 20.
                                                                                                            evidence in court.
                                                                                                              Thus spake David Calvert-Smith            a
FTSE 100 companies for a                   Families Need Fathers sent four                                  QC, the Director of Public
Guardian special supplement              official delegates, while a lively                                 Prosecutions (DPP), in new policy
(November 5), there are honourable       sixty-strong demo outside drew                                     guidelines which were published at
exceptions. The most generous
company is Royal & Sun Alliance,
which donated 6.4% of its £55
                                         wider public attention to the way the
                                         family court system continues to let
                                         down fathers and fail the children
                                                                                                            the end of November.
                                                                                                              The changes to the law are supported    point
                                                                                                            by his top legal colleagues, Attorney-
million pre-tax profit.                  whose interests it exists to represent.                            General Lord Goldsmith and
  Lloyds TSB Group was the most                                                                             Solicitor-General Harriet Harman.
generous of the banks, giving away                                                                            At present, domestic violence cases
£34 million, while Sainsbury's (£6
million) and Marks & Spencer (£3.2
                                                                                                            are dropped when women are
                                                                                                            reluctant to testify in court. A Crown
million) both made it into the top-                                                                         Prosecution Service Inspectorate
ten benefactors.                                                                                            Survey found that eighty per-cent of
  Companies which gave less than                                                                            cases which did not proceed did so
0.1% of annual profits include
British Petroleum, Shell and super-
                                                                                                            because the alleged victim had
                                                                                                            withdrawn from the case.
market giant Tesco (advertising                                                                               Police will now concentrate on
slogan: 'every little helps').                                                                              collecting additional evidence in the
  Special mention to building                                                                               form of witness statements from
industry suppliers Wolseley, whose       Critical Voices: Protesters make their                             neighbours, or medical evidence to
highest paid director (£1,025,000)       point at the demonstration outside the                             support the initial allegations.
receives over fifty times more than      'Making Contact Work' conference,                                    The DPP even suggested that
the paltry £20,000 allocated by the      held at the Financial Times offices in                             witnesses who refuse to testify could
company to charitable causes.            London on November 20.                                             be held in contempt of court by judges.

                                    McKenzie Editorial
      That's enough ballots... let's get back to practical matters.
S o, the delayed FNF Annual
General Meeting finally took place,
                                         the poll. Proof, if ever it was needed,
                                         that FNF is not some exclusively
                                                                                                            voices were softened down, and I
                                                                                                            deliberately kept the identity of the     Why
the Trustee elections were held and      male concern and the contributions                                 correspondents confidential to
the vacant seats on the National         made by our women members are                                      protect them from the kind of
Council were duly filled. I guess we     particularly valued.                                               personalised attacks which had been
should feel relieved - except that the                                                                      such an unnecessary feature of the
results are now being challenged in
the courts by an FNF member.
                                           Another big plus was that the
                                         voting turnout increased greatly
                                         compared to previous years. Which
                                                                                                            run-up to the Trustee elections.
                                                                                                              Perhaps we'll now see a court case
  There was I, hoping not to have to                                                                        launched to reveal the ‘confidential’
devote more precious centre-page                                                                            list of members who wrote in to the
space to keeping members informed                                                                           National Office to express their
about the endless legal wrangles
going on behind-the-scenes.
                                                                                                            views? Go ahead... make my day!
                                                                                                              On the practical side, the office has
                                                                              Illustration - John Minnion

  After this issue, which of course                                                                         updated and corrected both Branch
has a full report on the election                                                                           information and local FNF Contacts
results, perhaps McKenzie will be
able to get back to dealing with the
                                                                                                            for McKenzie and the FNF website.
                                                                                                              That has meant redesigning the
important issues that need coverage:                                                                        layout of the Telephone Contacts list
like the CSA, CAFCASS, contact,                                                                             on the inside-back page - to include
the domestic violence debate, legal
aid and the grinding progress of the
family court system.
                                         seems to support the view that
                                         FNF's members disapproved of the
                                         antics of the self-styled ‘reformers’.
                                                                                                            e-mail addresses where these are
                                                                                                            available. Pressure on space has
                                                                                                            meant a rejig of the old ‘box’ layout
  The AGM was well-attended and            That was certainly the message                                   for local FNF Branch information
the elections turned in a resounding     from FNF's mail-bag, despite                                       inside the front page.
vote in favour of the list of
candidates who were recommended
                                         suggestions from one of the
                                         ‘reformers’ that the letter extracts
                                                                                                              The next issue of McKenzie will
                                                                                                            be out in a new year, but it's a safe
by the National Council.                 published in McKenzie No50 were                                    bet that, come 2002, FNF will still
  What's more, it was Karen              made up, or slanted in favour of the                               be dealing with the familiar old
Randall, FNF's dedicated and hard-
working CSA expert, who topped
                                         National Council.
                                           If anything, the really critical
                                                                                                            issues and topics.
                                                                                                                                  Nick Anning         page
        If you are refused the assistance of a McKenzie Friend, send the
       FNF National Office details of the date, the court, the name of the
                          judge and the reasons given.
                                                McKenzie 51     Winter 2001/2 Families Need Fathers
                                                                                                                      LETTER FROM
                 FNF HOUSE NEWS    Greetings from Curtain Road
                                                                                                               LORD IRVINE of Lairg, the
 A CROWD of some sixty                   Matthew, a computer pro-                                              Lord Chancellor, busy for
 protesters held a silent picket       grammer by profession, was                                              some time fending off
 outside Llandaff Cathedral,           granted interim contact four times                                      allegations of indirect discrim-
 Cardiff, on Sunday October 28.        a week with his son and step-                                           ination, was finally cleared by
   The event was supported by the      daughter when he and his wife                                           the Court of Appeal recently.
 FNF Cardiff Branch and other          split up. The courts progressively                                        Solicitor Jane Coker and legal
 groups highlighting the plight of     reduced contact to a level with                                         advisor Martha Osamor, backed
 children of estranged parents.        which his ex-wife would comply.                                         by both the Equal Opportunities
   More than two hundred judges,       As a result he now sees his five                                        Commission and the Com-
 lawyers and civic dignitaries saw     year-old son once a fortnight, and                                      mission for Racial Equality,
 the protest (See photo, right)        doesn't see his step-daughter at all.                                   brought the original test case
 when they met at the cathedral to       After this latest in a series of                                      against Irvine back in 1999.
 attend a special thanksgiving         demonstrations targetted at judges,                                       They claimed that Lord Irvine
 service for the legal profession.     a spokesman for the Lord                                                had indirectly discriminated
   Matthew Mudge, chairman of          Chancellor's Department com-                                            against them by appointing
 the Cardiff Branch, told the press    mented: "Protesters have every                                          Gary Hart to be his personal
 later: "We don't want to harass the   right to express themselves as long                                     advisor without first advertising
 judges. But we just want their        as they stay within the law."                                           the vacancy. Hart, a partner in
 attention so that they'll do            "The judges probably don't like                                       law firm Herbert Smith, is also
                                       it, but I think they are rather Poignant but peaceful: Some of          a personal friend of the Lord
 something about the issue. It is                                                                              Chancellor.
 making them feel uncomfortable,       stoical, because there's not much the sixty protesters outside            Oddly enough, the thorny
 and that is our intention."           that can be done."                    Llandaff Cathedral, October 28.   question of indirect discrimin-
                                                                                                               ation was the theme of a parlia-
                                                                                                               mentary question earlier this
ENCLOSURES                                FORWARD PLAN                           HELPING HANDS                 year to the then Home Secretary,
YOU WILL find a number of              FNF SCOTLAND is planning to    PENNY EWENS in Leeds and                 Jack Straw. And whose question
                                                                                                               was it? Doncaster MP Rosie
enclosures with your McKenzie.         hold a number of events for    Paul Bateman from Goole (see
                                                                                                               Winterton. And what became of
  Firstly there is a newly-            Father's Day 2002.             Letter, page 14) could use some          her? She became Minister with
designed Gift Aid Form. Could            In particular they want specific
                                                                      help to organise FNF meetings            responsibility for the Lord
all members please complete and        articles like car-stickers, balloons
                                                                      in the Yorkshire area.                   Chancellor's Department in the
sign this new form and return it       and leaflets.                    This is not just a Yorkshire           post-General Election reshuffle.
to the office as soon as they can.       Any members who can help     problem - the entire North-East            Ms Winterton, we are sure, has
  If you are a tax-payer, this will    either with skills, access to printers
                                                                      is under-represented in terms of         an interest in preventing indirect
enable FNF to claim 28p from           or merchandise suppliers, or know
                                                                      FNF Contacts and Branches.               discrimination. Let's hope she
the government for every £1 you        of companies willing to do a dealAny volunteers would be                can also start to tackle the direct
have already contributed, or plan      for what is obviously a good cause,
                                                                      welcomed and should contact              discrimination many fathers
to contribute, by way of your          please get in touch with Alasdair
                                                                      Penny on: 0113 294 6976.                 face when attempting to obtain
annual subscription or donation.       Maclauchlan on: 0131 555 0135    Meantime, over the Pennines,           and enforce contact orders.
  You will also find a copy of the                                    Ian Smith and Arthur Wright at
Rules drafted under Article 61 of        MARATHON MAN FNF Southport Branch are                                 AND WAS it the same Rosie
FNF's Articles of Association, as                                     looking for members to assist in         Winterton who was repri-
approved at the last National          COVENTRY FNF member running meetings and coping                         manded on November 6 by
Council Meeting.                       Robert Page will run the with administration.                           Michael ‘Gorbals Mick’ Martin,
  For good measure, we have put        Stratford-on-Avon marathon on                                           the Speaker of the House of
                                                                                                               Commons for giving too
in a copy of the flyer for FNF's       April 21 next year.                   BIG THANK-YOU                     lengthy a reply to a parlia-
'For The Sake Of The Children'          Meanwhile FNF is looking for
and the bigger poster which can                                                                                mentary question?
                                       any enthusiastic members who FNF WISHES to express its
                                                                                                                 Indeed it was. The minister
be put up on notice boards in          would like to run in future gratitude to the following for              flannelled on about CAFCASS
places such as local libraries or      marathons or fun-runs.         their very generous donations:           like a talking press release. And
information and advice bureaux.         The aim would be to organise Streatham Rotary Club, London,            then tried to smooth ruffled
  You could also help out by           an FNF team which could fund- and the Junior Common Room                feathers amongst the disgruntled
suggesting to your local library       raise and publicise the issues at Christ Church College,                Guardians-ad-litem.
that they order a copy of the book     which FNF campaigns on. Oxford, who between them have                     Mr Speaker (for it is he): "That
for their shelves. Remember that       Anyone interested in joining donated around £1000. (Also,               answer was far too long."
every copy sold brings FNF             such a team, please contact thanks to the mystery donor in
much-needed additional revenue.        Juliette at the office.        Kent for that £100 bank cheque.)                        Norman Porch

      African caribbean                                                                        Confidential Information Line
      marriage support project                                                                          020 7738 6090
                                                McKenzie 51     Winter 2001/2   Families Need Fathers
                                                  FAMILY LAW BRIEF
                                                                               Compiled by Tipstaff

                                    TESTING CASE                                  ON RECORD                         COURT APPROVED
THE CHILD SUPPORT                   A JUDGE IN the High Court               THERE WAS considerable                 IN WHAT is thought to be the
AGENCY looks set to make an         Family Division has ordered that        press coverage of the long-            first case of its kind, the Appeal
unprecedented payout of             a DNA test should be carried out        running case of Mark Harris back       Court recently ruled that a county
£30,000 to a Welsh man, after       in Re: T (Paternity: Ordering           in the summer. The legal journals      court judge should allow a litigant-
an independent DNA test             Blood Tests) to establish the           of record take a while to catch up,    in-person a McKenzie Friend in
proved that he could not be the
biological father of a boy for      identity of a biological father.        but Family Law Reports (2001, 2,       court for his full Contact hearing.
whom he had been paying £100-         Mr Justice Bodey's ruling took        No 6) carries the full texts of Mr       On September 26, Lord Justices
a-week maintenance for the last     account of both Article 8 of the        Justice Munby's two key rulings        Thorpe and Keene allowed an
seven years.                        European Convention on Human            in the cases.                          appeal against a ruling by Judge
  Gerard Bradbury, 39, of           Rights and the principles of the          In March this year, Harris was       Worsley at Basildon county court
Cardigan, told the BBC "I don't     UK Children Act (1989).                 given a ten-month prison sentence      in the case Re: H (Minor).
begrudge the child a penny, but       The mother in the case had been       for contempt. In June he applied         Judge Worsely had denied the
I hate being taken for a fool."     in a stable marriage but unable to      to the court to purge the contempt.    father a McKenzie Friend at a pre-
  Bradbury had had a brief affair   conceive a child by her husband.
with the child's mother, and                                                Justice Munby's June 21 ruling         trial hearing, on the ground that he
when she later claimed to have      With his agreement, she became          gives the full reasons for the         did not need one and that the
had a son by him, he agreed to      pregnant by a male friend, and the      decision to release Harris before      person he was proposing was
pay a quarter of his monthly        child she had was brought up            completion of full sentence.           ‘adversarial and legalistic’.
salary to her via the CSA. But      within the marriage.                                                              The mother in the case was
eventually, long-held doubts          The High Court decided that a                      TUV                       receiving legal aid and was
about the child's paternity         DNA test would be in the child's          Understatement of the Year           represented by a solicitor and
prompted him to pay £200 for a      best interests, because it had the                                             barrister. The Appeal judges found
DNA test. The test proved that      right to know its father's identity     "Confidence in the Family Courts
the odds against Mr Bradbury                                                                                       that the father could be vulnerable
                                    and also have the possibility of          is not high at the moment."          at the full Contact hearing and that
being the biological father were                                                    Joshua Rozenberg,
14 million-to-one, about the        contact with him.                           Legal Editor, Daily Telegraph      the separate issue of representation
same as the odds against                                                                                           was by its nature legalistic and
winning the National Lottery.       BROOKMANSHIP                                LEANER SLICE                       adversarial. This did not in itself
  A CSA spokeswomen said                                                                                           mean that a McKenzie Friend
"The CSA does not make              LONDON            SOLICITORS            BUSINESS TYCOON Michael                would act in the same manner at
judgements about paternity. If      Brookman are in the running for         Cowan made his £12 million             the full Contact hearing.
someone comes to us and says        the finals of the Campaign Media        fortune from the invention of black      The case eventually went ahead
he is the father, we collect
maintenance. In rare cases          marketing awards ceremony for           plastic waste disposal ‘bin-liners’.   with the McKenzie Friend present.
where the non-residential parent    their controversial 'Ditch the Bitch'     When his thirty-five year
has been making payments and        and 'All Men are Bastards'              marriage came to an end, Cowan's       FOOTNOTE: For some time
later establishes that he is not    advertising campaign which              ex-wife Jacqueline was awarded         'McKenzie' has carried a notice
the father, we give refunds, with   featured gender-specific stickers       £1.775 million. This original sum      encouraging members with
interest."                          liberally applied to the walls of       was increased substantially by the     information about court refusals
  Bradbury added: "There must       wine bar lavatories all across the      Appeal Court - to £4.4 million.        to allow a McKenzie Friend to
be hundreds of men throughout       City of London.                           However, her bid to persuade the     let the office know. Response has
the country in my situation, and
I would urge them to have a           Informal sources suggest that         House of Lords to jack up the          been patchy, but the instances we
DNA test done."                     Brookman are no longer members          revised award failed at the end of     know of are being collated and
                                    of the Solicitors' Family Law           November, their Lordships being        details will be published soon as
THE CSA HAS come in for             Association. Something to do with       singularly unimpressed by              - either on the official FNF
heavy criticism from an irate       a change of policy perhaps?             accounts of her lavish lifestyle.      website, or in 'McKenzie'.
daughter whose interests the
Agency is supposed to protect.
  Stephen Handley, a Worcester
lorry driver, faces the prospect
of having to sell his house to
meet a CSA arrears payment
totalling £4,000.
                                         Volunteers are wanted,
                                                                                   g                               Members of the Solicitors’
                                                                                                                    Family Law Association
                                                                                                                      Family Mediators
  His daughter, Sîan, 16, a            in the West London Area,
student, has written to Prime
Minister Tony Blair asking him
to intervene. She said: "I'd
rather have my dad living round
                                         to help maintain FNF's
                                             Media Archive                              anthony gold
the corner, than forced to move
away because he can't keep up
with these disgusting demands
                                      Please phone
                                      Luis Sanchez on:                                  lerman & muirhead
for money."                           020 8749 7051,
  Sîan's mother also attacked the     07711 959792 (mobile)                             S O L I C I T O R S
CSA's demands, saying: "I don't       or e-mail:
agree that my ex-husband                                                          43 Streatham Hill, London SW2 4TP - 020 8678 5500
should make these excessive                                                       25 London Bridge St, London SE1 9TW - 020 7940 4000
                                               McKenzie 51     Winter 2001/2 Families Need Fathers
NEWS BRIEFS                                           IN THE BEST INTERESTS
                                              CAFCASS, the Commons - and a rude awakening

"a pleasant and friendly"
father ran into a contact
problem over his two year-old
son? The police closed off a
                                  S     ERIOUS QUESTIONS
                                        are already being asked
                                        about the new courts
                                  agency CAFCASS which, as
                                  Lord Chancellor's Department
                                                                         children (aged eleven and nine).
                                                                           This particular weekend, his
                                                                         children told him that they did not
                                                                         want to go back to their mother
                                                                         on Sunday evening. They pre-
                                                                                                                a fax to the Official Solicitor and
                                                                                                                the local social services informing
                                                                                                                both agencies of the current
                                                                                                                situation and of his intention to
                                                                                                                return the children to their mother
17-mile stretch of the M4 in      minister Rosie Winterton               ferred to be with their father, who    via the school next day. He went
Wiltshire causing immense                                                cherishes them dearly. He decided      to bed long after one o’clock.
traffic chaos and then arrested   constantly reminds us, came
him on suspicion of carrying      into being on April 1 this year.       to let them sleep over. In the           ‘Mr M’ now explained to the
a concealed weapon.                 On October 22 - a mere six-          morning he would take them to          inspector at his door all the steps
                                  months down the line - Hilton          school, from where they would          he had taken the previous evening.
LATEST HOME Office                Dawson, Labour back-bencher            return to their mother in the usual    He said his children had been in
figures show a record rise in     and MP for Lancaster and Wyre,         way when school finished.              bed fast asleep, until the police
the number of females             tabled a House of Commons                He knew from his years with          came to disturb everyone.
currently in prison in this       Early Day Motion on CAF-               FNF that it was no crime to retain       Still the police insisted they were
country. Let's hope the           CASS, which has now received                                                  going to enter and finally barged
authorities don't use this as     forty-four supporting signatures.                                             through the locked door. The
a further excuse for leniency       As yet, no date has been fixed                                              father was manhandled into an
against mothers who flout         for a formal debate on the                                                    armchair and prevented from
court contact orders.             motion, which ends with a call                                                going to his distraught children.
FNF MEMBER Richard                for "an urgent and fundamental                                                  The police snatch-squad simply
Day has applied under the         review of the service, taking full                                            took them away, after a heavy-
Data Protection Act for the       account of the views of children                                              handed raid on a peaceful family
CSA to make available             and young people, organisations                                               home in the early hours of the
copies of all papers held by      representing them and the                                                     morning, in the same way as they
them about his case.              dedicated people who work                                                     might raid a master criminal's
  He is alleging "...incorrect    within it."                                                                   home to catch him unawares.
enforcement action, mal-            Dawson, like many others, had                                                 The police had clearly acted
administration and serious        been concerned to note that                                                   illegally. For whatever reason,
official error" by the
Agency, which has until
December 3 to respond.
                                  twenty-four out of fifty-two
                                  managers of children's guardians
                                  had already left CAFCASS.
                                                                              SOCIETY                           they had simply chosen to enforce
                                                                                                                this mother's residence order.
                                                                                                                There was no court order to
EVER WONDERED what                What's more, one of them had           his children after contact and that    legitimise their actions.
happened to Tranda Wecker,        stated publicly that on the            no one could take them from him          Had they simply waited a few
natural mother of the             national level, the agency "is in      without a court order.                 hours the children would have
‘Internet Twins’ unsuccess-       a state dangerously close to             Nevertheless, he took sensible       been on their way to school for
fully adopted by Judith and       paralysis."                            steps to explain his actions and his   another routine day with their
Alan Kilshaw? She has now                                                intentions for the following day.      friends and teachers. As it was,
pleaded guilty to charges of                                               Early that evening he tele-          on Monday they were not at
federal fraud in the United
States and faces a possible
prison sentence of a year.
Wecker admitted lying in
order to obtain a range of
                                  A      ROUND four o'clock in the
                                         morning ‘Mr M’ was
                                         awoken by loud hammer-
                                  ing on his front door.
                                    When he went to investigate he
                                                                         phoned the local police, notifying
                                                                         them that the children were
                                                                         refusing to return to their mother.
                                                                         He told them the children were
                                                                         safe and in bed for the night and
                                                                                                                school, but instead, rather upset,
                                                                                                                tired and confused by this Metro-
                                                                                                                politan Police overreaction.
                                                                                                                  You would think an apology
                                                                                                                might be forthcoming, or that
state benefits.
                                  saw four police officers outside.      that he planned to take them to        disciplinary action might have
AS FOR THE Kilshaws,                They said they had come from         school in the morning.                 been taken against these over-
despite Health Secretary          Islington Police Station to take his     He asked if the police would         zealous officers. But to date there
Alan Milburn’s October            children, because they were            relay this information to the          has been no apology and no
announcement of a proposed        concerned for their safety. They       mother and enquired whether they       internal disciplining.
revision in the adoption law,     said they had a warrant and unless     wished to verify that the children       ‘Mr M’, the ‘Bengal Tiger’ has
they plan to continue their       he let them in they told him they      were safe by visiting them at his      issued a civil complaint against the
search in Turkey and              would break down the door.             home. The police officer res-          Metropolitan Police, citing
Rumania. Milburn wants              The inspector in charge refused      ponded that this was a civil matter    ‘misfeasance in public office’. He
Britons who adopt children        to show him the non-existent           which did not concern them. He         is also seeking compensation for
abroad without proper             warrant until he opened the door.      would let the mother know the          trespass, unlawful removal of the
clearance from the UK to            Long-standing members may            situation and a check on their         children, assault and damage to his
face prison sentences.
                                  remember ‘Mr M’. His story             safety was quite unnecessary.          property, and false imprisonment.
THE HOUSE where Elian             (‘Bengal Tiger’) was published in        The ‘Bengal Tiger’, educated by        His complaint is likely to be
Gonzalez guested during his       McKenzie, February 1998. He            many years in the jungle of family     heard in the High Court at
stay in Miami, Florida, has       now has staying contact with his       proceedings, did not relax. He sent    sometime in the New Year.
been turned into a shrine in
memory of his five-month
American experience. The                               even Toddlers Need Fathers
house in 'Little Havana', is
now known as ‘Casa Elian’
and still contains his bedroom                              www.eventoddlersneedfathers.com
just as it was when he                  (Case laws and child psychology, bonding, Lord Chancellor's Department,
  returned to live with his              Home Office, UN, parental leave, European Court, CSA, contact centres)
    father in Cuba.
                                          McKenzie 51     Winter 2001/2     Families Need Fathers
    'IN CAMERA'                                             IN PARLIAMENT
A RESIDENCY hearing before             WHEN MARRIAGES or long-               were child-abusers. That is so            Sometimes the allegations can
Judge Black on October 24 was          term relationships break up,          far from reality and reason."           later be traced back to misguided
told that the litigant-in-person       false allegations of abuse by one       Lord Eden of Winton warned of         or misapplied counselling.
(LIP) had taped a meeting with         partner against the other can         "...the growing weight of evidence        In the Lords debate, the Countess
a CAFCASS officer.                     sometimes become a further            that the experts in the social          of Mar singled out the potential
  The LIP had kept the tape as an      harmful consequence.                  services, the medical profession        misuse of Section 47 of the
insurance policy. He mentioned its       On October 17, the House of         and the police can get things           Children Act (1989).
existence when the CAFCASS             Lords held a special debate on        tragically wrong."                        "Somehow," she said, "the Act
officer, Kay Demery, was caught        the broad issue of false alleg-         This situation arises, Lord Eden      has been so misconstrued as to
out in a ‘memory-lapse’ in court.      ations and the harm they can          pointed out: "...because they           enable some social services
  The exchange in court went           cause to families.                    have been conditioned to believe        departments, paediatricians and
something like this:                     Leading the debate, Earl Howe       that everything the child says has      organisations such as the NSPCC
  LIP: Do you remember my              first stressed how vital it was not   to be true, or they fail to interpret   to abuse their powers through
daughter mentioning to you her         to play down in any way the           correctly the physical symptoms         misplaced zeal and ideology, or
fear that imposing a contact order     genuine cases of violent, sexual      they may be examining."                 through sheer incompetence."
might result in her father going to    or emotional abuse of children.         "What is most dangerous of              The result, she commented, had
prison if he didn’t agree with it?       His concern was that along-         all," he went on, "is that they         been "...to create tremendous
  Demery: No.                          side genuine cases of abuse there     might have a preconceived               distress and psychological
  LIP: Do you think you would          was a parallel cause for worry.       presumption that abuse has              damage to parents, children and
have remembered, had she                 "Many innocent people," he          taken place. If so, the child is        the wider family, sometimes
mentioned this?                        said, "are being wrongly accused      then subjected to suggestible           destroying the family structure."
  Demery: Yes.                         of child abuse and their lives are    questioning, designed to
  LIP: I just happen to have a tape
recording of an interview in which
                                       being turned upside down              substantiate that opinion."             The Lords debate did not go to
                                       without justification."                 "They appear to be too ready          the other end of the spectrum and
my daughter does mention this.           He cited two particular             to jump to a conclusion on the          consider the implications of the
  Judge: What! I order that you                                              flimsiest of evidence."
                                       sources of such allegations. The                                              highly-publicised case against
deliver the recording to this court,
                                       first was so-called "recovered                                                former Tory minister Neil
plus any notes or transcripts.
                                       memory" , which had been                                                      Hamilton and his wife Christine.
  The judge was concerned to
                                       completely discredited by a                    FALSE                            There is a world of difference
establish who might have
prompted the LIP’s daughter to         Royal College of Physicians                 ALLEGATIONS                       between being politically and
mention such a matter to the           Working Party in 1998.                                                        financially discredited and being
CAFCASS officer.                         The second source was from                                                  accused of the kind of lurid
  In fact, the LIP had been at pains   cases of so-called "Münchausen        A number of speakers referred           behaviour which figured in the
not to put any ideas into his          Syndrome By Proxy", where a           to the social climate in which false    imagination of a single witness.
daughter's head that could have led    parent or carer allegedly or          allegations can arise. Baroness           The Hamiltons - like them or
to such an accusation.                 deliberately creates illness in a     Carnegy singled out in particular       loathe them - rightly decided to
  And even if he had, if he had        child. This syndrome is also the      the frightening atmosphere pre-         ‘tough it out’. Perhaps no fresh
disagreed with the order imposed       subject of considerable doubt in      valent for social workers or police     mud stuck to them as a result.
at the mother's behest and failed      the medical profession.               "...who have to make the initial
to comply with it he could                                                   decisions of what to do in families     But that was not the situation in
ultimately go to prison or face        A number of their lordships           when abuse is first alleged."           a very different case in Scotland
some other penalty.                    made detailed contributions but         "Common sense and legis-              back in the summer. At the end of
  That's the only way court orders     it was Lord Lucas who sounded         lation may say that they should         July, a prosecution against six men
can work. Now, the judge could         the most serious warning note:        talk with the parents and the           in the High Court in Edinburgh
have said: "I'm very interested that   "Professionals have over the          child, offer support and keep in        collapsed. They had jointly been
you appear to have proof that this     years consistently shown their        close touch," the Baroness              accused of longterm sexual abuse
CAFCASS officer has lied to this       ability to lose a sense of balance    explained, but noted that "it is all    of an eleven year-old girl and her
court and I would like to know         and professionalism."                 too easy to picture the headlines       eight year-old brother.
more. Let us adjourn this hearing        "I lost trust in the NSPCC a        and the letters to the local paper        The case seems to have
until you can bring the tape to        few years ago," Lord Lucas            if things go wrong, and to play         originated in an acrimonious
court so we can listen to it.          confessed, "when it ran an            safe by recommending taking             marital break-up, with the mother
Meanwhile I will prepare a             advertising campaign claiming         the child away."                        taking the two children to Ireland.
perjury charge against this            that 'one-in-eight' children is                                               There they received ‘counselling’
CAFCASS officer." But the judge        subject to child abuse... Its         False allegations can take many         which gave rise to the allegations
didn't say anything of the sort.       claim would suggest that one          forms and FNF is concerned when         leading to the prosecution.
  What action will be taken now        hundred of your Lordships had         they are used as a weapon in              When the case collapsed half
that the tape is in the judge's        suffered child abuse and that         disputed custody, access or             way through, the six defendants
hands? Will it be used to bring Ms     perhaps fifty of your Lordships       parental responsibility cases.          were deprived of the opportunity
Demery to book? How will                                                                                             to defend themselves in court and
CAFCASS respond and will Ms                                       ●   SPIG          ●                                clear their names.
Demery's behaviour be allowed to                                                                                       Afterwards, Labour MSP Cathy
influence other judges?                                                                                              Jamieson called for a full public
  Seems unlikely. Of course the         SHARED PARENTING INFORMATION GROUP                                           enquiry. Such a forum may be the
LIP could also appeal, because his       We collate and promote research information on shared parenting             only way to clear the air, debate
application for joint residence was                                                                                  the issues in detail and educate
summarily dismissed by the judge,                   Website: www.spig.info                                           both professionals and the general
despite the CAFCASS officer's                              Mail: spig@clara.net                                      public about a very tricky and
economies with la vérité.                                                                                            highly-charged subject.           7
                                                 McKenzie 51     Winter 2001/2 Families Need Fathers
     Fallout and Follow-Up
                   Your Post-AGM Guide to Election Results, Appointment of Officers,
                             the Strategy Meeting and Legal Developments
The FNF Annual General four-to-one in favour of the six Dr Pelling received the highest stringent internal review, that an
Meeting was finally held in candidates who had been recom- number of votes amongst the early draft of 'Complaints
London on September 23. mended to the membership by ‘reformers’, but is now question- Procedure and Standards' for
  Members will recall that it was the National Council.                 ing the validity of the AGM and      CAFCASS was in preparation.
re-scheduled from May after a                                           the Trustee elections.               He said that he was most
series of legal problems.              National Council                   A full hearing in the High Court   concerned to maintain a full
                                                                        on this matter has been set for      consultation process with FNF
         The Meeting                   At its first meeting following December 12.                           and other similar groups.
                                     the AGM the National Council                                              His aim, he said, was to build
  A well-attended Meeting heard      approved the appointment of                    Address                  "...a new culture" at CAFCASS,
the final results of the count for   Jeremy Thomas as FNF Trea-                                              which would involve complete
the elections of FNF Trustees,       surer and of Matthew Stannard The AGM was addressed by                  openness and transparency.
which was supervised by an inde-     as FNF Secretary.                  Anthony Hewson, Chairman of
pendent observer. The total votes                                       the new Children and Family                   Back-Chat
cast are shown in the Box below.                   Legal                Court Advisory and Support
                                                                        Service (CAFCASS), on the              Afterwards there was a lively
           The Vote                    The results of the election have theme of his personal vision for     discussion, involving a series of
                                     been challenged in court by one the future of this new all-             questions raised by meeting
 The turnout in the voting was       FNF member, Dr Michael inclusive agency.                                chairman Charles Kenyon, and
considerably up on previous          Pelling, formerly a member of In his address, Hewson stressed           by a number of members from
years and the final count went       the self-styled ‘reform group’.    that CAFCASS was undergoing          the floor. To his credit, Hewson

                                                                                    NEW FNF OFFICERS
    Election Review
      Trustee Election Results 2001
    The number of votes cast by eligible members of Families
    Need Fathers in the Annual Election of Trustees and
    announced after independent verification at the FNF Annual
    General Meeting on September 23, was as follows:

      Karen Randall                                        455
      Nigel Planer                                         441
      Trevor Berry                                         434
      Bob Rushworth                                        413                    Matthew                              Jeremy
      Ramon Faro                                           408                    Stannard                             Thomas
      Martin Crapper                                       407                  FNF Secretary                       FNF Treasurer
      Dr Michael J. Pelling                                103             MATTHEW is taking over             JEREMY is taking over the
      Michael J. Cox                                       100             from James de la Mare, who         duties of Bruce Wilson, who
                                                                           has been instrumental in the       had been FNF Treasurer since
      Brian Robertson                                       71             running FNF for many years.        August 1999.
                                                                             Matthew lives in London and        Jeremy has been a member
      Stephen Fitzgerald                                    62             works as an IT Consultant at a     of FNF for five years and
      John Junk                                             62             major news agency.                 during this period he has
                                                                             He has been a member of          served as Vice-Treasurer and
      Jeffrey Linnecar                                      57             FNF for two years, and is an       then Treasurer of the Central
      Bernard Greenwood                                     55             enthusiastic contributor to the    London Branch. He has an
                                                                           FNF internet forum.                eight year-old daughter from
      Trevor Berry, Martin Crapper, Ramon Faro, Nigel Planer,                Matthew has a daughter           his first marriage. Recently
      Karen Randall and Bob Rushworth were the six candidates              aged twelve and two sons           remarried, he now also has a
          duly elected to serve on FNF's National Council.                 aged seventeen and nineteen.       four-month old son.

8         Remember, for every Gift Aid pound you donate
                                             McKenzie 51   Winter 2001/2   Families Need Fathers
   dealt frankly and generously
with the awkward questions
raised. He also made a number
of points which may have left
him open to potential challenge.
  Not the least of these was over        A new regular feature, documenting the work done by
complaints procedure. The                            FNF Trustees and FNF staff and volunteers.
CAFCASS Chairman invited
anyone who doubted that
progress would be made, to           The Trustees                         while you will build answers to This could, for instance, include
                                                                          questions very specific to your information about case law, or the
"...come back and see me in The new FNF Trustees are own situation.                                           results of online surveys in table
October or November."               Martin Crapper, Ramon Faro, One day we may collate, edit, and graph form that will be
                                    Nigel Planer, Karen Randall filter postings (with permission, of updated automatically as more
       Strategy Meeting             and Bob Rushworth.                    course) and produce another book. people respond.
                                      Karen and Bob had been temp- I feel another grant application There will also be much more
  Following the AGM and the orarily co-opted earlier in the year coming on. It'll be a big job. But space available, so that we shall
National Council meeting, FNF by the National Council to fill incredibly useful.                              be able to put almost unlimited
organised a day-long Strategy       vacant places left by the resign- We constantly stress that content on the site.
Meeting. This was held in ations of Steve Butler, Anson Allen opinions are individual and that The Lord Chancellor's Depart-
                                                                          you must make your own ment is introducing a set of
London on Saturday October 27 and Tim Hibbett.
                                      James de la Mare stood down as decisions in your own case, but I standards for Legal and Advice
and attended mainly by National
                                    FNF Secretary after long service would certainly say the forum is a websites. We shall be making the
Council members.                    to FNF and everybody would like very helpful resource.                    changes necessary for the FNF
  The aim was to discuss and to thank him for his years of The downside is that you can get website to conform to these
identify FNF's priorities for the dedicated work for FNF's causes. 25 e-mails a day. You can reduce standards.
immediate future and to prioritise Bruce Wilson resigned as that by either developing This is a big undertaking,
its longer-term objectives.         Treasurer with effect from the favourites (some subjects you'll requiring modifications to every
  Discussion inevitably centred AGM and has been replaced by delete), or, by subscribing to one page on the site.
on a range of topics. Membership Jeremy Thomas.                           forum and not the other. Conformance will give us the
and Funding came high on the                                              Alternatively, you can get a daily equivalent of a British Standard,
agenda, as did the question of
training more people to give         The Office                           digest and receive just one long e- with the benefits that these things
                                                                          mail per forum each day, and skim bring, such as a higher profile and
expert help and advice.               The next McKenzie will feature to the bits you're interested in.        attracting more visitors to the site.
  A lot of thought was given to a full report on the work of the I'd like more members to The ‘Just Ask’ website run by the
the position of FNF's local National Office in Curtain Road. subscribe, especially outside LCD already links to the FNF site.
branches and the ways in which                                            London. It's the most immediate To ensure that it continues to do
they can best be developed.
  FNF's range of publications
                                     The Forum                            way of telling people what's going so we must make sure that we
                                                                          on in FNF, especially those who conform to the new standards.
continues to be in great demand,    The FNF e-mail Forum has now can't get to meetings.                         The Rough Guide to the Law is
and various strategies to improve been in operation for several We use it a lot for helping with being updated and enhanced.
and update them were con- years, writes Jim Parton, and media requests. If the forums do Every page is being reviewed and
                                                                          become even more a victim of new pages are being written. The
sidered. At the same time it was after a shaky start, is in-
                                    creasingly useful.                    their own success, then we'll sub- pages on Shared Residence and
recognised by many present that
                                      We've divided it into two, and it divide them further, for example Scottish Law have recently been
FNF's public relations could be may soon have to be divided ‘fnf-PAS’ or ‘fnf-lawreports’, or completely rewritten.
further improved.                   further, a victim of its own success. ‘fnf-parentalresponsibility’, so The Court Welfare page will
  One way of guaranteeing this ‘fnf-chat’ is just that. You may you'll be able to sign up for the shortly be updated to include
was to develop and expand have suggestions for the subjects that interest you.                                information on CAFCASS.
personal contacts with the media, management of FNF. One Best of all, they're free.                             Some local branches, for
both centrally and at local level. problem with e-mail is that it is                                          example FNF's Bristol branch,
  Further consideration will be very informal and you can be a bit                                            have their own website. Not all
given to the various themes too blunt (or sharp) without really
which were put up for discussion. meaning it - I'm as guilty as           The Website                         branches have the time and
                                                                                                              resources to do this, so we would
                                    anyone. But in the last few months A lot of work is currently being like to make space available on the
             Contact                especially, it has become a very done to the FNF Website which main site for local branch home
                                    constructive forum for the it is hoped will improve it in pages, with details of meetings and
  Four FNF representatives exchange of ideas. We alert each terms of the amount and quality events, local information, and
attended the ‘Making Contact other to trends in family policy, of material we can post and the even maps and photos.
Work’ conference on November media coverage, and so on.                   features that can be provided.        If you send us the details, we will
20, (See: 'Protest Point', News       Even more useful, perhaps, is The website is moving to a new do the rest.
Extra, page 3).                     ‘fnf-help’, like a virtual FNF Internet Provider, Claranet. This We need volunteers to help with
  It proved to be an important meeting. Members ask advice on will transform the site from a set all these things, particularly people
                                    questions which are sometimes of static web pages to a ‘proper’ with experience of web design
opportunity to lobby senior figures
                                    very specific, sometimes more website with, for the technically skills such as Html, PHP, Java-
at the Lord Chancellor's Depart- general. Other members chip back minded, full CGI capability.                script and mySQL.
ment, like Sir Nicholas Wall, and with answers, some tactical, some What this means is that we will If you have any of these skills,
reinforce FNF's position as stated technical, some emotional.             be able to provide features that or even if you would just like to
in our written submission ‘Making You can build an archive of weren't possible before, such as help in some way, please ring Bob
Contact Work’ (See: McKenzie No ‘been-there, done-that, got-the- databases of information that can Rushworth on:
50, page 7).                        contact-order’ advice. After a be searched on the site.                     020 8693 3432.

               the Government gives FNF an additional 28p                                                                                       9
                                                McKenzie 51    Winter 2001/2 Families Need Fathers
                  First Person First

                          A London FNF member describes how he discovered the other side of
                         ‘parental alienation’ once he had successfully fought to retain care and
                                               custody of his two daughters.
T    en months ago, back in
December 2000, I attended a
                                     by me any longer. He would
                                     have done absolutely nothing
                                                                          should live with their father.
                                                                            Instead, she opted for shared
                                                                                                              The CWO and the judge
                                                                                                            thought that, at this stage, the
London Branch Tuesday                until it was too late.               residence - but with a sting in   children could only handle
meeting looking for advice.            Good advice from FNF. From         the tail: if we could not agree   three hours contact with her
  Earlier in the year, my partner    then on I never looked back.         about shared residence, then      each week. They have been
of eighteen years and the                                                 my partner would get sole         emotionally battered over the
mother to our two daughters,
then nine and eleven, had
                                     M      y residence order was
                                     discharged when the parental
                                                                            What an open invitation! Of
                                                                                                            last year and need some respite.

informed me that she no longer
wanted me around.
                                     responsibility order was made,
                                     but because I knew that I was
                                                                          course, my partner would make
                                                                          sure we never agreed! The
                                                                                                            Yet, despite allmy McKenzie
                                                                                                            guidance from
                                                                                                                            my efforts and

  She had had an affair with a       prepared to put my children          CWO had as good as recom-         friend, who is very aware of
former work colleague. I             first, I decided to fight for them   mended, contrary to all the       parental alienation, my children
suspected that it was still going    and take steps so that they          evidence, that the mother be      are quite hostile and very
on and he was lurking in the         would be able to live with me        given a residence order and       unsympathetic to their mother.
wings ready to move in.                                                                                       I did not set out to, nor did I
  I realised that our relationship                                                                          purposely assist in this process.

                                     1          “I knew that at some time

was over and, as an unmarried                                                                               I believe that she brought it on

father, steeled myself for the
loss of my children and my
                                        st sooner or later the girls would                                  herself and over the months I
                                                                                                            repeatedly warned her what
                                          refuse to live with their mother any                              was happening.
home - we had been living in
our own four-bedroomed house
                                       longer and would turn to cash-strapped                                 Now, as a resident parent, I
for thirteen years.                        homeless me to look after them.”                                 can see the other side of the coin
  I explained the situation to the                                                                          from many FNF members. I
children, and told them I would   in the long term. I realised that remain in the family home.              encourage, cajole and even
be leaving to go back and live    if I failed, the likely outcome Perverse logic - she was to have          bribe our daughters to see their
with my parents. I was resigned   was that my partner would get the children during the week,               mother. They don't like me for
to the fact that this is what     the family home to house the even though she worked full                  it and cannot understand why I
would happen.                     children. I knew that at some time Monday to Friday.                      do. I agree to take them to
                                  time, sooner or later, the girls                                          McDonald's for the handover,
T   hen I met Ian Mackay, who would refuse to live with their             I
                                                                      n the meantime, I'd been
I understand is often referred to mother any longer and would getting help with my statements
                                                                                                            to lure them from the house for
                                                                                                            their contact, because when
as ‘Mr McKenzie’.                 turn to cash-strapped, homeless and letters from another FNF              their mother comes to our home
  My partner had disappeared me to look after them.                 member in west London who               they refuse to go with her.
after an argument, leaving the                                      was dealing both with my
children, and a note saying she      A s a London cabbie, my Children Act matters and the
would be back in a few days. It work pattern was flexible. I had issue of our joint property.
                                                                                                       would very much like my
                                                                                                   children to rebuild their
was Ian who suggested that I a good track-record of child He persuaded me to apply to relationship with their mother,
should make a residence care. For the last few years the the court requesting a supple- but I can't do it alone. She her-
application to the court. He girls' mother had worked full mentary welfare report dealing self is the stumbling block.
advised me I should ask for time and I had always looked with the wishes and feelings of I don't think it is healthy for
interim residence, so that I after them all through the the children - something the my elder daughter to say she
would get parental respon- school holidays.                         earlier CWO's report had hates her mother and I intend
sibility and be able to take full Our daughters knew that their strangely omitted to do.           to fix up counselling for us as a
care of my children while their mother's focus was outside the The judge agreed and, soon family. But only so much can
mother was elsewhere.             home. Gradually they grew to afterwards, my partner left to be done so quickly. And I can
  Up to this point I'd had a trust her less and rely upon me stay elsewhere.                       see the other side of the coin
solicitor, because there were more and more. The Court Directly the supplementary from many of our members.
legal wrangles over the equity Welfare Officer (CWO) report was produced, my Now, with Christmas
in the house. However it was described the family relation- partner withdrew her residence approaching I'm waiting in our
Ian who persuaded me to go in ships accurately when she application and asked for home (hardly ever out earning
person immediately to the reported that the children contact instead. In September my living), the only home the
County Court.                     trusted me and looked to me for this year, a residence order was children have known, for the
  I did, and came out with a comfort, whereas their mother made in my favour.                      outcome of the property
residence order, giving me was unable to relate to them and I didn't celebrate. In fact I was matter. Will we still have a
parental responsibility. My their hurt. Even so, she was left with a sour taste in my home? I could be certain of the
solicitor was not impressed. unable to take that final step and mouth, because to a large extent answer to that question if I were
Nor was he employed. Well, not recommend that the children my children have lost a mother. a mother.
       Moving house in the near future? Don't forget to notify the FNF office of your new address
10                                              McKenzie 51   Winter 2001/2   Families Need Fathers
  How the big 'Domestic Violence' debate has grabbed the news headlines - yet again.

A   senior judge has thrown
     her hat into the ring in the
renewed debate about
                                         Judge Pearlman's words were
                                       picked up in the press and
                                       provoked considerable discussion
                                                                              Office discussion paper on the
                                                                              subject, which has led to a
                                                                              renewed campaign by women’s
                                                                                                                     amended urgently to provide
                                                                                                                     protection for children involved
                                                                                                                     in contact proceedings with a
domestic violence and the law          on an Internet discussion forum at     groups to highlight the issue.         violent parent".
with a controversial call for ‘an      www.thelawzone.co.uk - a site            Already celebrity figures like
immediate custodial sentence’          which is aimed particularly at the     Martine McCutcheon are getting                    But where do they get
for any man who hits a woman.          legal profession.                      involved, while even Britain’s                     all these statistics from?
  Her Honour Judge Valerie               The factor which provoked most       Methodist churches arranged                        The Consultation
Pearlman, who sits in the London       criticism was Pearlman’s               ‘plate-breaking’ stunts at Sunday      Paper on Domestic Violence
court circuit - and once made          advocacy of legislation aimed          service on November 25, to             and Contact, issued by the Lord
legal history by delivering her        specifically at men, though the        encourage publicity.                   Chancellor's Department in
judgement from her hospital bed        idea is not new; we reported on          The campaign is spearheaded by       November 1999, admits that no
on a webcam via the Internet -         moves in Canada to introduce           a TV advert, taking its ‘One-In-       reliable and uniform statistics are
outlined her views during a panel      even stricter measures.                Four’ title from the heavily-          available from research sources.
discussion on domestic violence          (See: 'Ontario Overkill', News       disputed statistic that one woman        Which begs the question: where
at the Annual General Meeting          Extra, McKenzie No47, page 3).         in four is a victim of male violence   did they get this ‘One-in-Four’
of the Magistrates' Association in                                                                                   statistic from in the first place?
London on October 29.                                           "...is this just one judge who                         Could it be the case that the
  Judge Pearlman had taken the                                                                                       groups who purvey these kind of
place of Dame Elizabeth Butler-                                wants to shift the scales of                          shocking statistics have a more
Sloss on the panel at short notice.                            justice in women’s favour, or                         fundamental agenda than simply
                                                               is that bias already inherent                         helping women who are victims
          The meeting heard                                    in the system as a whole?"
                                                                                                                     of domestic abuse?
           that one quarter of                                                                                         A Home Office study, carried
           violent crime was                                                                                         out in 1999, estimated that there
domestic violence, but only one          One contributor described            at one time or another and the most    were perhaps 1.87 million female
in three attacks resulting in injury   Pearlman's viewpoint as "...yet        prevalent form is violence against     victims of domestic violence in
were reported. Research from the       another example of gender bias in      women in the home.                     England and Wales.
Home Office has suggested that         our courts", but is this just one                                               With some 50 million people in
victims are assaulted 35 times         judge who wants to shift the scales              W omen's Aid, the            England and Wales, this would
before they seek help.                 of justice in women's favour, or is                umbrella organisation      make the real ratio of women who
  Judge Pearlman said the time         that bias already inherent in the                  for women’s refuges,       suffer violence from their partner
had come for the courts to "stop       system as a whole?                     carried out some research of its       more like 1 in 12. But then, that
making excuses" for crimes of                                                 own at over one hundred refuges,       figure wouldn't look so good on
domestic violence. She urged                     A fellow-magistrate,         and concluded that contact orders      the campaign literature.
greater use of video-link                        Richard        Bristow,      were being used by violent fathers       The same Home Office study
evidence, so that witnesses could                commented: "I often see      in order to track down their ex-       also estimated that around 1
be spared court appearances.           cases of domestic assault and the      partners and children.                 million men were victims of
  Magistrates, she argued, should      overwhelming majority (and of            Women's Aid believes courts are      domestic violence, but this is
be encouraged to impose wider          course that’s only the ones that get   continuing to promote parental         something which fails to get
bail conditions to stop defendants     to court) are man-on-woman.            contact even where there is evid-      similar media limelight. Veteran
interfering with their victims         Over the years we have come            ence of violence against children.     feminist campaigner Erin Pizzey
before trial. They should also         wearily to expect the inevitable         A Women's Aid national               made exactly this point in a
ensure that defendants were not        withdrawal statement."                 children's officer stated recently     Guardian interview (November
using contact orders with their          We are hearing a lot about DV        that her organisation believed:        26). "Domestic violence", she
children to intimidate the mother.     in the aftermath of the Home             "... the Children Act needs to be    said, "can't be a gender issue."

                                                                                                                                 A practical guide based
     FNF SOUTHPORT & NORTH WEST                                                 For the Sake of                                   on the experiences of
                      BRANCH                                                                                                       FNF members. This
     (Notice: There will be no meeting in December)                             the Children                                     guide will be of interest
                                                                                The FNF guide to                                 to anyone concerned to
  Branch meetings now held at 7.30pm on the last Thursday of each                                                                 make sure children get
                            month at:                                           shared parenting                                 the best of both parents
          Parenting 2000, The Lodge, Mornington Road,                                                                                after separation.
                         Southport, PR9
                          (non-members welcome)                                                                                     Members' Price:
       The Southport branch requires volunteers to assist with the                                                                £5.95 including p&p
                              meetings.                                                                                              (R.R.P. £7.95)
                     Telephone: 01704 510 899                                                                                    Order your copy now.
                 E-mail: ics@carpenters-law.co.uk                                                                                Call: 020 7613 5060

Have you asked your Member of Parliament to lobby for your right to a McKenzie Friend?
                                                  McKenzie 51     Winter 2001/2 Families Need Fathers
                                                                                                                                                                  Buttie-booster, Czech-mate and a nasty pot-boiler

                                                                                         WHAT’S THE CONCERNED                                   NECESSITY MAY BE the                        AN ABATTOIR IS probably not
                                                                                         parent to do for a ‘big breakfast’                     mother of invention, but                    the first-choice place of
                                                                                         that gives the kids a headstart?                       desperation can be the daddy of             employment on most people’s
                                                                                           Robotics-buff Professor Kevin                        many a rash move.                           wish-list. A grim job, but
                                                                                         Warwick at Reading University -                          Imagine the situation: you're             somebody has to do it, as they say.
                                                                                         known to his detractors as ‘Captain                    jobless, hungry and get into bad              And perhaps some special
 This mate of mine gets a                                                                Cyborg’ - believes he has a novel                      company. Then the child-support             screening could be used, to judge
 letter in the post the other                                                            way to improve your child's IQ: a                      sleuths catch up with you for non-          from a recent murder trial sensation
 day, says he owes fifty-five                                                            daily bacon-buttie.                                    payment of maintenance.                     in Australia, which adds a
 grand for a kid he’d never                                                                For his recent research, Robo-Prof                     What to do? Ladislav Kubik                particularly chilling dimension to
 even been told he had...                                                                Warwick selected fifty children                        thought he had the answer. He               the problem of domestic violence.
                                                                                         between the ages of 8 and 11 and                       would leave his native Prague and             Katherine Knight, a 44-year old
      AND THAT MADE ME                                                                   gave them a particular breakfast for                   go to Afghanistan to fight for the          mother of four from Sydney who
                                                                                         a month: ten had egg on toast, ten                     Northern Alliance forces against the        worked as an abattoir butcher, was

 ...not just for his sake, but
                                                                                         cornflakes, ten toast and orange-
                                                                                         juice, ten had what they usually
                                                                                         chose... and ten tucked into a
                                                                                                                                                fundamentalist Taleban régime.
                                                                                                                                                  Which might have been a working
                                                                                                                                                solution, but for the dazzling world
                                                                                                                                                                                            jailed for life on November 8.
                                                                                                                                                                                              She had admitted slaughtering her
                                                                                                                                                                                            lover of six years, John Price, after
                                                                                         regulation bacon sandwich.                             media spotlight which was suddenly          he tried to end their relationship.
 for the kid, too.                                                                         "We believe," said Robo-Prof,                        turned on the Northern Alliance in            Knight confessed to police that she
   Seems like, when he was                                                               "that this is the first scientific test                the aftermath of September 11.              had come back to the home they
 only fifteen, him and some                                                              on which breakfast food boosts                           There on the Czech TV channel             shared and found Price unconscious
 mates bunked off school                                                                 intelligence."                                         Nova's evening news was frontline           from a probable drug overdose.
 and went round a woman’s                                                                  All the children were given a series                 footage showing a soldier bearing           Using all her skill and experience
 place they knew for a                                                                   of word association, number and                        an uncanny resemblance to Kubik.            she killed him, skinned him and
 smoke and a drink. She’s                                                                shape recognition tests at the start                     His father spotted him and alerted        removed his head. She then boiled
 thirty, mind, and on her                                                                of the experiment, halfway through                     the police in the Czech capital, who        the severed head and other choice
                                                                                         the month and again at the end. The                    want to question Kubik for theft and        body parts with a few added
 own. She ends up getting                                                                results appeared to show that toast                    not paying his child support.               vegetables and tried to serve the
 him into bed and they have                                                              and OJ was the best starter for                          The police are now trying to prove        concoction to Price's family.
 it off. First time he's ever                                                            improved performance, but ‘Triple                      a positive match. But the story won’t         Price’s 27-year old daughter
 done it, too. I mean, he                                                                B’ bacon-buttie-boost is better than                   end there: the Afghan authorities           Rosemary confirmed after the trial
 didn't object or nothing.                                                               any multi-vitamin supplement.                          don't co-operate with Interpol, and         that her father had applied to the
   They don't see each other                                                                "The protein in something like                      there are no extradition treaties           courts for an aggravated violence
 again, hardly. Next thing he                                                            bacon," Robo-Prof observed,                            between Prague and Kabul.                   order against his lover because he
 knows, she's marrying                                                                   "combined with vitamins in fruit                         And a final twist. If it turns out that   was afraid of what she might do.
 some geezer. She's                                                                      juice, provides good mental                            Kubik has been soldiering for                 At least Knight's guilty plea at
 pregnant and he assumes                                                                 stimulation for children."                             fortune with the Northern Alliance,         court saved the jury from hearing
 the baby's this other                                                                     So there you are: grab them by the                   he could face between three to eight        the full gory details, but the police
 bloke's. And she never lets                                                             taste-buds with a bacon-buttie and                     years in prison back home for               officers who originally discovered
                                                                                         their hearts and minds will follow.                    enlisting in a foreign army. You win        the macabre crime last year are still
 on. Maybe she didn’t even
                                                                                         It’s an established scientific fact.                   some and you lose some.                     having counselling to cope.
 know herself. Anyway, he                                                                ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
 leaves school, moves to
                                 ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
 another city, gets a good
 trade. About to take over his
 dad's business, as it goes.
   Suddenly: Wallop! Ten                                                                                          FNF
 years down the line, this                                                                                                               DOWNLOADED BY WEBB McMASTER
 CSA bunch tells him he’s                                                                                                                      FNF Website: www.fnf.org.uk
 got a nine-year old son he
 never even knew about.
   He does one of these                                                                                      For members who like to keep       children what is going on, and                Strictly non-commercial, it
 DNA tests and it turns out                                                                                up-to-date with the legal world,     how they might be affected. As              nevertheless contains useful
 to be true. CSA have only                                                                                 an excellent place to start is       you enter this site, it is obvious          links, contacts and a round-up
 gone and asked for £500 a                                                                                 www.lawzone.co.uk.                   that a lot of time and resources            of recent developments in the
 month in back maint-                                                                                        This is a very professional and    have been put into the project,             law, and leading press articles.
 enance, haven't they! And                                                                                 informative site, offering a wide    and its simple interface will be              Seasonal tip for any skiers who
 he was under-age when it                                                                                  range of guides, profiles,           child's-play to even the most               can afford a winter break during
                                                                                                           searches and archive, along with     technophobic user.                          contact time. At least one travel
 happened! Imagine if
                                                                                                           a series of regular Newswires on       However, it is worth noting that          firm - www.neilson.co.uk/
 some bloke pops a fifteen-                                                                                events in the legal industry.        the download may take some                  winter/skiing - has cottoned on
 year old girl? It'd be                                                                                      In October the National            time for those using a standard             to the idea that single person
 ‘unlawful sexual inter-                                                                                   Children's Home launched its         56k modem connection.                       surcharges are unpopular and
 course’ and he'd probably                                                                                 flagship website to help and           w w w. g e o c i t i e s . c o m /        will arrange a single-parent
 end up doing time.                                                                                        support children and teenagers       rights_4_dads/ is an American               ‘father-and-son’ ski-holiday
   And what about the little                                                                               whose parents are separating.        site dedicated to debunking the             package with 10% discount off
 boy? And his step-father?                                                                                   www.itsnotyourfault.com is         anti-father bias in the Family              adult prices if you share a twin-
     What's the mother                                                                                     designed to help explain to          Court system over the ‘pond’.               bedded room with your son.
        been telling them?
12                                                                                       ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

                                                                                                                  McKenzie 51   Winter 2001/2      Families Need Fathers
   ●    MEDIA MONITOR ●                                                                                                 THE
publicity comes unsolicited. A
big vote of thanks, then, to Sir
                                        JOURNALIST MAUREEN
                                        Freely launched a serious
                                        offensive with her piece: 'When
                                                                             CELEBRITY CUL-DE-SAC
                                                                             will certainly be hearing far too
                                                                             much in the next few months
Bob Geldof, for talking up FNF          Can I See My Children?' in the       about one particular single-
to an audience of millions on           Times (September 17).                mother-to-be from Basingstoke.
                                                                                                                      "It is a very sad statistic.
BBC-1's Parkinson chat show.             She accused the legal system,         The name? Liz Hurley. You
  In a frank discussion of his battle   which makes contact arrange-         didn't read it here first.               But now, more than fifty
for custody of his four children by     ments, of being "...deeply flawed      Right now nobody knows who              per cent of young men
Paula Yates, and his later decision     and urgently in need of reform".     the baby's father is. Prime suspect      who are just marrying at
to adopt their little orphaned half-     She also announced that she had     is California-based Steve Bing,               this time, will not
sister, Tiger Lily, the hairy knight-   helped set up an organisation        heir to a multi-billion dollar real-         actually manage to
errant had to this to say: "What        called ‘Families After Marriage’,    estate fortune. Bing insists on a
happens to men in this situation        contactable at: FAM@aol.com          DNA paternity test before he will         bring their children up
isn't right. The law is generally                                            take full parental responsibilities.            to maturity. "
predicated against them. If you areSUE SUMMERS, Freely's                       Meanwhile Hurley's ex-partner,              Ann Widdecombe,
alert you can watch them on        Observer colleague, went one              film star Hugh Grant, has been                      MP
Sundays in parks... There's an     better with an excellent article: 'It's   providing constant moral support.
organisation called Families Need  Never Father's Day' (October 21).           Front-runner for the best piece of     "I have come to regard
Fathers which tries to take care    "Most divorced fathers want to           columnist-drivel on Hurley's             the law courts not as a
of Dads like that."                see their children," wrote                ‘uninteresting’ condition is Gil (just   cathedral but rather as
                                   Summers, "so why does society             written my first ‘novel’) McNeil in             a casino."
BBC TV'S COUSIN, Radio 4, make it so difficult for this simplest             London's Evening Standard                      Richard Ingrams,
raised hackles and instant riposte of things to happen?"                     (November 14): "If someone as                      Journalist
when the weekly Marcel Berlins                                               successful and sorted as Liz can
programme Law In Action                                                      end up going solo, it gives hope to
(October 26) tackled Parental               IMPORTANT                        us all." Don't count on it, pal.
                                                                                                                          "The person who
                                                                                                                       attended yesterday's
Responsibility agreements.           Would FNF members who
  Curiously, the producers chose                                             MEANTIME, our old friend                   Crown Prosecution
                                     wish to deal direct with the                                                     Service announcement
only female guests, including        media on behalf of the                  Malcolm Mathers III - rapster
Rosemary Carter (See: 'From the      charity please complete our             Eminem - has agreed a divorce             on domestic violence
Chair' , page 2 ). And, oddly        confidential questionnaire.             settlement with his ex-wife Kim.         was not Cherie Blair. It
enough, they all opposed the idea    It is available from Trevor              He will pay £700 a week child           was Cherie Booth, QC.
of PR. After vociferous protests     Berry (0208 295 1956) or                support to her for their five-year
                                                                                                                      So that's all right, then."
the Beeb ran a better-balanced       from FNF National Office.               old daughter and the couple will
                                                                                                                             Quentin Letts,
item the following week.                                                     share custody of the little one.                 Daily Mail
OVERHYPED TV presenter                  VENERABLE SATIRICAL                  ARRANGEMENTS are not so
                                        organ Private Eye discovered                                                  "[Dating] is different for
Anne Robinson is still reliving the                                          advanced for the Sean Combs - the
ignominious occasion when a             there were murky waters at the       artist once known as ‘Puff Daddy’,         me, because I’ve got
judge told her: "Good-bye - you         newly-established CAFCASS in         who now favours the hugely                 ‘jackpot’ stamped on
are the weakest link", as she           two pieces during October.           preferable monicker ‘P-Diddy’.                 my forehead."
battled ex-hubbie Charlie Wilson          £7 million overbudget, the Eye       Diddy-daddy Combs failed to                 Bruce Willis, Actor
unsuccessfully for custody of their     alleged, dogged by industrial        show up at the Manhattan Family
daughter Emma back in the 1970s.        disputes, facing wrangles with the   Court late last month to finalise            "It has never been
  Robinson recalled her sad saga        guardians-ad-litem and former        financial settlements with former          expected that officers
of alcoholism and thwarted              court welfare officers (CWOs),       girl-friend Kim Porter, mother of         transferring to welfare
motherhood in her overblown             reported to the Health & Safety      their three-year old son Christian.
autobiography serialised in the         Executive by the probation             Looks like Combs will stump up          from probation would
Daily Telegraph in early October.       officers’ organisation NAPO,         around $2 million over the next           have any special skills
                                        CAFCASS risked failing in its        fourteen years in child support, but     in working with children
MEANWHILE, OLIVER                       wider long-term goals.               the judge warned he could be                    and families."
Cyriax, scourge of the Family             Former CAFCASS operations          arrested if he didn't show up in                 Alan Sealey,
Court system and CAFCASS,               director Joe Kuiper featured for     person for the next hearing.              Former senior Family Court
featured in a sympathetic Daily         walking out of his job after three                                                  Welfare Officer
Telegraph article (October 15).         months - and with an alleged pay-    AND FINALLY... rock-star
  Never short of an apt phrase,         off of £175,000 - enough, the Eye    Lenny - "permanently high for            "The best way of dealing
Oliver claimed that Court               boomed "to pay the combined          twenty years" - Kravitz, promises         with domestic violence
Welfare Officers "get no more           annual salaries of seven much-       to go straight for the sake of his            is an immediate
training than traffic wardens."         needed children’s guardians".        twelve-year old daughter, Zoë.
                                                                                                                        custodial sentence. It
                                                                                                                       may have an impact on
    FURTHER EDUCATION                                                                                                  the family, but it seems
                                                                                                                        to me that this is the
                                           "Of course if you're a man [as a single                                     only way to bring home
       Send a quote to
                                        parent] then that's different: you're struggling                                to the offenders what
     McKenzie and give
     us a laugh - we need               against tragic circumstances, and people will                                      they have done."
         one after this                         offer to make you casseroles."                                           Judge Valerie Pearlman
                                 Gil McNeil, London Evening Standard November 14 2001
                                                   McKenzie 51   Winter 2001/2 Families Need Fathers
                  BOOK REVIEW                                                                             McKenzie
      Where is My Son?
         Owen Sheridan
                                            Outrageous Fortune
                                                 Terence Frisby
                                                                                          Letters for publication in McKenzie should be addressed to:
        Chalwar Publishing                   First Thing Publications                          FNF Editor, 134 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AR
                                                                                                           (e-mail: fnf@fnf.org.uk )
       ISBN 0-9537728-0-2                     ISBN 0-9532208-0-X

THIS BOOK could well be                ENTER TERENCE Frisby, stage                              Paul Bateman                              Lynne Bowers
described as a dismally-               left. Successful, well-off and                                           Goole                                   Hereford
recognisable everyday story of         certainly well known as the
modern menfolk.                        author of a smash-hit 1960's stage         First, thanks to FNF for the             Thank you for allowing me the
  As the author puts it: "This is a    play There's A Girl In My Soup'.         excellent work you do, and to            privilege of attending the 'My
true story. Names and places and         Not only did the play become an        'McKenzie' - it is one of the few        Dad, My Protector?' conference,
people have been changed". So, a       award-winning film, starring Peter       positive things that have happened       jointly presented by the NSPCC
thinly disguised autobiography         Sellers and Goldie Hawn, but             to me over the last twelve months.       and Fathers Direct in London on
written almost as a novel.             Frisby has penned many a                   I moved out of the family home         September 1.
  ‘Owen Sheridan’, peripatetic         successful play and TV comedy            in January this year and my                I wish every member of FNF
construction worker from an Irish      series since those heady days.           divorce proceedings against my           could have been there to hear
background, settles in London and        In his time he has been actor,         wife finally came to an end in           repeated over and over again the
marries an Irish solicitor.            director and producer - and he has       June. When I left home it was            importance of fathers -
  What follows is a personal tale      also been married...                     quite amicable, with my then wife        including, and especially, those
of self-discovery that takes him         Which is the reason for his book       promising the earth over contact         apart - to their children.
through problems in the marriage,      Outrageous Fortune . Because             with our son, aged four.                   Speakers included professors in
fatherhood, separation, the legal      when his seven-year long marriage          Within a week of moving out I          psychology and social sciences -
system and family courts and           foundered, Frisby gradually              had nothing but trouble over             well-respected academics with
finally, a life apart from his son.    became involved in an epic               contact. Numerous solicitors'            scientific and statistical data to
  Set partly in London and Ireland,    fourteen-year long litigation battle.    letters, private discussion and          support their findings.
it resembles a Celtic oral history -     It led to divorce but it mired him     family mediation - all were a very         Fathers spoke with passion and
with characters, incident, anec-       deeper and deeper in a bungling          short-term solution. My ex-wife          humility about their personal
dotes, aphorisms and even a little     and dishonest legal system which         stopped and started contact              experiences. The need for
piece of music included.               seemed determined to bankrupt            whenever it pleased her. Up to me        change in cultural policies and
  But what comes through most of       him and crush him. As he writes:         leaving, I had an extremely good         the practice of all agencies was
all is an initial incomprehension,     "...unnecessary pain can be              relationship with our son, who           acknowledged.
followed by a powerful sense of        inflicted in many ways. This is the      was virtually brought up by me.            Every one recognised that the
anger, pain and disbelief at the       well-heeled version of the                 My only option now is to go to         present systems exclude and dis-
injustices which occur in his life.    malfunction of British Justice."         the family court for contact and         empower fathers to the detriment
  Not least over the issue of            In despair and frustration he          residency orders.                        of children. Furthermore, there
domestic violence and the many         became a litigant-in-person, and           Why is it that fathers who adore       is a significant need for training
ways it can be misused and             this is his story. But it is one which   their children, make every effort to     and support of professionals
misinterpreted under the law.          is also written for his now grown-       see them, supply them with what-         involved in decisions relating to
  He particularly resents the way      up son (and successful stand-up          ever they need, pay maintenance          children. Indeed, no one pro-
in which he has been forcibly          comic) Dominic.                          voluntarily and make the same            fessional can possibly have the
estranged from the son he clearly        Read Terence's story. It's too         mistake I made by thinking their         range of skills necessary to make
loves very much.                       painful to be constantly amusing,        ex-wife would do the right thing,        an accurate assessment of the
  "I had been led by the nose," he     but those familiar with the legal        end up getting kicked in the teeth?      needs of children.
writes, "into the grim world of        profession, particularly divorce           Why and how do mothers get               Fathers have traditionally held
dispossessed dads - and by the very    lawyers, will give a wry laugh.          away with such actions? Doesn't          dual roles - one as financial
lawyers who were supposed to be        Especially at the wonderful cast of      it all come down to what’s best for      provider and one as emotional
fighting for me."                      legal characters included at the end.    the children?                            provider. If a father apart is
  Sheridan is no Everyman and                                                     So how, I wonder, can such             unable to provide financial or
certainly doesn't make any claim             FNF MEMBERS:                       situations be allowed to continue        emotional support there are
to be. But many fathers facing           Save over £7 on a hardback             and why are fathers always the           major implications for the man
marital difficulties could read           copy of Terence Frisby's              under-dogs?...                           himself and his children.
this account and share a strong            'Outrageous Fortune'.                  P.S. Anybody in the Goole-Selby          Fathers are prevented from
sense of familiarity, recognition                                               area interested in meeting up or         providing emotional support
and sympathy.                             See advert on Back Page               starting a local branch of FNF?          where shared parenting is
                                                                                                                         absent. Fathers are prevented
                                                                                                                         from providing financial support
                                                                                                                         when they are impoverished by
                                                                                                                         inappropriate settlements and
      Grandparents wanted for a BBC documentary series                                                                     In situations where geo-
     Are you involved in the everyday lives of your grandchildren or do you                                              graphical distance is created
                                                                                                                         between the children and their
     feel that you don’t see enough of each other? Do you disagree with the                                              father, financial difficulty
       way your grandchildren are being brought up? Do you find being a                                                  reduces contact - that is,
                                                                                                                         emotional support - yet further.
                             grandparent a challenge?                                                                      Don't forget to check
           If you are interested and want to take part in this series,                                                      out the FNF website,
                               call: 0117 974 7654                                                                         www.fnf.org.uk, and
                                                                                                                           you can e-mail letters
                                                                                                                             to fnf@fnf.org.uk
                                                McKenzie 51     Winter 2001/2      Families Need Fathers
  The increasing number of
Child Protection referrals was                                      FNF TELEPHONE CONTACTS
mentioned - very few are legit-
imate and fathers are not the
major culprits. Practice in the                FNF contacts are all volunteers. Callers must assess the value of any comments made or of
management of alleged per-                       information given themselves. Neither FNF contacts nor Families Need Fathers can
petrations was condemned as                                                        accept any liability.
very poor. Most referrals seem
to be complaints about child-
rearing practices.                    Area                           Town             Contact          E-mail Address                                                  Phone No.
  No forum presently exists to        London                                          Bob Rushworth
address the latter.
  The evidence in favour of real                                                      John Shirley
paternal parenting is too great                                                       Jeff Sturrock
to be ignored any longer. For         Avon                                            Anson Allen
me, the day validated twenty
years' campaigning. Such pro-                                                         Paul King
gress would not have been pos-        Cheshire                       Birkenhead       Peter Zacharias
sible without the work of FNF
and its volunteers. These find-                                      Ellesmere Port   Derek Huxley
ings offer tremendous hope to         Cumbria                        Dalton           David Carpenter
fathers apart from their children.                                   Kendal           Andrew Poole
I just wonder how fathers to
date, and their children, can ever    Devon                          Plymouth         Colin White
be compensated for the past.          Dorset                         Bridport         Leon Edwards
                                      Hereford                       Hereford         Nick Sherwood
                 Bob Skailes          Herts                          Stevenage        Stuart Young
                   Bonn, Germany                                     Ware             Ian Mackay
  I was surprised to read Alan        Lancs                          Accrington       Ian Heywood
Bunce’s letter in 'McKenzie' a                                       Wigan            Stuart Convery
couple of issues back. Surely         Lincs                          Grimsby          Ian Pearson
journalists these days use
websites, rather than relying on      Northants                      Northampton      Gerard McAuley
press handouts? I doubt that          Notts                          Nottingham       Jon Ruben
FNF funds stretch to mailing          Somerset                       Bridgwater       Keith Scarles
handouts to newspapers.
 And surely another problem is                                       Taunton          John Scarborough
that the fathers concerned are                                       Weston-S-Mare Kelvin Fraser
aware that publicity will almost
certainly be counter-productive       Suffolk                        Newmarket        Anthony Esler
for themselves and probably           Surrey                         Reigate          Mark Thomas
also for their children,                                             Walton on Thames Steve Collins
hardening the attitudes of their
ex-partner, the court and CSA?        Sussex                         Brighton         Colin Bennett
 Anonymity is essential, so           W.Midlands                     Birmingham       Helpline
perhaps the answer is an FNF          Wilts                          Chippenham       David Swettenham
page (an on-line version of
some of the harrowing stories                                        Devizes          Mark Smith
which appear in 'McKenzie')           Yorks                          Barnsley         Phil Davies
devoted to such stories, for
access by journalists, or to                                         Leeds            Penny Ewens
e-mail such stories to the local                                     Leeds            Allan Dawkins
papers likely to be interested.                                      York             Chris Jameson
 We can all remember cases
where names and pictures have         Wales                          Brecon           Alan Phillips
got into the papers, drawing                                         Cardiff          Matthew Mudge
forth the full vindictiveness of      Scotland                       Aberdeen         Jake Williams
the courts. Perhaps Alan can
advise Curtain Road how to set                                       Dundee           Verity Gwyther
about this sort of thing, as the                                     Edinburgh        George Dosoo
small staff there seems to                                                            Robert Ray
achieve a lot in bigger arenas                                       Glasgow
than the local papers.                N. Ireland                     Belfast          Andrew Storrar
Letters may be edited for space or    Channel Is.                    St. Helier       Peter Blampied
   FAMILIES NEED FATHERS             France              Libaros                                 Peter Morey-Weale
     BRANCH MEETINGS                 S Africa            Cape Town                               Ian Bell
  EVERY TUESDAY AT 8.00 PM           Thailand & Far East                                         Dave Covey
      THE KING’S ARMS,                                                                             Last updated - November 2001
    NORTHINGTON STREET,              Please notify any inaccuracies to FNF Office. Any volunteers who have the necessary experience and qualities contact: Juliette Freedman on 0207 613 5060
        LONDON WC1
                                                  McKenzie 51           Winter 2001/2 Families Need Fathers
          ✂                                                                                        CENTRAL
     Join Today!                                                                                LONDON BRANCH
I would like to become a member of
Families Need Fathers
     Registered Charity No. 276899
         Company No. 1396139
 I enclose a cheque/postal order for £25
 or a reduced rate (£20) Bankers Order
                                                Families                                       THE KING’S ARMS PUBLIC HOUSE
                                                                                                    Northington Street WC1
                                                                                                 Every Tuesday 8.00pm - 11.00pm
Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Address: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _       Need                                                       Legal Clinic
                                                                                                         Guest Speakers
                                                                                                          CSA Surgery
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Postcode: _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Telephone:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
                                                Fathers                                            Contact: FNF 020 7613 5060
                                                                                                           Regular Visitors
                                                                                                Caroline Bowden - 1st Tuesday of month
                                                      www.fnf.org.uk                             CSA Surgery - 3rd Tuesday of month
E mail: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
                                                Keeping Children and Parents
Occupation: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _          in Contact since 1974                        Caroline Bowden is a partner with
      Tick box if you do NOT wish your                                                          Anthony Gold, Lerman & Muirhead,
                                                        Reg. Charity No. 276899                 whose Family Law department has
      name to be given to other members                 Company No. 1396139                     helped a number of FNF members.
Signature: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Date: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
                                                 For details of FNF's North London and East London
         Bankers Order
                                                   Branches, see the Branch Listings on Page Two.
To: The Manager,
 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Bank Plc
 Address: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
 _____________________                             OUTRAGEOUS
Bank Sort Code: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
 Account No. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Please pay £20 on _ _ _ _ _ _ _19 _ _ _
                                                                                                       Available to
and thereafter the same amount on the                                                                 FNF Members:
same day each year until further notice
from my account to:                                                                                   £9.50 inc. p&p
  HSBC Ltd (40-01-15)
  Belsize Park Branch
                                                                                                      (R.R.P. £16.95)
  147 Haverstock Hill
  London NW3 4QU
for the account of:
(A/C 41030523)
                                                            By Terence Frisby
Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Address: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
                                                    A poignant tale of marriage, a divorce and the appalling mess that
                                                 British justice and some of its major players made out of something that
Signed:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _          can happen to us all. No one who reads this book will ever again have
Date: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                              confidence in our legal system.

Please complete in BLOCK CAPITALS               To order your copy call the FNF office on: 020 7613 5060
and return with payment to:
                                                McKenzie is funded and published by Families Need Fathers, which is a registered
  Families Need Fathers                       charity and a company limited by Guarantee. Opinions expressed in McKenzie are not
  134 Curtain Road                            necessarily those of Families Need Fathers. No responsibility is accepted by the Editor
                                               or Families Need Fathers for the validity, accuracy or otherwise of views expressed in
  London EC2A 3AR                                    this newsletter, excepting official Families Need Fathers announcements.

                                              Families Need Fathers, 134 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AR - Telephone: 020 7613 5060

Shared By: