For Ellie

July 2, 2007

As there isn’t much happening on here I decided to use the space as a small tribute to my daughter Ellie on the anniversary of her death, which is tomorrow 3rd July. I’m in the process of designing a memorial website for her, although the site as yet is incomplete I had hoped to just get the home page live, but due to a few hosting problems this is probably not going to happen. The image below is the verse that will appear on Ellie’s memorial website. If by any miracle I manage to get the web hosted by tomorrow I will post a direct link to it here.



Parental Responsibilty Is It Worth The Paper It’s Printed on

February 28, 2007

I sometimes despair of some institutions. I have PR for my daughter and most of the time it’s not an issue, most of the time it’s not even needed. However, once in a while you have to start waving your bit of paper around and demanding your rights as a father. The only organisations that I have ever had any real trouble with have been social services who refused me access to my daughters file (I eventually won the right in court, despite the fact that it should nevr have been an issue if the law was followed) and her school.

The problem with the school seems to have been an ongoing one since she started there, all I want is the same info that her mother gets, letters about trips, sports days, concerts, all the usual stuff and of course her report. When my daughter first started at the school I had cause to telephone for some information, I can’t remember what it was but it was like getting blood from a stone. In the end I had to get the education department involved, which resulted in an apologetic call from the head. After that things were a little better but they slowly slipped backwards.

My daughter has attended this school for the last 3 years, the teachers and admin staff know who I am. I attend the events that I am made aware of I try and do my bit to help out where I can, yet I still have problems getting her report. It seems to be the same at the end of every term, mum gets one sent home with our daughter, dads is supposed to be posted out. By the time I realise that I’m not getting one the school is closed for the holidays. After the holidays I go and ask where my copy of the report is and I get the same answer every time “well we put one in the post for you” We’ll post you out another.

I changed address last august and the first thing in september I notified the school in person, watched someone write down my new address, and guess what, still no report. Last week when I collected my daughter from school I was informed that at half term they had definately posted the report to me. So I asked them to tell me the address they were sending the reports to, they were still sending them to the OLD address (if they were sending them at all) Again I was promised a report in the post to my new address, one week later and still no report, so in an hour or so they will be being asked why.

The biggest problem is that I am getting really sick of this second class treatment, but the school is excellent in every other department it seems. The classes are below the average size, the teachers seem to know their stuff and my daughter is coming along great. So I don’t really want to rock the boat but I don’t want to be treated like a second class citizen either. I wonder if this is a common problem for fathers seperated from their children. Just because we don’t live with them seven days a week doesn’t mean that we don’t have a valuable input into their lives!

Fathers Matter, A guide to seperation and divorce.

November 3, 2006

The very first thing that i noticed about this book was the sticker on the front cover, which reads “A timely, invaluable guide…Read it and learn” Bob Geldof.
After reading the book i have to say that those eight words from Sir Bob, should be testimony enough for anyone. The full quote is:

  “This book is a timely, invaluable guide around the many hurdles and obstructions the Courts will put in a man’s way to stop him being a dad to his kids. Read it and learn.”

My own case has been in the courts in one way or another for over 4 and a half years now, and I sincerely wish that this book had been written back then.

 Upon opening the book the first thing that you see is a well presented contents page. In all there are 9 pages of contents, which at first might seem a little over the top for a book of approximately 125 pages. The reason for so many pages is simple, the book is in three parts, each chapter is broken down into smaller, easier to digest subsections, each of these is listed under it’s relevant chapter. This makes it very intuitive to use.  

To view the contents click here

The first part of the book talks about the family. About how to cope as a father, how to break the news to children, to deal with the break up, amicably wherever possible, and much more. The thing that struck me whilst I was reading the first part of the book was that the emphasis was always on the child or children and what is best for them.  

In the second part of the book the issue of the law itself is discussed, and good information is given on all aspects, ranging from explaining the children act, its underlying principles, through what type of orders can be made and what they mean, what to look for when choosing a solicitor and my personal favorite, a chapter on Terms of Business and costs, when employing a solicitor, which includes information about what you may see on your bill and the procedure to be followed if you disagree with it!  

The third and final part of the book is: What does the future hold for fathers? In this part of the book the recent changes to law, human rights and the pressure for the change of the family law system. There is also an appendix, which is made up of useful contacts and is definitely not to be over looked. 

All in all this is a very easy to read and informative book. The author comes across as being sympathetic to the plight of fathers when faced with the ordeal of being separated from his children, but never shows any sign of presuming to take the side of either father or mother, but always makes the point that no matter what, it is the children who’s welfare and continuing relationship with a loving father that is paramount.

 I can’t recommend this book highly enough, and not only for fathers. It is a book that should be read by anyone who is going through the trauma of a broken relationship which involves children, whether that be a father, mother, grandparents, extended family or anyone with an interest in this subject, no matter what the reason. 

From a more personal point of view, I would say to fathers, if you only have only one weapon in your armory to help with your fight for the rights of your children and yourself, make sure it is this one! 

If you would like more information on Celia Conrad the author of the book, click here. If you would like to see a comprehensive list of the contents of the book click here. To buy the book click here.  

Contempt of Court

October 27, 2006

I read (somewhere) on the net today that by starting this blog and including some details about my case that I may well be in contempt of court…………………… great stuff!!! If the courts think that my blog is contemptuous, what will they think if I do as I have discussed with various friends, my idea to upload my evidence of “pre-judging” to my blog, and then on “family court” day in my town I leaflet the court with a small leaflet that simply reads something like “did District Judge N.G. Hickingbottom pre-judge may case you decide” and add the address of my blog complete with uploaded written evidence?

Oh my!! did I just mention a judge by name?? Well it could be off to the stocks with me then or clamped in irons and left to rot in a dark damp dungeon somewhere. Who knows maybe it’s not beyond the realms of possibility when one takes into consideration the antiquated way in which our system of family law is run, a system which believes that because traditionally a woman was better equiped to look after and care for a child a hundred years ago, the same must be true today!

In all seriousness though, if you have an opinion on anything that I write in this blog, please feel free to make a comment, no comments left will ever be edited or deleted. I’m not looking only for those that agree with what I say, but invite contrary views and perspectives, after all what is the point of a blog if it doesn’t promote free speech?

How free is our freedom of speech?

October 26, 2006

At the end of my previous post I said that i would be trawling the internet, in an attempt to find out more about the man who tragically took his own life in what must be one of the most horrendous and painful ways that a person could ever chose to die. To set yourself on fire!

How broken must this man have been, I can hardly begin to imagine the all consuming mental anguish that he must have felt, where was the help that this man so desperately needed? I would say that the state let him down in more than one way when they stole away his rights to see his own flesh and blood, to deny his daughter his love, and he her love. They stole his sanity, they took away his will to live. More than that they made his daughter a victim too, they stole her daddy, and her daddies love for her, something which can never be replaced. In my mind they also stole what could have potentialy been a huge part of that little girls life, a part of who she is, a part of who she may have become.

As I said previously I was going to try and find out more about this man and his untimely and horrific death. I found very, very little. I found only two pages on the net that may have been reffering to this man both of which were on the BBC news pages. I must stress that this is only speculation on my part as I do not know,  I have no names to work with only a time scale. Both very short reports can be read here and here. Why wasn’t this person named by the BBC? Ater finding this I turned my attention to searching Lancashires local papers on the net and found nothing at all…………….. not one word about a man who took his own life in such a horrendous way.

Did the court system also impose imedeate reporting restrictions on this mans death, take away his identity, in an attempt to hide what they had done to him? I am of the opinion that they did. They stole his child, his sanity, and ultimately his life…………………..and then they hid what they had done to him.

A Solicitor Speaks

October 24, 2006

Below is an un-edited e-mail that i recieved from a solicitor on saturday morning after e-mailing her about a book that she has written entitled Fathers Matter. A link for more info about the book can be found on my Blogroll (fathers matter) I have ordered a copy of the book and intend to review it here on my blog. I did inform the author of the book that I intended to post her e-mail on my blog and asked her to contact me if she had any objections to this, I havent heard back from her so I presume that I have her consent, so thank you Celia.

Amendment: Due to a problem with e-mail, I may have lead people to believe that Celia still works in private practice, this is NOT the case, after becoming disillusioned with the current leagle system in 2001, she wrote her book “Fathers Matter” and has since made her living as a writer and not a solicitor.

Dear Kenny
Thank you for your e-mail and for your kind remarks. My motivation in writing Fathers Matter is to help devoted loving fathers with their diverse problems.
I’ve read your Blog and all the replies to it and it’s clear you (and the other fathers who have commented) have had a very raw deal and to say that the family law system has let you all down is an understatement. Unfortunately, it is an all too often complaint. The trouble is that so many people go to law with the expectation that if they pay a ‘top’ solicitor who then instructs a ‘top’ barrister they will get the result they want. The sad reality is that the system is so deficient that you can pay thousands and thousands of pounds and still not get anywhere near the result which is in the best interest of your child(ren). Then of course when you complain to your lawyer you’re told ‘we acted upon your instructions’ when they were the ones who gave you the advice to pursue the matter in the first place. You end up with a hefty bill which remains to be paid, your life in tatters and they abrogate all responsibility.
I think that more and more people, fathers in particular, are acting as litigants in person because as one father said to me ‘why should I pay my solicitor thousands of pounds only to put my case a tenth as well as I could put it myself?’ Costs are prohibitive. Somebody contacted me last week saying he wanted to appeal against an order but his solicitor had told him it would cost up to £25,000 so what can he do? He doesn’t have the money to pursue the case. .
We all know that the best way to deal with the law is to keep away from it but that would be in an ideal world and this is certainly not one. The fact remains that warring parties who can’t resolve matters get caught up in the system and it’s the children who suffer.
A grandmother e-mailed me the other day to tell me that her son, who had been denied all contact with his daughter for the past 2 years for no reason whatsoever, save the hostility of the mother (the daughter is not yet even 3) committed suicide by torching himself six weeks ago – he didn’t die for three days. I cried when I read her e-mail because his death was avoidable and now a mother has lost her only son and a daughter has lost her father. And hers is not the only tragic tale that I have personally been told.
Please feel free to come back to me about what you’re doing.
Kind regards

I have to say that my own experiences of solicitors have made me extremely skeptical of them to say the least, but maybe this shows that the barrel is not completely rotton to the bottom and there may be a few good apples still in there somewhere, but they are obvioulsy few and far between. The last paragraph of that e-mail, upset me to say the least and since saturday I often find myself thinking of this poor little girl who will never see her dad again, will she ever know the truth about her daddy? That he loved her, that he wanted to desperately be with her? Or will she be told some pack of lies by her mother about how daddy died in a road traffic accident or suffered a terrible illness when she was a baby that he never recovered from. Worse still maybe this little girls daddy will never be acknowleged.

If I had my way there would be a Judge standing in the dock answering for this crime, because no matter how I look at it, that is all I see, a crime commited against a little girl, a little girls grandmother, and anyone else who knew and cared for this man. But a judge walks free for something that can in my mind only be described as murder. I don’t know anymore details than those contained in the e-mail above, but I intend to trawl the internet to see if I can find out more. As far as I am concerned the Judge might as well have handed the man a can of petrol and a box of matches the day that he forbade him to have any contact with his daughter.

Why are these people regarded as being above the law? They should be the ones standing in the dock’s of their own “Kangaroo” Courts answering for the crimes that they commit against humanity every day, trampling over the human rights of both men and children. To say that some of their decisions are ludicrus would be an understatement. In 2004 a man who had been ordered to have no contact with his daughter by the court saw her in the street and waved to her…….. mother took him to court for this and the Judge decreed that by waving he had broken a court order and sentenced him to 10 months in prison. Ten months in prison for daring to wave to your own child!!! This probably cost the tax payer in the region of £30,000 ( I think figures state £33,000 per prisoner per year) why should this abuse of power and the tax payers money go unpunished?

We can stop this by standing together as fathers, brothers and sisters, parents and people who care. Great journeys start with a single step. Take the step get intouch and help spread the word.

A Call to Arms

October 20, 2006

A couple of nights ago I did a simple search on Google I just typed the words “fathers rights” and clicked the UK radio button, the results were astonishing just over one million pages! You can check out the same search by clicking here

At the top of this search was “Men do not win in court” after reading the story there I decided to e-mail the author to both comment on his story and to point him in the direction of my blog. Today I recieved a reply to my e-mail that really made me think. A few days ago the author had, had a meeting with an irate father who’s story was similar to my own, and it seems that his website recieves about 10 e-mails a week depicting similar stories, which indicates to me that “pre-judging” in the family court is probably something that takes part in the family court on a regular basis and is probably quite acceptable amongst the judiciary and other legal agencies.

Now the irate father mentioned above had what seems to be a very good and legitimate way of fighting back and in my opinion may well be a way of redressing the balance and giving the fathers who are unfairly treated by the family courts of the UK a way of hitting back and being heard. The idea is to rent or buy an off shore server, one which the UK has no jusrisdiction over and using it to put forward their stories, including pictures of the Judges concerned. Lets shame these people who are entrusted with upholding the law, who are entrusted with deciding what is in the best interests of “OUR CHILDREN” but who in reality don’t give a dam about our children and blatently ignore the 1989 children act in their pursuit of wealth and an easy life.

How long is it going to take the fathers of this country to realise that the only way that we are going to get any kind of redress from the courts is if we stand shoulder to shoulder and refuse to give up? We all know about Fathers4Justice and climbing cranes in tights etc I was a memebr myself for a few years, but decided to leave for reasons that are not important and wont be discussed here. F4J it has to be said did a great job for a while of bringing our plight to the attention of the public, but now it is up to the rest of us, we can’t expect others to fight our battles…….why should they?! One thing that I will say about my days as a member of F4J is that the reason it didn’t grow into the absolute monster that it should of done was because of the apathy of fathers, who couldn’t be bothered to get off their arses and attend meetings, sure F4J claimed tens of thousands of members, but the sad truth is that most of these “members” were in actual fact nothing more than armchair supporters. Whilst they agreed with what F4J were doing on their belhalf they were not willing to drag themselves away from their computers or TV’s and attend meetings or march for the sake of their children. Well now is their chance! They don’t have to go anywhere, they don’t have to climb a crane or throw a powder bomb at Tony Blair all they have to do is to be willing to write their story!!

C’mon guys lets stand together and declare war on the unjust system of family law in this country, lets fight for the rights and happiness of our children, our children are our future, when we are all dead and gone we will live on in them, give them a dad to be proud of in years to come, let them beable to say that their daddy loved them enough to go to war with the with the evil that is Family Law.

WE CAN DO THIS………………………..but only if we make a stand NOW and TOGETHER!!

Finally if you have a website or a blog that you would like to appear on my blogroll send me the addy and I will add you, If you dont then spread the word by telling people about this blog.

Let Battle Commence

Illegal Eagle. 

Family Law, Justice or just a law unto itself?

October 12, 2006

Hi and welcome to my new blog, I suppose that if you have found this blog you have an interest in the law in one way or another.  I have a question for you if you are a law professional (or hoping to be one)  If you are a student, do you really think that you are going to make a difference? think you are going to set the world on fire, fight the good fight, see that justice is done? Good luck to you! If you are a solicitor, how do you feel about being part of a corrupt system, furthermore how does it make you feel that you have to kowtow to judges in order to have a chance of furthering your career? If you happen to be a judge I have a challenge for you……….PROVE ME WRONG!!!

My involvement with Family Law started about four and a half years ago (I may go into more detail as this blog unfolds over time) when my ex stopped me from seeing my daughter. I did the usual thing and went and sought advice from a solicitor, waited 13 weeks to go to court and was given access to my daughter and parental responsibility (which is nothing more than a piece of paper that is widely ignored by all official agencies)

However, due to the reasons that my ex stopped me seeing my daughter in the first place, this was only one of numerous visits to court that were to become a part of my life over the next four and a half years (and god only knows for how many more years to come)

In 2004 I applied for the shared residence of my daughter (not the same as demanding that she live with me half the time as most people think, but actually a legal status) My application was refused for all of which I believed at the time were pathetic reasons on the judges part, my solicitor was so busy kowtowing to the judge that he refused to take my instruction and tell the judge about what may well have proved to be vital evidence (if given on the day) at my hearing.

Twelve months later I decided to apply again for shared residence, this time my case was moved from the local county court and away from a District Judge, up to a Circuit Court, and a more powerful Circuit Judge. This time I decided that I was going to represent myself so that there was at least half a chance that the Judge would hear what I wanted to say.

The case was/is a complex one, and I needed access to my daughters social services files. Getting access to these files should not of been a problem as i have parental responsibility (PR) After 6 months of arguing my case in court (my case for access to my daughter SS file) the judge decided that she would read the file first and then make a ruling on whether or not I should be allowed to have a copy (whatever happened to the law?!!) the judge took about 2 hours to read the file and decided that there was nothing in there relating to my case and that i should be allowed a copy.

Now I don’t know if you have ever had to read an SS file, but these people are living in the dark ages, they still write the files by hand!!! Because these files are written by hand they are difficult to read, different peeps with different handwriting, some worse than others. The fact is that it took me about 2 weeks to read these files properly, yet the judge claimed to have read them in 2 hours. Because I was meticulous in deciphering the hand writing, I came across some vital evidence that the judge had missed (or ignored? but to be fair it was in the most difficult writing to read) What i read knocked me for six. Before my application for shared residence in 2004 a social worker had written in the file that I was applying for shared residence and would be making a further statement……………….. he then went on to say that he had seen my court file and the judge had written in it “NO CHANCE” this was 10 weeks before my hearing for shared residence and the judge had NOT even heard any evidence. In my opinion just an easy afternoon in court for him and a total waste of the tax payers money, he had essentially made up his mind that i was not going to have shared residence despite any evidence that was put in-front of him.

During 2005 there were many court appearances and whenever I made any comments that my previous application had been “pre-judged” they were practically ignored, apart from by one judge, who told me to sit down and shut up or he would send me to prison! The whole process during 2005 was so stressful that it made me ill enough to have to withdraw my application. My ex and her bitch of a barrister seized upon the opportunity to take me to Court in an attempt to have me stopped from making anymore applications in respect of my daughter for a period of 5 years. However, the Judge ruled that it would only be one year and if I wanted to apply in the meantime that I would have to have the permission of the court.

In March of 2006 I applied for permission to apply for the shared residence of my daughter, permission was refused. So I launched an appeal which was hear at the Royal Courts of Justice one week ago today.

My appeal was based around the “pre-judgement” of my 2004 application and the evidence (the actual page from the SS file) was submitted along with other written evidence that other so-called professionals had failed to do their jobs in a correct manner, these included the solicitor who had previously acted on my behalf and had refused to relate to the judge a conversation that he had had with a Cafcass officer, who had related to him certain concerns about my ex’s new boyfriend and his abuse of children and women. The Cafcass officer also failed to put this in her report to the Judge, instead stating that there were no concerns!

Now if you are a law professional, I strongly suspect that you will not be at all surprised by what happened at my appeal hearing in London. In a nutshell this is what happened at my appeal: Half way through my giving evidence ( I was actually reading a prepared statement) the Judge stopped me and said he had read ahead to the end and he would now give his judgement. I couldn’t believe it when he started to read out his judgement that had very obviously been written in advance!!!

Again cutting a long-winded (much like the judge) story short, he said that if I had presented my evidence right away to the court then there may have been an investigation into social services (you have to take into account that i didn’t discover the evidence for over 12 months), but not into the judge or Cafcass (who work for the courts) and that the comment that the Judge had written in my file (NO CHANCE) was an innocuous enough statement and could mean anything. If you have any variations on what NO CHANCE means I’d love to hear them.

Now I have been very brief in telling this tale and have obviously not mentioned any names, however, I am more than willing to mention names of all the people involved from my ex, her child and woman abusing boyfriend, right through so called professionals right up to judges, I am also willing to scan and post my evidence in my blog. I don’t care what the consequences may be, in-fact I relish the thought of being dragged to court over this, because if the powers that be decided to do something about my writings then they also have to look properly and investigate what I say, so like I said earlier if you are a Judge I challenge to to PROVE ME WRONG!!

I’m just about finished now, but I just want to leave you with a couple of thoughts, the first one is something that a friend said to me when i told him about my Court of Appeal hearing last week: “If that Judge last week had gone in your favour he would have implicated the rest of them right down the line”

This is what the dictionary has to say about justice:

Main Entry: jus·tice
Pronunciation: 'j&s-t&s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French justise, from Latin justitia, from justus
1 a : the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b : JUDGE c : the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity
2 a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair b (1) : the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2) : conformity to this principle or ideal : RIGHTEOUSNESS c : the quality of conforming to law
3 : conformity to truth, fact, or reason : CORRECTNESS

what do you think?

Finally I welcome any comments, if you have a similar storyof injustice in the family court let me know and maybe we will put it on here, but most of all please feel free to share this blog with anyone who cares,putting a link from your own blog would be great and if enough people want to know more or see the evidence then I will post it.

 Thanks for reading.