4 sisters returned to Italian father after their Australian Mum took them to Australia.....dragge d kicking and screaming onto the plane.

(810 Posts)
AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 00:59:59

Apparently the girls aged between 9-15 are dual citizens.

Link sorry its the DM.

Do they not take the childs view into account in Australia?

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 01:00:38

They had been in Australia for the last two years.

amandine07 Fri 05-Oct-12 01:02:34

Yes I read that article earlier today- sounds utterly bonkers that they are being sent back despite wanting to stay in Australia with their mother!

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 01:05:36

Im sure there is a back story to this and without knowing more its hard to say, she could have fled because he was abusive or she could be an extreme contact blocker?

But to do that when the girls clearly didn't want to go is awful.

For the father to do that knowing they want to stay with their Mum is very selfish.

Don't think it will be a happy reunion in Italy somehow.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 01:06:52

you would need to know more really, why did she take them, I don't understand why their father wasn't there, why hasn't she gone to Italy, Id be on the first plane.

It looks horrendous and cruel, I can't get over dragging children to a different country like that, screaming, poor, poor children, they will hate him thats for sure and my guess is it wont be long until they are home.

piprabbit Fri 05-Oct-12 01:11:50

Imagine trying to create a new home for 4 girls who hate you and do not want to be there. I don't imagine they are going to settle in school or be ready to make new friends (they will be their own support network).

It will be horrific for all of them.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 01:13:44

more here

and here


Longdistance Fri 05-Oct-12 01:24:45

Those photo's have really upset me :'o(
Those poor girls. They're old enough to be asked what they want to do.
It's bloody ridiculous IMHO. Australia has some funny rules, but I think it all comes under The Hague convention. It's been big news here Oz.
They're gonna rebel. Give the older ones a few years, and they'll go back to the mum. I bet they really hate their dad now. Nice one fella!

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 01:35:06

The mother too seems to be at fault, she should never have just disappeared with them either, nor should she have created such a scene in front of them.

I assume part of the issue is they haven't seen their dad for 2 years.

Contact blocking is in of itself legalised kidnapping as far as I am concerned, but this isnt the answer.

Poor girls, no child should be a pawn in a war between their parents.

AllThreeWays Fri 05-Oct-12 01:38:16

I assume they have been here for two years because it took that long to go through the courts. It is awful and distressing vision to watch, but they were kidnapped and kept in Australia by their mother. If one of your kids was taken to another country, would you not fight to get them back??

lisaro Fri 05-Oct-12 01:44:58

The mother acted illegally by keeping them in Australia after pretending to go on holiday. She could have made it far easier by taking them back or going back with them.

Morloth Fri 05-Oct-12 07:20:04

International law.

It couldn't be heard in the Australian courts because they didn't have jurisdiction.

Honestly? I think their mother had the power here to make this a lot less distressing for them.

A very loud and public power game between two parents who should both be putting what their children need before what they want.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 08:05:43

Yes I think both parents have behaved poorly and the girls are paying for it.

Just saw the footage on the news. Christ, it's horrific shock

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 08:09:42

Again its hard to say without knowing more, but I know of a woman who did similar, acted as though she were taking a holiday with her children but returned to her home country permanently. In her case though she was escaping an abusive relationship, as far as I know this woman hasn't made any allegations of such things?

DontmindifIdo Fri 05-Oct-12 08:38:46

God, that father is going to be in for a horrible time, those girls aren't going to want a big happy family reunion when they get to Italy, I can't imagine how hideous the home life is going to be with 4 angry girls - 'winning' isn't always a good thing.

threesocksmorgan Fri 05-Oct-12 08:43:08

can't really judge as there is no back story to go by.
the mother might have poisoned the girls against the father.
he might be horrid.
who knows.
the mother does sound like she broke the law by taking them on holiday and not returning,
awful for all

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 05-Oct-12 08:43:59

The mother has created this 'Judgement of Solomon' situation, has acted selfishly by taking them to Australia under false pretences, and is the one not putting the children's interests first. I heard a similar case recently about a Japanese woman that removed the children from a loving father in Scotland without any warning. As the extradition arrangements are different, that man hasn't seen or even heard from his children for many years. When it gets to the stage that the courts are involved, the parents have massively failed their kids.... not the authorities.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 08:57:37

God those photos are horrible. But I've got to say, whether the father is lovely or abusive - to me it doesn't matter. The children don't want to go.

Why wasn't the father there? Why put your children through such a thing with only strangers there?

All this is going to do is make the children hate the father and hate the system. Poor kids are going to be so screwed up.

Down the line what is the father going to do - They could easily become runaways now. One of my childhood friends ran away from home rather than have to see her abusive mother - as ordered by the courts. She was gone over 6 months and when she came back she was horribly changed. How is the father going to stop this?

The parents are both at fault, but I doubt very much the children will see it that way. All they know is that their mother tried to keep them, they were dragged from her arms, the 'system' didn't listen to them, and it's all their dads fault...

MovingGal Fri 05-Oct-12 08:57:57

It was reported on the TV here that the Mother said she could not go back to Italy because "she is hated there".

If this is true - and not twisted or taken out of context - I can't understand it.

If my kids were in another country where I could have access or shared living arrangements then a few haters would not stop me. I suspect that in all of Florence there might be someone who would not hate her.

I am sure that there must be more to this.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 08:58:10

The father apparently had lodged criminal charges against the mother in Italy.

And there will now need to be yet another custody hearing for the girls to endure in Italy.

The mother is concerned that in returning for this, she lays herself open to arrest by the authorities there, with a subsequent vilification that will harm her custody case.

It is in the father's 'gift' to drop the charges. He seems to be exerting a fair bit of control here over this woman and these girls.

Very distressing. Do these girls have no human rights - why were they physically forced by armed police into cars when they had done nothing wrong?

expatinscotland Fri 05-Oct-12 08:59:25

'Why wasn't the father there? Why put your children through such a thing with only strangers there?'

Perhaps for legal reasons.

We don't know.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 09:30:11

If you read the links - the father has already promised there will be no charges laid against the mother - the Australian Judge insisted on that before he issued the order.

Poor kids - and I can imagine how they feel as it is splattered all over the Australian press that their mother isn't prepared to go to Italy.

Personally - I'd take the risk of criminal charges rather than live on a separate continent to my children - she does seem pretty determined to further traumatise them - if a man had done this - taken his children on holiday and then never brought them home - there would be very little sympathy for him.

All my sympathy is with the children

Morloth Fri 05-Oct-12 09:48:39

It really is a mess.

But you can't pick and choose when you are going to apply the law. As needanswers says, if it had been the father who did a runner from Australia to Italy it would have been just as bad.

Poor kids, they are going to be seriously fucked up by their parents acting like tantrumming toddlers fighting over a toy.

No-one has made any claims that they are in any sort of danger at either end, so their parents should fucking grow up and sort this out like adults.

SavoyCabbage Fri 05-Oct-12 09:52:42

You can't just take your kids and move to the other side of the world and expect the other parent to just lie down and take it. She was supposed to take them back over a year ago.

Imagine if your dh just took your children away from you and moved 12 thousand miles away.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 10:26:45

I accept everything people are saying - and agree with it, the parents are completely and totally in the wrong - both of them.

But. How on earth is dragging children who are hysterical, kicking and screaming, onto a plane going to help anyone ? Even if the Judge made them a ward of court in Aus - Even if they went into Foster care in Aus whilst the courts/police investigated - surely that would have been better than what has happened?

I just can't see how these children are going to ever forgive their father for this - whether he was in the right in the first place or not.

I really worry for their future sad

threesocksmorgan Fri 05-Oct-12 10:30:22

the father could be a victim in this you know.
he just might want his children back and have an ex who has used them against him.

BarbarianMum Fri 05-Oct-12 11:00:22

Can't quite see how the father is in the wrong actually.

If I was having a custody dispute with my husband and he took my kids to the other side of the world and refused to return them for 2 years, I would fight tooth and nail to get them back to the country of origin and at least get legal settlement.

The mother doesn't have to separate herself from her children, she's choosing to do so by not going back to Italy with them. Its Italy, not Iran - they do let woman have legal representation there.

Morloth Fri 05-Oct-12 11:05:36

They were in foster care in Australia. After the mother went on the run with them.

It is complicated. No one wants to see children so distressed, but you can't just ignore the law because it is hard to enforce.

You just can't.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 11:06:20

I think the father is in the wrong by not being there. Allowing his children to become that distressed being manhandled by strangers.

Mother was wrong to go in the first place - but we don't know why she went.

Father is wrong to push for the children to be returned when it is not what they want.

The children are the ones that are suffering the most.

niceguy2 Fri 05-Oct-12 11:13:33

How is the father wrong here?

He thought his kids were going on a holiday. They didn't return. I suspect if it was the dad who had taken his kids on this holiday and didn't return then there'd be a far greater outcry, especially on this website.

Both Italy & Australia are signatories to the Hague Convention which compels Australia to return the kids to Italy. And thankfully so too. Without the Hague convention we'd see far more parents disappearing with their kids to another country.

And if your OH/DH kidnapped your kids would you .."lay criminal charges?" Of course you would. Would you withdraw them? Probably not. By promising to do so, at first glance it does seem dad is the more reasonable one. I'm not sure I could be so gracious. It took all my self control not to kick my ex's door down when she refused to return my kids to me. Those who have never been refused contact of their own kids will never understand.

It would seem from the 2nd link that the main reason the girls are resisting going back is because they've been unfairly influenced by mum. Kids are kids at the end of the day and it's easy to manipulate them by feeding them a diet of how bad dad is, how much trouble mum will be in. How she can't live without them etc etc.

From where I'm standing mum is firmly to blame here. She should have fought this in Italy. She fucked off to Australia, prompting a big legal battle and then made the entire thing public in an effort to garner public sympathy.

I'm glad it didn't work. To allow her to have done this is the thin end of the wedge.

threesocksmorgan Fri 05-Oct-12 11:18:30

niceguy I rarely agree with you, but this time I do.

HiHowAreYou Fri 05-Oct-12 11:23:45

If an ex partner stole my children, and I didn't see them for two years, then they whipped them up into a frenzy of distress before they were returned to me, instead of being a good parent and trying to keep them as calm and happy about things as possible, for their sake, I would be very surprised to see the public opinion favouring the other parent's side to be honest.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 11:24:20

Guys, I absolutely don't disagree with you. I just cannot get over how distressed the children were - and I don't think they will get over it either.

Estranged from mum and dad - How is that what is best for the kids?

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Oct-12 11:49:40

The voice of reason, well done niceguy!

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Oct-12 12:28:09

the 'system' didn't listen to them

The system WILL listen to them, it is just that the children need to be in Italy to tell it to the judges who know the back story. Then the judges can decide. As it is, the mother has done NONE of them any favours by tricking their father this way. It isn't about who should have custody, it is about the mother ILLEGALLY keeping the children from their father for over 2 years.

They will now go into foster care until they can be spoken to & the judges decide what to do.

There is money from the father for the mother so she can follow them home. She is, so far, refusing to do so.

There is NO evidence that the father is abusive. There IS evidence that the mother has brainwashed the children against him.

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Oct-12 12:33:02

The father apparently had lodged criminal charges against the mother in Italy If this is because of the kidnap, he has dropped those charges so she can return with/for the girls.

And there will now need to be yet another custody hearing for the girls to endure in Italy It was never about custody. It was about the mother removing them illegally. Of course now, custody will have to be looked in due to the mother's actions.

The mother is concerned that in returning for this, she lays herself open to arrest by the authorities there, with a subsequent vilification that will harm her custody case She screwed up her chances the moment she refused to send them home as promised.

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Oct-12 12:35:13

Oh & line runner, all police are armed here. They were removed by police. Saying they were armed police makes it sound like they took guns in the expectation of using them.

EldritchCleavage Fri 05-Oct-12 12:42:26

Of course we don't know what the father is like or why the marriage failed. But the events in Australia are down to the mother.

One article linked to says:

"A judge found the girls had been “unfairly influenced” by their mother and her family in a very disturbing and very public campaign to keep them in Australia.

"He said: “It is important to remember the children’s objections are principally founded in a belief that their mother cannot return with them”.

"The girls’ Australian mother said she would be arrested if she returned to Italy, however the judge sought and received an understanding from their Italian father that he would withdraw any criminal complaints against her"

Which doesn't say much for the mother, in my book. And if she were so determined to fight for her children, it would surely have been better to do it in Italy in the first place, wouldn't it? If my children were sent to Italy, I'd go with them even if it meant I'd go to prison there. At least the kids could visit me. I would rather do that than let my children be dragged onto planes screaming by strangers.

A terrible drama has been created with the children as pawns at the centre of it. Very sad.

Pooka Fri 05-Oct-12 12:43:35

Agree with nice guy and differentname.

While I can see from the mothers perspective that it must have been very difficult to imagine staying in Italy after the relationship breakdown, I can also see that from the fathers perspective it is equally distressing that his children were taken away and not returned and the mother seems to have thwarted contact.

Te blame for the children's distress cannot be laid entirely at the father's feet. He he not in respect of the law done anything wrong. The mother abducted their children.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 12:50:41

The breakdown of international marriages is a massive issue for child custody. The Hague Convention is hugely simplistic and takes no account of the reasons why a couple may have chosen to settle in the jurisdiction of the father as opposed to that of the mother. Many mothers find themselves living in countries they never agreed to live in in the first place, with no way of supporting themselves independently. If they wish to leave their husband and return to their home country in order to support themselves, the law categorically allows a husband to prevent a wife from taking her children with her.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 12:52:32

I think that 2 years after the breakdown of the relationship the CHILDREN'S welfare should be the primary consideration. Not the mother's.... OR the father's.

The father may well have suffered in this and that is deeply regrettable, but I am sorry, this is not about him or his 'rights', it is about his children.

no one wants their children taken away from them. I personally had to give up my job so that my ex could have the 50:50 custody he insisted on. I would never try to alter this now as my children are settled in the arrangement. But then, my ex is not an abuser and they adore him. No one knows what has been going on here.

I am horrified by a. the lack of a welfare provision in the Hague convention b. the fact that so many posters on here think that institutional violence toward children is justified under the aegis of father's rights.

The situation here is clearly that the children's wishes are to stay where they are. And to be honest I think that any truly caring parent would have to work WITH that rather than against it. I am not claiming I know how exactly. But this is clearly not the way.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 12:55:26

It's pretty clear tbh from most of the above posts that people increasingly see their children as THEIR possessions.

All the stuff above about 'I would do anything to see my children... I would kick doors in etc....'

Well of course we all desperately want to see our children but would you want them manhandled screaming onto a plane to be with you? REALLY?

I wouldn't and tbh in a dreadful situation like this I think I'd do anything I could to see them, fly to Australia, try to relocate there, etc, get contact in Aus courts. But I wouldn't have them subject to this. Never.

reddwarf Fri 05-Oct-12 12:57:26

I feel most sorry for the kids of course, then the father. I feel the mother has acted very wrongly many times, by taking them, by refusing to return them, by going on the run with them, by making such a scene when they had to go, by not going back to Italy with them. It seems to ba all about her - she doesn't seem to be putting them first at any point. And it would also appear she's turning the kids against their dad.

Don't know the background, but I'm assuming the girls were born and brought up in Australia. WIth inter-country marriages, I really think you have to accept that if the relationship ends, the kids should stay put.

saffronwblue Fri 05-Oct-12 12:58:08

It has been a dreadful case. The mother did a runner with them and broke the law. Australia is a signatory to the Hague convention, we can't just ignore it. The judge thought that the mother had dragged out the court case in order to then say that the girls were adjusted to Australia because they had been here for 2 years.
I think the mother could have tried to be a bit calmer, tell the girls it will all be Ok, hop on the next plane to Italy and work out how to co-parent there. I think her hysteria has been transmitted to the girls in full and that is going to make it so hard for them to settle.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:00:12

'if the relationship ends the kids should stay put'

Even if you are their primary carer?

How many men could be primary carers for 4 kids or would want to be?

Why shouldn't they have to relocate if they want contact? (that seems unreasonable doesn't it? So why is it reasonable to expect a woman to stay somewhere where she probably had no 'life' at all except the relationship?) - which is often all fathers actually want if you look at the case law on the Hague convention- they want the mother to have to stay in a foreign country for most of the rest of her life, so they can see the kids every 2 weeks. It's not about the kids at all. It is about father's rights.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:01:34

Riiiiight Saffron... so you don't think it woudl have been 'unsettling' at all for 4 girls of that age to lose their established home, school, friends, etc?

even if you do agree that this was the right decision which of course I do not, that is obvious wishful thinking.

tryingtoleave Fri 05-Oct-12 13:04:11

Having studied Australian family law about ten years ago I was really surprised by the outcome. All the similar cases we studied ended with the children being left with the kidnapping parent because it was 'in the best interests of the child'. The difference now must be that the Hague convention overrules that.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:04:21

I expect that in 1 years time the 15 year old will be straight back on the plane to Aus as he won't be able to stop her then. No doubt having to leave her siblings behind.

The Hague Convention is supposed to take account of the wishes and feelings of children and the presumption that a child can make her own decisions is supposed to increase with age. In a previous case only younger children were despatched abroad to the father (and it's usually the father in these cases.... most 'abductors' are women returning to families and jobs abroad). That was clearly awful too. But quite possibly in a short time the effect on this family will be the same.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 13:04:26

The argument that the Hague Convention uses to justify the one-year rule is that children shouldn't be uprooted. This is a thin and tenuous argument in this day and age. Many children of international marriages will be well travelled and well acquainted with several countries, and move in international circles. The trauma of losing their mother would be a lot greater than the trauma of changing school/country.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:07:37

trying, it doesn't actually. The presumption is that children should be returned to the country of original residence, however there is a checklist of factors to take into account including the length of time the children have been in the country, their wishes and feelings etc.

The global father's rights movement and heavily publicised cases such as that of the teenage girl who left Stornaway to live with her Muslim father (not an outcome the tabloids and DM liked, that one) have begun to change all that.

I think that the saddest thing about the father's rights movements is, indeed, that it is all about rights and not the children's welfare at all. The misery inflicted on children in the name of father's rights is increasing and in the end a lot of these fathers just end up alienating their children more, particularly if they are of the age these girls are, in the name of 'enjoying their rights' over them.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 13:10:10

Yes, and there is something distressingly patriarchal about the situation where a mother living in the father's country needs to leave that country in order to support herself but is not allowed to take her children with her.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 13:11:21

I was really horrified seeing those videos last night, for one thing the way the children were handled by the Austrailian authorities was a disgrace dragging the children holding onto their arms and hurting them.
These are children who have committed no crime, why on earth should they be treated like this? The older two in particular should have had a say in what happens to them.
It did make me wonder of Austrialian police ( I know they weren't police) and such like often brutalise children?

I did a bit of reading on Austrailian articals and one stated that the Austrailian embassy in Italy helped them return to Austrialia because of fears over the father being abusive hence why the family probably didn't think they were in the legal wrong and the huge convention could be used against them.

tryingtoleave Fri 05-Oct-12 13:12:16

Yes, you are right about the fathers movement, domesticgodess. In the intervening period there has been a move to a presumption of shared care here, even for very young children.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 13:17:22

Sorry Hauge convention.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:18:59

Yeah trying I teach family law here in UK and have been reading all about that. I have heard that the situation has become a bit of a nightmare with fathers pursuing their 'rights' to 50:50 regardless of whether children are breastfeeding, where they go to school, etc. and the courts have also been swamped with disputes over it all.

Yes LittleBairn all too frequently women escaping abuse and returning to what is the safest place to them (their original home country) are ordered back. Even when abuse has been proven. Even in one case where the father has a record of convictions for violence.

I really, really feel that fathers' rights have gone out of control. I genuinely sympathise with fathers who want more contact, I'd like more time with my own children myself, rather than having them sit with a nanny 4 nights a week so my ex can feel that the residence arrangement is 'fair'. My poor eldest said to me 'it's weird that we live with dad half the week when we never see him, we only spend time with the nanny'. My own experience is not universal of course but is part of the reason I'm very very suspicious of fathers who use the law to get access against the wishes of their ex. And the more case law you read the more you stop getting the impression of most mothers as 'contact blockers' depriving righteous men of their 'rights'. It's usually a great deal more complex than that.

What we need in the Hague convention is a genuine welfare principle as thankfully we still have here in s1(1) Children Act. Parents should not exercise 'rights' which trample all over the welfare of their kids.

tryingtoleave Fri 05-Oct-12 13:28:49

Ds's best friend at preschool used to spend half the week with his mother and half with his father (where he was mostly cared for by his gps, I think). There are some advantages - it keeps the father involved, gives the mother a break. And also gender roles are changing. If 80% of mothers are back at work when the children are 1 and domestic/caring duties are shared, then shared care makes sense.

Otoh, I think children need a proper home and it is awful for very young children. It would certainly make me think twice, or several times, before getting divorced.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:36:28

yeah trying. My ex skips out of having to be too involved because he has childcare from 8-7 30 pm or later. I don't think that should be legal, but heck I'm sure the fathers' rights brigade will be along to correct me soon!!!

My kids are used to it now and like spending time in their house (he got the house when we divorced, mine is smaller etc). But they are complaining a lot about being stuck with the nanny every night there. I think when they are older they may vote with their feet and come to see the parent who's actually there. But who knows- my eldest adores his dad and doesn't want to upset him. And I think he knows that primarily this arrangement is about pleasing his dad, not him. Who knows if that will last into his teens though :D

I was also at work but lost my job as I wasn't allowed week custody. The only other job I could get was a 90 min commute away- so in the end I need childcare too for 3 days per week but that's still less than he does! I offered ex every weekend but no go. Only 50/50 was 'fair'-- even though he isn't there for most of it.

NicknameTaken Fri 05-Oct-12 13:38:26

I think it would be terrible precedent to grant success to the strategy of abducting a child, taking them to a distant country and poisoning them against the other parent (assuming that's what happened; obviously I don't know all the facts).

It seems like the mother is totally whipping up her daughters' distress. I'm not impressed by her conduct at all.

As someone with a non-national ex, I am deeply grateful for the Hague Convention. It could have worked against me if we settled in his country (instead of the UK, which is not the original home of either of us). But overall, I think the presumption of children continuing to reside in their country of ordinary residence is a good one.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 13:39:27

To a 14 year old, a 9 year old who didn't want to leave mum - what do they care? They just know that the system, the police, their father has forced them to do something they didn't want to do.

They don't care who is in the right. They don't care about anything but the fact that they want to be with their mum and their father has destroyed that - whether that is true or not, that is how they will see it. How can they be expected to have a relationship with their father with that hanging over their heads?

There is money from the father for the mother so she can follow them home. She is, so far, refusing to do so Where does it say that?

The great aunt said the girls' father had turned his village against the mother

Sounds pretty horrible and very likely to me. We don't know where in Italy the father is from. Having spent some time travelling there I can see how this would happen - some of the villages are extremely insular, and horribly backwards to western standards (think women being possessions of men, grandmothers/mothers running the families and DILs being expected to wait on their MILs hand and foot). Remember abuse doesn't have to mean physical beatings etc and the law courts are full of older, more 'traditional' men. If it is one of those type of villages that the girls are going to they are going to be treated as second class citizens from the word go.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 13:40:08

So does the Human Rights Act (the girls' human rights) not trump the Hague Convention?

I appreciate what you say about the Australian police routinely being armed, differentname, but there must surely be provision for police officers not to carry guns when, for example, interviewing child victims or dealing with distresssed children. Well, I'd hope so.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 13:40:20

trying I can see the rights of the father in cases where care has been 50/50 but often in cases where a mother is living in her husbands native country she is often at home full time with the child and does all child care. The parents role in their children's lives under those circumstance aren't equal and shouldn't IMO be treated equally.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 13:44:01

It's so hard for the law to take account of the intricacies of every family. My DP was in the opposite situation - the DSSs were at home with the nanny (paid by him) when at their mother's home. Their mother was desperate for them to be resident "with her" in order to obtain more money on divorce.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:44:07

yes agree Little.

If fathers are primary carers I think that they should be treated as such too. The fact is they usually aren't. And true 50/50 shared care of children before a split is unusual too. Fathers do not take leave to the extent mothers do and they tend to prioritise work; this is often no 'fault' of theirs but happens for economic reasons. However, for the legal system to fail to recognise this leads to brutal consequences like this.

I also fear even more for these girls now having read more of the details, and understand more clearly why the mother fled. Villages in Italy are rarely openminded places.

I found the footage very disturbingsad
2 young girls dragged away from their mother like that, they clearly didn't want to leave.
Infact they sounded almost scaremd at the prospect of being with their father.
The way they were manhandled like wild animals was absolutely horrific.
I believe they are at an age when they can choose which parent, and how often or how little they want to be with each one!
Dual nationality, surely they should be entitled to stay where they are

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:46:19

urgh Bonsoir that's grim too on her part. But did he have another solution? Eg was he not using childcare? That would be very unusual for a working man.

In my situation I'm now trapped as have to work a long way from London and he can use that against me. However I'm around a lot of evenings when the kids are stuck with his nanny and I suspect they'll vote with feet later on, the eldest is already saying he'd like to. With no prompting from me and I won't encourage it as that would lead to accusations from ex of 'poisoning' him. If anything I think ex will emotionally blackmail them into waiting at home for him.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 13:49:39

We don't need childcare in our family as I am at home for DD.

Anyway, her construction all fell apart (under French law)!

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:52:27

ah ok Bonsoir. She probably couldn't take the idea, too, of 'her' kids being with you!

If my ex had a nice partner who the kids liked I'd be delighted for them to be with her. Really! Even a nice nanny would do. But the kids can't stand her, complain constantly about her, he won't get a new one, and she's putting them to bed at least 2 nights a week. To me that's just not on.

oohlaalaa Fri 05-Oct-12 13:53:26

Whilst the pictures are upsetting, she should never have taken the girls to Australia without the father's consent.

The mother could move to Italy with the girls.

tryingtoleave Fri 05-Oct-12 13:53:26

What human right do you mean, line runner? Not that I'm defending this, just I'm not sure what right children have to choose where they livd. And an international convention doesn't become part of Australian law just because it has been signed, either.

NicknameTaken Fri 05-Oct-12 13:53:58

So does the Human Rights Act (the girls' human rights) not trump the Hague Convention?

The Human Rights Act is UK legislation, so has nothing to do with an Italian/Australian case.

In the UK, people have tried to challenge deportations using the Human Rights Act, as the right to privacy includes the right to family life. The answer is often - "Nothing is stopping you having a family life, we're just saying you can't have it here. You're free to go and have your family life in the other country".

NicknameTaken Fri 05-Oct-12 13:54:49

Sorry, should say that my last para is nothing to do with the Hague Convention or child residence cases. I'm thinking failed asylum applications and that kind of thing.

tryingtoleave Fri 05-Oct-12 13:56:28

Oh, that makes sense. I presumed linerunner was talking about international human rights.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 13:58:35

The mother could move to Italy with the girls

The mother has no money. She is a student. I doubt she could afford the flight, let alone be able to rent/buy a place to live.

And if the village is in the sticks (as it sounds - but I dont know) then she won't get a job either.

The more I read about this, the more I think about this, the more horrible it seems. Those poor girls sad

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 13:59:07

There is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child etc. Child welfare is a matter for national law and it is a significant problem that the Hague Convention does not have it as an overriding principle.

Interesting point about Article 8 rights to private and family life. Per se, children have these but it is relatively easy to trump them stating that there is a clash (with the fathers' rights here).

I remain amazed at those who expect the mother simply to return to an Italian village, presumably to live right next to an ex spouse who loathes her, and get work doing...what???

At any rate, this is not about her rights or the father's either in the end. The children's welfare is clearly not served by dragging them off to a country they don't want to live in. Full stop. Regardless of father being deprived of 'rights'.

SaraBellumHertz Fri 05-Oct-12 13:59:29

I feel terribly sorry for the girls, and on the face of it the father.

The mother acted appallingly in taking the children and from the look of those clips continues to do so.

Screaming and sobbing then collapsing in the street is not helping those children. If I was in that position I would be hugging my DC, escorting them to the plane, reassuring them and comforting them even if I was dying inside.

expatinscotland Fri 05-Oct-12 14:00:25

I somehow feel that if the shoe had been on the opposite foot in this case, with the father abducting the children, most of the responses here would be different.

She broke the law and knew it.

He lodged complaint asap.

She hung onto the kids instead of coming to an agreement with him.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:00:50

sorry should be clearer- child welfare SHOULD be a matter for international law but it is significantly neglected. National jurisdictions take far more account of it.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:02:43

No, expat, I would feel the same. If the children were being dragged away screaming from a father, I would still say that the mother should not bring the case and should allow them to stay where they are, and change HER OWN life if necessary- anything rather than subject them to this violence.

Because very few fathers are primary carers, there are actually far fewer cases of paternal abduction.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 14:05:03

Funnily enough, she has never shown the slightest distress at her children being cared for by me - I would say that she always enthusiastically embraced the idea of yet another adult on tap to whom childcare could be outsourced!

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:06:36

Placing law, any law, above the welfare of children is just wrong and never, ever turns out well. Have a look at the British case of TE v SH where a 12 year old boy was forcibly handed over to a father he had never lived with in his life because the judge ruled that his mother had 'alienated' him.

That may have been the case, although it was far from clear from the judgement. Even if it were the case, inflicting psychological and physical violence on a child and ripping him away from his established life was truly the worst possible outcome. Even enforced contact would have been better than that.

As it is they're likely to end up being cared for by a grandmother or aunts who loathe their mother, they will not fit in, they will miss their primary carer horribly. Why on earth would a truly loving parent want to do that to them? I think that he is treating them as possessions, tbh.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Fri 05-Oct-12 14:07:38

that has really upset me watching this, but I cant help but think the mother has created this situation and has been very selfish for allowing this to occur.

it obviously did not need to get to that point had she returned in the first place.

The law is the law and must be enforced, sadly for the little girls in the middle of all this.

But I just cant help it in thinking she has deliberatly exposed he children to this. Does the mother have duel nationality? I didnt grasp that part, is she permitted to live in the fathers country with her children? or would it be a case that she isnt granted permission to live in the same country as the girls, as that could be the only explination I cvould come up for this to occure. I couldnt read the links.

lisaro Fri 05-Oct-12 14:10:34

I find it suspicious that it was all done so publicly. If I'd been selfish enough to let my children be treated like that the last thing I'd want is for it to be filmed and distributed. There would have been many ways they could have been extradited privately. This whole thing has been an exercise in using children as pawns. Shocking!

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:11:49

hmm Bonsoir she sounds a right case!!! At least my ex for sure is not motivated by money as since he effed up by effectively forcing me to leave my original job- after agreeing initially that I would move out of London with the boys, then saying this was no longer possible as 'unfair', he ended up agreeing out of court to compensate me for the massive extra rental costs etc. which I now incur. Otherwise he knew I could not afford to live in London in a place big enough to accommodate the boys. And he knew that if I had to leave, I would apply to court to take the boys with me and he did not want to risk that.

And, he knew he couldn't handle being the primary carer either (he wants his time off for going out to pubs etc smile) So he ended up a bit stitched up, he moans all the time about 'how much I cost him' but won't consider a more affordable solution such as moving to a cheaper area where we could both afford to buy a house. (I have no chance of buying on my salary, and after 4 years I still do not have my share of the relatively low equity in the family home, so have a quite massive rent bill plus have to stay in b and bs when have early start at work). It's a silly situation all round, tbh.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:12:39

The law in this case has flexibility, Enthusiastic. It did not need to be exercised so brutally.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 14:15:08

It sounds awful sad and such a waste of money.

Our situation was much more straightforward - exW wanted minimum childcare and maximum cash while still being able to garner sympathy from her entourage for being a single working mother of two DCs. It didn't quite work out that way!

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:19:34

Yes bonsoir, it's more a waste of HIS money than anything else. His behaviour has been really bizarre in a lot of ways. I think tbh the divorce sent him a bit crazy, I don't blame him for that as it did same to me smile

He will not sign divorce papers. Will not settle financially so I could try to sort myself out with a house. I think this is because he KNOWS there is not enough equity for me to buy a house in London, he knows that it is not viable to keep me in rented accommodation which costs 3/4 of my salary, and he is simply terrified of having to change anything in his life.

I will get more equity in the end I guess as he is paying the mortgage, plus he is paying more per month now than he would have to in that case.... just so he can stick his head in the sand.

he is in total denial... I just sent yet another round of solicitor's letters asking for new financial information as a year has lapsed since I got the last lot. I get emails and calls every day burbling on about some aspect of the boys life eg property, uniform, etc. The big questions remain totally unanswered and I have resigned myself to a future of incredibly expensive court battles. Luckily I have a solicitor who is prepared to wait for her fees until we settle.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Fri 05-Oct-12 14:20:48

as i said I have not read all the articles its to upsetting. But what if they had exhausted all flexability? From the footage it looks like the mum could have maintained a calmer situation had she been complient through out the whole 2 years. It is brutal no question about that, but I think ultimatly if mum has been noncomplient then a decission would have had to be made to enforse the law.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:21:20

Does your dp now have 50/50, bonsoir?

I really do wish my ex would get a nice partner. He was once a good bloke before the divorce but there has been no whisper of a date ever since. I would love to feel that the boys were being cared for by someone nice.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 14:23:46

DP has in fact always had 50:50. ExW tried to dress it up as permanent residence at her home with visitation to DP, but when it came to negotiating the divorce settlement and the children's residence, the window dressing quickly fell apart and neither DP's nor exW's lawyers said that a judge would think that there was anything but a de facto 50:50.

Woozley Fri 05-Oct-12 14:24:32

"The four girls aged 9 and 15". Do they mean aged between 9 and 15? FFS, just ask them where THEY want to live, end of.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 14:25:15

Disgusting, criminal, manipulative behaviour by the mother.

Here is some case law from the UK.

"R. v Brennan [2007] 2 Cr.App.R.(S.) 50
Appellant convicted of abducting a son. He took steps to prevent contact between the child and his mother and eventually took the child to Canada. The judge described the appellant's behaviour as involving considerable dishonesty, planning and manipulations of the Canadian authorities and his new family in Canada. Eventually, the son was returned to this country. The appellant was deported from Canada and arrested on his return to the United Kingdom. Sentence of four years imprisonment."

Or R. v Kayani

Kayani took his children from the UK to Pakistan, after his marriage to a British woman broke down. The were removed in 2000 aged 5 and 4. They returned to the UK aged 17 and 16, refusing to meet their mother. He was sentenced to five years, the Court of Appeal saying

"The abduction of children from a loving parent is an offence of unspeakable cruelty to the loving parent and to the child or children, whatever they may later think of the parent from whom they have been estranged as a result of the abduction. It is a cruel offence even if the criminal responsible for it is the other parent.

These offences wholly achieved their intended purpose. The mothers have suffered extreme emotional hardship, and although the children themselves are unaware of it, they have been deprived of one of the foundations for a fulfilling life. The periods of abduction were prolonged, many years in duration, and the relationship with the mothers was irremediably damaged. In the case of the mothers, the hardship will be life long."

The mother here is a manipulative child abducter and should be facing a prison sentence.

Woozley Fri 05-Oct-12 14:26:39

Screaming and sobbing then collapsing in the street is not helping those children.

I'd join her in screaming, sobbing and collapsing in the street I think.

Bonsoir Fri 05-Oct-12 14:26:51

You are right, too, about hoping your exH finds someone nice to be a good stepmother to your DCs - it would make all your lives much easier and probably make your exH much more amenable to a reasonable settlement for you all!

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 14:30:28

"I'd join her in screaming, sobbing and collapsing in the street I think."

Perhaps she should have though of that before abducting her children.

Lots of people sob and scream. They are not sad for what they have done, they are sad for being caught.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 14:36:24

skippy have you read much about the case? When she removed the kids from Italy she did so with the Austrilaian embassy's help, the embassy even moved their flight to the day before because they were worried the father might turn up.
I read another artical the the decision was partly based on both parents being suicidal ( plus the father being accused of being abusive) surrounding the death of their child said to be their third oldest. The implication being it was best for the mother to be home in Austrailia with her family and that the children should be with her.
While the father may have believed they were going on Holiday, the Austrilian embassy and family knew it was permant.

Only a few days before one of the older girls tried to escape from where they were being held. When they had been previously taking into Care ( worried they would go on the run again) the authorities were so worried about the children's mental health they allowed their mother to have contact and family members live with them.

Forcing the children to return to Italy may be in the fathers best interest but it sure doesn't look like it is the children's best interest, their rights should be heard first before their parents.
The children want to be with their mother.
I'm sure the older girls being aged 13 and 12 will have very clear memories of living with their father yet they were so hysterical they had to be removed from the flight and fly the next day.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 14:39:26

Should have been clearer the older girls were 13 and 12 when they last saw their father they are now 15 and 14 years old.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 14:45:40

I haven't read much about it LittleBairn.

While I could understand children being helped to leave, say Pakistan, it doesn't appear on the face of it appropriate for an embassy to aid child abduction from a country such as Italy.

It doesn't follow from their actions that it was right to do this, the embassy is not a court.

It says:

"The court ruled on Wednesday that the children had to be returned under The Hague Convention and that they loved their father and that there was no evidence he had been abusive.

The girls will not have to live with their father but will need to be in Italy where the custody battle will now be heard."

That seems reasonable to me.

Unless someone has evidence that Italy is akin to Pakistan in terms of its treatment of this situations, this is correct, and the mother should count herself very lucky that she isn't facing prison time.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:52:58

yes absolutely LIttle. No one seems to have picked up enough on the age of the older kids. They know him; they were with him a couple of years ago; so WHY exactly are they screaming at the thought of being 'reunited' with him?

Some people on here will shout 'parental alienation' but that is not likely given their ages. Possibly they've witnessed and perhaps received abuse from him.

And if he is such a wonderful caring father why on earth did the Aus embassy assist the mother in her concealed flight out of the country in the first place???

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 14:55:51

skippy In most cases I'm glad of the Hauge convention but I can see how the mother may have been under the impression that she wasn't in a parental abduction situation.

Lack of evidence doesn't disprove abuse just that their wasn't any proof.

The main culprits for this situation IMO is the embassy it should never have helped remove the children in the first place.
Whilst Italy isn't Pakistan I do believe Italian society on the whole is very patriarchal.

The mother was incredibly selfish. I can see it must be really hard to stay in a foreign country when the relationship breaks down but if you choose to have children in a different country that's just how it works.

Funny how no one has mentioned how the children were taken away from everything they know, their friends and their school when the mother originally took then [hmmm]

Those poor children :-(

ScatterChasse Fri 05-Oct-12 14:57:41

I think the girls do need to go back to Italy for the custody arrangements but I think the way it has happened was awful.

Surely the children would have been better to have known when they were going, exactly what/how long they were going for and have somebody supporting them to travel with (their mother in the best case, but at least someone they know well and knew would be accompanying them) and just what was going to happen in general. I think how it's been done was far more distressing than it needed to be and it will really affect the way they behave when they arrive in Italy.

I can't see how anybody will get a good outcome from this unfortunately sad

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 14:58:20

good lord skippy if you were one of my family law undergrads you'd get a fail!!

Not for agreeing with the decision, but for citing case law which has entirely different facts and making a blanket judgement about this case, then admitting you 'haven't actually read much about it'...(some of my student do do this sort of thing in essay questions. They do not pass them)

And they say a degree isn't worth anything anymore eh? Well it would certainly improve the legal reasoning of some people on here.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 15:00:55

er, I am not a family law undergraduate, I am someone spouting off an a message board.

Bit of a difference in terms of expectations, don't you think?

Hullygully Fri 05-Oct-12 15:01:22

When did the wishes of the children stop being taken into account?

One of them is 15. Ridiculous.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 15:02:46

That would be at the point when the mother abducted the children from another country instead of going for a custody hearing where the views would have been taken into account.

As it appears they now will be, when the custody hearing is held in Italy.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 15:05:21

As a divorced parent of four children with an abusive ex-dh, I find the whole situation very distressing, especially the mum's selfish behavior. I cannot fathom how a mother could recklessly stir up her dc's into such an emotional frenzy, making them feel they were being sent off to Auschwitz never to see her again. It as an abuse of a mother's responsibility. She should have calmed them and told them that she would always be there for them, and told them she would be traveling to Italy to be with them.
Her threat of "I won't go because I'll be arrested" is...pardon me for saying...total B.S. Italy doesn't arrest mothers; the father said he wouldn't pursue charges; and even if she faced this threat, what real parent would not risk arrest for the sake of their children! To tell her daughters, "my fear of being arrested is greater than my love for you" - of course the daughters were traumatised.
From what I can tell from Italian press and Google Translate , the mother has "affido congiunto" (joint custody) in Italy. www.lanazione.it/firenze/cronaca/2012/10/04/781929-figli-contesi-tornano-in-italia-le-quattro-sorelle-rapite-in-australia.shtml
I started out reading about this case being sympathetic to the mother. I now believe she is a self-centered, trashy parent.
And I also bet that she returns to Italy and this whole "arrest" business turns out to be a disgusting bluff to make her daughters panic.

Hullygully Fri 05-Oct-12 15:06:58

Mothers behave badly

Fathers behave badly

Ask the children what they want and let them decide.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 15:07:07

Some of the comments on this threa are massively racist.

Hullygully Fri 05-Oct-12 15:08:10

I haven't rtft

In fact I think I won't.

There is a lot of gleeful mother-hating

A lot more men abduct children than women.

Thistledew Fri 05-Oct-12 15:08:35

As an aside, for those people who are moved by the plight of loving parents being separated from their children, be aware that our government is moving towards abolishing the Human Rights Act, and so doing away with the protection of article 8, which protects our right to a family life. This will make it much easier for them to remove people who are parents from the UK, even when doing so will split a family and cause children to lose the care of a loving parent, and potentially mean the parent never seeing the child again.

Please bear this in mind if you hear the government talking about doing away with this important piece of legislation.

I know the other side my friends children were taken on holiday , she never got them back hauge convention not apply

Eventually got her daughter back age 18 but by then was to late for her son he was very much his fathers child

So I can see viewpoint of why the judge returned them

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 15:14:55

^When she removed the kids from Italy she did so with the Austrilaian embassy's help, the embassy even moved their flight to the day before because they were worried the father might turn up.
I read another artical the the decision was partly based on both parents being suicidal ( plus the father being accused of being abusive) surrounding the death of their child said to be their third oldest. The implication being it was best for the mother to be home in Austrailia with her family and that the children should be with her.
While the father may have believed they were going on Holiday, the Austrilian embassy and family knew it was permant^

That would make her actions more understandable.

I agree with LT Eve that regardless of the rights or wrongs of the parents it is the children that matter here and they clearly dont want to return to Italy.

I think its very telling that the older girls are so against returning to their father.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 15:16:57

,,,and yes why would the father not be there to take his daughters back to Italy if it is indeed them he cares about...as opposed to 'beating' their Mum?

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 15:17:45

Her threat of "I won't go because I'll be arrested" is...pardon me for saying...total B.S. Italy doesn't arrest mothers; the father said he wouldn't pursue charges; and even if she faced this threat, what real parent would not risk arrest for the sake of their children! To tell her daughters, "my fear of being arrested is greater than my love for you" - of course the daughters were traumatised

Actually some Italian villages have their own police service that can and do 'arrest mothers' . I was arrested in Italy for their version of indecent exposure. I was wearing a long skirt and vest top. My 'punishment' was to pay a (rather large) fine and to leave the area. If I didn't I wouldn't get may passport back.

I was 18 and travelling before settling down. Hopefully times have changed since 1990 (I have never been back) but what if they haven't?

I hope that the courts deciding the outcome of the custody case are International.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 15:18:50

From an italian source via google translate:


"Laura and Thomas they met fifteen years ago while vacationing with her ​​in Italy. They got married and gave birth to four daughters, born and raised in Italy. But in June 2010, the woman, after a period of crisis in their marriage, brought the girls to Australia claiming to want to do a one month holiday with small, but not reported ever in Italy, preventing her husband also only see the children. The Hague Convention, which Italy and Australia have signed treats these actions to the abduction of minors and, for this reason, the host country would have a duty to immediately refer the child to the original one."

"But in recent years the Garrett not has never given: first he tried to paint her husband as a violent, then once been wrong by the courts, has reached the point of hiding the children to the authorities. Have been many complaints that every time made ​​it possible to freeze the execution of sentences she always unfavorable. Thomas Vincenti had the opportunity to embrace the children only five months ago. "We understand that this time, the judges' decision should be final, we are waiting for the hour the news of girls boarding on a plane," explained the family Vincenti. "I am overwhelmed by emotion - Thomas says - justice, after a long ordeal more than two years has prevailed. This is a beautiful moment for me, for my family and for girls. But until I have some news that will be on a plane will not be able to stay completely calm. " "

"Thomas Winning, at this time is in Italy: he had indeed traveled to Brisbane last week to attend hearings of the Family Court, but was right back at home because he did not expect a decision so quickly. Moreover, after two years of fighting, only a month ago, he said not to expect anything from the Australian justice and that he felt mocked by the judges, who while giving him reason, made ​​sure to delay the enforcement of judgments, agreeing to evaluate the constant appeals ex-wife, although they were issues that adhered only to the Italian justice system. In fact, Laura Garrett, who according to the chronicles Australian would burst into tears at the verdict, once in Italy, if he wants, can assert his case on custody of the children before the Juvenile Court of Florence. Thomas Vincenti had said many times: "If I can bring them back home, he did not stop you never see their mother."

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 15:19:41

the mother may well be a nasty piece of work. We don't know anything for sure here.

How bizarre to assume that she 'stirred up' the girls into a 'frenzy' etc. Can you imagine your own children in this situation? Being sent out of their country to a man they obviously don't like very much? Because they were living with him 2 years ago and it's pretty unlikely the evil mother could have warped teenage minds against him in that length of time.

What the hell happened to child welfare? I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 15:20:25

urk google translate is such a word salad!

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 15:24:16

the bit that chills me in above word salad is when he says 'this is a beautiful moment for me and the girls'

?! Obviously not for the girls, mate.

I think that as Amber says this is probably a man concerned to 'win' above all. The fact that the mother may also be a w*nker doesn't change that.

Hullygully Fri 05-Oct-12 15:27:12

yy domestic

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 15:32:11

For those pointing out that the mother won't go to Italy, the father hasn't even visited them in Austrilia. It doesn't seem like he has made any other contact other than to demand there return to Italy.

I'm hoping the Italian judge sees how distressed he girls are and sends them home to their mother.

ZZZenAgain Fri 05-Oct-12 15:33:44

terrible. Wrong decision IMO and very badly handled.

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 15:33:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 15:34:56


"The girls, born in Italy, had been placed in joint custody by the court. In the summer of 2010, the woman, with the excuse to bring on vacation a month in Australia has effectively stolen his father, refusing to take them back.

THE FATHER IS RIGHT - As mentioned by Gonews his father at this point turned to the Australian justice to try to get her daughters. Recall that are in joint custody, so theoretically neither parent has rights "superior" and that the small, born in Italy, are subject to the Hague Convention. Justice has sided with Vincenzi stating that the "removal" of the mother was illegal. The Family Court ruled that the mother was in violation of the Hague Convention against the abduction of children, not having received the legal consent of the former husband.

THE TRIALS OF MOTHER - Nothing to say, then. The law is clear and the man can return to Australia to recover small. Instead, on his arrival in Brisbane, the bitter realization. The daughters had disappeared while his ex-wife, who has kept on the strictest confidentiality, sparked a media war to influence public opinion and the work of judges in order to hope for a judgment in its favor dictated by emotions but in spite of any law that could actually open the game, extending dramatically the time of the case and forcing the girls to stay in Australia."

At this point, in May, she hid the children to prevent this judgement being executed.

"We spoke with the lawyer Vincenzi, Elena Zazzeri, which explained that "one of Garrett is an attempt to extend dramatically the time of justice hoping to stay with the girls. We can not forget that the grandmother said days ago that rather than give them to the father would rather kill them. We do not understand why the High Court has decided to accept this case is not based on any legal basis. Or rather, we understand that this is all media hype organized by the son of the mother with the aim of raising public awareness. ""

'Non possiamo poi dimenticare che la nonna ha dichiarato giorni fa che piuttosto che darle al padre preferirebbe ucciderle'

I don't speak Italian but it appears fairly clear that that means 'to kill'.

There is a lot of xenophobic innuendo here, the unstated implication being that it would be wrong to let children be return to Italy, as if it is some kind of barbarous third world hole.

"the mother did everything to "stir up" the public so that they are not alone in her battle. E 'was also born a Facebook page called " Kids Without Voice "in which she, along with family and friends, trying in every way to make their own reasons. E 'was opened a subscription to meet the legal costs, although some claim to be free, and the nothingness discussions between separated parents fighting for custody of the children. The issue of contention is simple: according to the woman, the court did not listen to the voice of daughters under which prefer to stay in Australia rather than in Italy. Other users, however, suffer from a kind of "censorship" against all those who express opinions different from those of the family Garrett."


The father (or someone who supports him) has his own Facebook page:


AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 15:44:00

DomesticGodless, yes I saw that bit, do you know why? is that standard in cases like this?

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 15:45:51

eeeeegh that page supporting the father is full of gleeful generalisations about 'evil selfish mothers'. There is however a nice pic of them with their dad and they look fine (although as we know, photos don't always tell the full story). I truly hope they are happy with him now because god knows they've been through enough crap.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 15:48:26

There is a lot of xenophobic innuendo here, the unstated implication being that it would be wrong to let children be return to Italy, as if it is some kind of barbarous third world hole

Really? I think people are saying that because that is where they are returning to! if it were England they would say 'it would be wrong to return them to England'

Didn't the judge say he didn't think the father was being entirely truthful? but that he had to order their return because the law said so [or words to that effect]

domesticgodless Fri 05-Oct-12 15:51:38

Italy is a lovely place, I'd love to live there tbh. But I wouldn't want to be forced back there. Nothing 'racist' about saying that.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 15:57:42

domesticgodless, I've followed the case since the mother hid the children in May, and the father has repeatedly visited Australia over the past 2 years despite the mum's efforts to get him arrested (say something about which parent has more love the their children than fear of arrest), offered to split custody between Australia and Italy, offered to pay for the mum's ticket to Italy, was finally able to obtain unsupervised visitation in Australia this past summer (after having been denied access) and is now posting pictures on his FB page (thank you for the link, Skippy) from those visits, and he even dropped criminal charges against the mum.
And, yes, two years of alienating your kids from the other parent is plenty of time for evil poison to do its damage. My ex was able to do this in far less time, and was the reason the court gave me custody. Most courts do. In fact, the Australia courts previously took the kids away from the mum and put them into home. It came out at the trial last week that the elder daughter threatened suicide because her mum told her it would get her out.

threesocksmorgan Fri 05-Oct-12 15:59:51

I do wonder if this thread would be the same if it had been the father who had abducted the children?

Viperidae Fri 05-Oct-12 16:03:09

I think the key part of the judgement was that the girls did not want to return to their father because of pressure including a high profile publicity campaign by the mother and her family. It is hard for a court to take their view into account when it may have been manipulated.

These girls have been with the mother for the last 2 years, you can convince a child of a lot in that time.

Ultimately, as others have said, she kidnapped them and the law has to treat mothers who do this just as we all hope it will treat fathers who do it. The children are the real victims.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 16:03:30

DHs eldest has basically never spoken to him since the day he left her mother - because her mother told her to chose - so she chose.

Up until that point - they had had an excellent relationship - and she was effectively an adult.

And he left because the mother was having an affair (just to clarify), a clever person can achieve parental alienation very very quickly.

She kidnapped them.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:06:24

Amberleaf, when you write, "I think its very telling that the older girls are so against returning to their father" you are absolutely correct. But you draw the wrong conclusion.
Younger children are harder to manipulate because they have not yet reached a point where they understand what the alienating parent is telling them to break their affection and emotional bonds.
The children have an extended family in Italy. They speak Italian. They were all born and grew up there. They will be back in school and happy in days, and this whole thing will be behind them.
Let's revisit in one month whether the mother is lying about being afraid of being arrested. My bet is she will be in Italy by then herself.

niceguy2 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:08:11

I think that as Amber says this is probably a man concerned to 'win' above all.

Really? And if your DH/Ex took your kids and vanished to the opposite side of the world....literally. Then you'd just say "oh well. It's obviously better there for them."

Of course he wants to "win". Because he wants to see his children!

I'm actually quite incredulous at some of the responses here painting this as a wrong decision.

The facts are quite simple. Mum knowingly removed the kids from their home country without permission of their father. That's not in dispute. Whether or not the Australian embassy helped is irrelevant and if true was totally wrong of them.

To allow her to stay just because the kids now want to after two years is missing the point. The courts cannot let themselves be bound by a fait accompli. If they did then many many more children are now in danger.

For example I could just take my kids tomorrow to my home country, duck & dive for a couple of years and then my ex would be screwed. That's fair yes?

We're talking Italy here, not some backwater 3rd world hellhole.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:09:56

the FB page supporting the father (4 Hidden Sisters) is excellent! there are consistent warnings not to be mean to the mother or her family, to be respectful of the mother and her family.
by contrast, the FB page supporting the mother is full of venom. the total opposite.
says a lot about these two.

threesocksmorgan Fri 05-Oct-12 16:11:20

Niceguy agree again

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:15:56

niceguy2, I agree with you but also think that in Iraq or Pakistan there are parents who love their children and who should not be removed from their lives.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:19:02

many of this "shocked" comments make me want to point out that there is nothing unusual about this case other than the mother's all-out media war against the father, which was plainly not reciprocated. you can't fault the father for refusing to defend himself when it would mean criticising the children's mother in public. that seems laudable to me.

NOTHING else about this case, or the images shown since yesterday, is unusual. it happens ALL THE TIME. authorities take children away from a parent when the courts order and the parent does not comply. happened here. children do not want to be separated from their mum. happened here. mums and dads kidnap children to foreign countries. happened here. courts take too long to resolve the situation. happened here.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 16:24:51

I could write reams about the effects of parental alienation - but I can't be arsed - it's a pervasive form of emotional child abuse and is massively damaging on children of all ages - I know full grown adults who can't cope with the vitriol one parent (and usually mum) - it harms them in ways that cannot be seen.

Sneaking these children put of Italy and hiding them - running away, putting the fear of god into them - telling them you won't come to see them and splashing it all over the papers.

Even the fact she knew this was coming and is a student - when she could have been working and saving to go and see them.

None of these things strike me as a mother doing her best for her children.

Dragging them away like that was wrong, wrong, wrong but so was removing them in the first place.

I find it unlikely a whole Italian village is full of child abusers - med families as a rule are extended, loving and adore their children - just like out families.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 16:26:33

skippy what bull no one has made any such claims about Italy.
A fe of us has said its a very patriarchal society, a fact.
The reason I think it's very wrong is nothing to do with Italy but of the reactions of the girls being returned. If anything I'm more disgusted with the Austrialian authorities for helping them return to Austrillia and the way they man handled and abused those young girls.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 16:29:55

I would think exactly the same if the girls had been dragged screaming by police officers from their father - that these children's human rights had been trashed completely.

Is Australia not a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights if the Child? If not why not?

Do the Australian police always carry guns when dealing with children? What if they are interviewing child victims?

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 16:31:02

redsilk WTF they will be happy in DAYS?! Seriously you honestly think they will touch down in Italy and sat " wow this is amazing I never want to leave...."
Are you crazy? You really think all this won't leave a mental scar?

iwantsomepeachcookies Fri 05-Oct-12 16:32:17

Some brutal, heartless views here. You don't know the facts, so don't judge the mother. You don't know what led her to take her children away to Australia and decide not to go back. What you do know is that she has lost a child, and now has lost her four living daughters - do none of you feel a shred of sympathy for her? Actually, don't answer that. It's depressing how cold and unfeeling some of you are. Instead you berate her for sobbing and crying at losing her children!

The older girls actually stated that they felt suicidal at the though of going back to Italy. The father should be utterly ashamed of himself and what he has done. No loving father would act this way, and when he sees the distress he has caused his children he should return them to their mother. This is not about her 'winning', it's about what is best for these poor girls, and they have clearly stated they want to remain with their mother.

Disgusted but not surprised by the lack of empathy on this thread. Fuck the law. These girls need to stay with their mother.

lisaro Fri 05-Oct-12 16:35:28

Iwant I assume the father also lost a child. Then the mother took the others away under false pretenses. That's where my sympathies lie (and the mother has plenty to be ashamed of) - oh, and with the children of these parents.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 16:35:39

little that's rubbish - there are plenty of comments on this thread about Italy/Italian village way of life.

Iwant I don't have a great deal of sympathy because I think she is not helping herself and more importantly her children - what mother would publicly tell them she won't be following them? That's where I lose mine.

Reallyyouwould Fri 05-Oct-12 16:44:42

Here's a quote from the father's solicitor.

'The father's solicitor Paul Donnelly says the court decision will have ramifications for many other parents.

"The real point to be made in this is that in Australia, we must remember that the ratio of children leaving Australia is five to two," he said.

"Five Australian children are taken overseas compared to two children that are brought into Australia.

"So Australia's got a vested interest in ensuring these Hague conventions are complied with, otherwise we won't get our own children back."

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:44:58

LittleBairn, I think the whole mishugenas will give them scars, but no, not this particular event.
Do you have kids of your own? they throw tantrums, they live experiences they don't like. they don't get what they want, and they cry and scream. and then life goes on.
over the next two years these girls will spend time with both their parents. They will realise their mum was lying about not coming to Italy to see them, and they will forgive her because she is their mum. They will be glad to have this behind them.
But when they are adults, I think there is a risk the scars will come out. they will feel angry at having been manipulated, for having been against their father, and when that happens there is a change they will never want to see their mother again.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Oct-12 16:45:46

that's rubbish - there are plenty of comments on this thread about Italy/Italian village way of life

Yes. Your point is?

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:49:28

peachcookie dear, take a few pills and chill. read the articles about the psych report. the older girl did not feel suicidal. she told the psych that she just said that because her mum to do it to get out of a foster home. it's in all the reports about the hearing. the mother is trash, and her family too. the more you read about the case, the more the picture emerges.

telling her daughters she would not come to Italy is what is disgusting. especially since she's lying about it too. mark my words.

Reallyyouwould Fri 05-Oct-12 16:51:39

'A lot more men abduct children than women.'

In a 2008 report 69% of international abductions were by the mother.


Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:53:09

Did someone here seriously say that Italy is a patriarchical society? the land of pizza and mamma? hah!
here, I found these statistics in English about Italian custody cases (doing the math it says that fathers get sole custody in only 1.6% of cases):
"Until 2005, sole custody of minors was mainly awarded to the mother. In 2006 Law 54/2006 introduced the provision of joint custody of minor children as an ordinary procedure and had very clear consequences both for separations and divorces. In 2009, 86.2% of separations with children were with joint custody, as opposed to 12.2% in which custody of the children was awarded exclusively to the mother."
the mum doesn't have much to worry about if she returns to Italy.

lisaro Fri 05-Oct-12 16:54:51

Wow, the more stuff I'm following up after reading on here - the more I'm thinking they'd be better off if the mother didn't visit them.

I have said this on here before (and got slated for it by some), but I was the first child in the UK to use a new ruling that children could have their own legal representation, during a custody battle.

I find the pictures and the whole story very upsetting. To have no one listen to your wishes, is awful and I hope that all 4 girls do eventually get to have their say, and live where they want.

I agree though that the mother made this situation difficult by taking them away in the first place.

At the end of the day, children's views count, and if my children decided they wanted to live with my ex, i'd be heartbroken, but I would respect their wishes and do my best to ensure that they never felt like they had done something wrong.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 16:56:50

LT my point is there are plenty of attempts on this thread to paint Italian life as some sort of hell hole.

Hopeforever Fri 05-Oct-12 16:58:01

So if this mother had voluntarily got onto a plane with her 4 children to return to Italy would the police have still dragged them off into police cars?

The blame isn't 100% with one parent, but the law was.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 16:58:56

I didn't say the law was but yes the society is, this is my own experience of Italy and Italian men.

I'm pregnant and been a nanny to many many children often 24/7 so yes I know what a children's tantrum looks like and even what a teenagers tantrum looks like and this wasnt one of them. That was young girls and women screaming in terror being dragged around and man handled by grown armed men, such a shameful incident.
I do believe the whole case will badly effect them but I also think that experience alone will be very traumatising. I'm honestly horrified anyone could think they will be ok in a few days.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 17:10:39

LittleBairn, I didn't say they'd be ok in a few days, although I suspect the younger two were probably thrilled to get "home" and see all their old friends and family after two years of being away, to be in their old rooms, to be kissed by grandparents. As the years pass, their memory of this event will be the family reunion in Italy (Tuscany?) among joyous family, and of the happiness and love they encountered after the ordeal. And the impact of the negative part will fade. Kids are like that.
The older two...I suspect will be more difficult although, again, not for the reason you indicate, although I appreciate where your heart is. They have been primed by their mum and are probably coming to Italy on a mission to show the world how horrible dad is. They will try to make life miserable. This will be a challenge for the dad's family. I can't imagine how they will respond. I hope he gets counseling for himself and for them.
How will the older two look back on this? Again, I think they will see themselves caught in a war between their parents and used as pawns by their mum. My guess is that the enduring scar will be their conflicted emotions over their attachment to her as a parent and resentment for being put through this.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 17:13:45

one other thing that I think everyone is overlooking: love can conquer many things. do not forget that these girls are about to be surrounded by the joy of reunion with family and friends they have not seen for years.
the father could have walked away from them two years ago, gotten married again, and never had a financial worry about his daughters to consider. instead he went broke tying to get them home, and now has them as a financial burden. (he works; mum was getting a government check and child support.) to me, that is the sign of a parent who loves their children a lot.

with a lot of love, you can overcome anything.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 17:14:56

Oh and btw just for the record, when media reports, as it is on 7 now, that the mother says she is "hated there" (Italy, specifically Pontassieve)... after she left the sect and her husband, she was ostracised by the community and would be on the phone in tears saying, i cant even go to church because they say that leaving the 'sect' i am now 'evil' and can not enter. There were many places she wasnt welcomed. A university education is also considered akin to embracing Satan because it means one must adopt principals of reason and logic, which are considered evil. One's purpose in the world is exclusively expected to be to preach door to door and bring new families into the Community for indoctrination, a 10 year indoctrination

That's from the Kids with voices facebook page, written by [I think] the girls maternal grandmother.

Anyone know anymore about this 'sect' ?

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 17:16:07

LittleBairn, forgot to say congratulatoins!!!

I am glad that Redsilk found the statistics of children's custody to Italy. I wouldn't have been able to give the exact %, but to be sure usually it is mothers who are awarded sole custody.

I find it always rather disturbing to read MN comments on Italy. Most are uninformed, prejudiced and bang on racist. Well done.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 17:22:32

AmberLeaf, the mother's "sect" argument was covered months ago, I think, when there was also reporting of the false accusations of violence. turned out the sect is called "Catholocism," which has a couple millennia of roots in Italy. if I recall, the father says he is Catholic but not religious. this was the only reference I found to the mum saying she went to church.
I just found Pontassieve. it is near Florence, so I was right about this being Tuscany. (yeah, poor girls... they may be forced to eat good food, too, or exposed to Rennaissance art... how can I get kidnapped to Florence?)

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 17:23:04

redsilk yes you did you said 'They will be back in school and happy in days, and this whole thing will be behind them.'

sorry but your fantasising. You know nothing of the family life and what they will have missed and looking forward too. For one tHing the youngest was 7 when she left she may not have all that clear memories, it's likely the younger two will struggle badly.
I honestly think it would be really heartless of the family for them to have a 'happy family reunion' when they have just been taken from their mum.

Reading the fathers Facebook page is only going to give you info that he wants you to have, it could be true it could also be complete bollocks.
Has he responded at all to the videos showing his daughters screaming and begging for their mother?

Plus they aren't to be returned to the father yet the are with the Italian Authrities until the court case.

And why "dubious" hands of Italian social services? How do you know they are dubious?

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 17:26:37

That said the whole 'sect' thing about Catholism isn't going to help the mother, a very foolish argument when she has been married to him for so long.

I not saying the mum is innocent in all this, I get the feeling both parents may be as bad as each other. My only issue is the girls shouldn't have been returned in that manner and their wishes on the matter should have been taken into consideration.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 17:30:18

Well there are sects within Catholocism aren't there?

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 17:32:36

I'm still wondering why Australian police apparently always have to be armed, even when dealing with vulnerable children.

What happens when they are interviewing child victims?

CharlieMumma Fri 05-Oct-12 17:33:25

It's awful but I can't help thinking if the father had run off with the 4 girls and not returned them as promised everyone would be up in arms.

She took them on holiday and never returned them. That's pretty shocking and has landed them in this situation!

No, there aren't sects in Catholicism, there are congregations.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 17:35:24

The thread's about the sight of the girls screaming and fighting as they manhandled away against their will. About their rights being tradduced because they are aged 9 to 15.

Isn't it?

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 17:35:48

LittleBairn, why would you say they are with the Italian authorities? there is a court order giving parents both custody. in Italy (or any place) there would need to be a court order finding both parents to be unsuitable for the authorities to take them, and hasn't happened.

and why should the children be denied the joy of seeing family? to make them feel the pain of the event?

seriously. the dad's task is to make his daughters feel welcome and serene. family is good. reunion is good. healing is even better.

and we were talking about scars and moving on w life. different.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 17:36:10

I think i'd be sympathetic to a Father who was citing abuse in the same circumstances too actually.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 17:40:04

Anyone know about the alleged 'mental health issues' of the Father?

I have just read that despite the promise made to the court that he would not press charges against the mother, apparently the charges are already underway? anyone know any more about that?

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 17:45:49

He can make new charges, anyway.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 18:00:38

ladies (and not-ladies), you can't drop criminal charges and then file them again.

but there is a fair point about whether the authorities can pursue the charges on their own even if the father drops them. I read that the Australian judge had asked for reassurances from the authorities in Italy that they would do this, but I do not recall reading that he got an answer. I'm guessing he did or he wouldn't have sent the girls back to Italy, but I can't confirm that from any of the reports I've read or either of the FB pages.

on the accusations of mental health issues, and the violence issues, and the sect issues... the judge in Australia did not find any reason to prevent the girls from returning. end of story.

but the parents once had five daughters. they lost one, and who wouldn't have issues and be despondent after that? they'd be unbalanced not to have issues.

needanswers Fri 05-Oct-12 18:01:21

I just love reading the Catholic Church described as a "sect", no doubt the girls are themselves Catholic.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 18:03:01

on criminal charges, I'm also guessing that if the father dropped them, the authorities would not have much stomach to pursue the mother without a victim who is complaining of the crime.

but that's just an educated guess about how prosecutors tend to handle things like this. I can't imagine Italy would be that different. why waste public resources if no one is complaining about the crime? this is not a murder charge.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 18:03:14

Didnt the judge say he didnt think the father was being entirely truthful but had to allow their return anyway?

I don't know, I suppose its easy to cite abuse but its equally easy to cite parental alienation too.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 18:03:17

Of course a person can make a new allegation.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 18:07:29

redsilk I'm sure I read they were being given to the Italian authorities until a custody hearing is in place.
It may also be because of the girls reaction to being taken back to Italy means its best for now that they aren't immediately handed over until they have calmed down. They may be feeling hostile to towards their family at he moment hence why it's not in their best interest to see them at the moment.

I agree I can completely understand why they would both be suicidal after loosing a child this shouldn't be used as evidence against either of them.

amber it was said both parents were suicidal after the death of one of their child. This was used as a reason by the Austrilain embassy to help the mother go back home because she needed family support and the children were best placed with her. Unfortunatly the didn't have the power to decide this and are partly to blame for the legal mess.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 18:10:11

Linerunner, of course the father can make a new allegation, but for what if the mum is in Australia and he already dropped the charge of parental kidnapping? (by the way, this is not treated as a major crime, or even a crime at all, in some countries, famously Russia for one).

AmberLeaf, I don't recall news reports of the judge saying this. Under the Hague convention, the judge had the authority to order the children to remain in Australia if there was evidence they would be in danger if returned to Italy. so I doubt the judge said anything like this.

as I said before, when I first started following this case I was 100% behind the mum. but now after the evidence came out at the trial last week and after her horrendous behavior towards her girls, I've started looking more into this and feel completely conned and burned. I don't like being fooled.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 18:15:10

I'm really only focusing on the way the girls were treated by the Australian authorities. Bloody awful.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 18:16:33

LittleBairn, the Italian articles posted earlier said nothing about the authorities taking the girls. they said only that they were being returned to the father. I do not recall any mention of social services or other authorities being involved. as I said, taking children from both parents requires a court order after finding of unsuitability. but here both parents still have custody, so could not have happened.

I think you might be confusing the fact that the dad went back to Italy after last week's hearing, and the Italian embassy was sending someone to accompany the children on the flight. that makes sense to me. but they are delivering the children to their father, which is what the Hague convention requires.

your idea is not a bad one, although I think it would require a great deal more cooperation between governments for there to be an intervening "cooling off" period when the children are returned. unfortunately, the Hague just says return them to the country from which they were abducted and says nothing about custody.

LittleBairn Fri 05-Oct-12 18:33:03

red it was an Aussie artical that said they were going to be with the Italian authorities and that there was still to be a hearing, nothing has been permantly decided.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 18:34:24


The father had insisted in court battles that the children should be returned to Italy under the provisions of the Hague Convention, an international treaty against child abduction

Justice Colin Forrest found in the Australian Family Court last year that while he did not absolutely accept ‘the truthfulness of all of the evidence deposed to by the father he was satisfied the father did not consent to the children’s relocation

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 18:51:21

LB, AL, ok... now I understand. I thought the reference was to the accusations against the dad. I remember this now and it makes sense. the judge had to establish whether the dad had consented for them to remain in Australia. that's a defense under the Hague. sounded like the judge said he didn't believe everything the dad said about their going to Australia, but ultimately accepted that he never intended his daughters would move to Australia.

I also had questions about whether the father might have consented at one point to their remaining. his offer to share custody and let the kids stay in Australia with periodic visits in Italy, after the mum had kidnapped the kids and was already in Australia, might have been taken as consent.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 18:59:18

I am late getting home to get dinner on after obsessing about this case all day and getting no work done. thank you everyone of an enjoyable procrastination.

as for what will happen next, I will Google the Australian and Italian press by the middle of next week. the Italian papers are reporting the mother's name as Laura Garrett, which makes it easy to find articles if you Google in Italian (google.it)

my prediction: kids will be with dad and are fine; mom will announce plans to bring her fight to Italy.

and I'll dream of being one of the kidnapped girls myself. I think we'll have spaghetti for dinner tonight. does that count as Tuscan?

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 19:03:25

I guess, Redsilk, it'll all come out in the wash, as they say. (Not your dinner, the outcome of this case.)

But did the Australian police really have to be so heavy-handed?

(And yes, I have also campaigned in the UK over similar issues here with asylum seeking minors.)

For the first time ever, I agree with Niceguy2.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 19:50:35

But there are allegations of violence and abuse, not just towards the mother but to the children too.

If someone came on Mumsnet and said their husband was abusive towards then and had hurt their children what would posters say?

They would say 'GET OUT NOW......CALL WOMENS AID and if you don't you are allowing your children to be abused'

If this mother was a Mumsnetter and lived in the UK she could have fled the home and would have had advice and support from fellow Mumsnetters wouldn't she?

Why is this case different? is it because we can see/hear the fightback from the other parents side?

MaryZed Fri 05-Oct-12 19:55:21

I find it hard to believe how many people are sympathetic to the mother here.

She took them from their father and the only home they have ever known. She refused to let their father see them, she refused to let them return to visit their wider family, she alienated them from their previous life, she disobeyed court orders and took them "into hiding", she refused to return them, and then when the final order was made instead of sitting them down and saying "ok, you have to go back, I will go with you and we will work this out" she allowed them to get really upset, told them they would never see them again, and rather than behaving like an adult had hysterics and collapsed hmm.

Surely there was a better way to sort this out.

I also agree with NiceGuy2, and if my dh did to me and my children what this woman has done I would fight tooth and claw (and support them being taken by force, if necessary).

MaryZed Fri 05-Oct-12 19:56:50

And I might believe the allegations of abuse if they had come before the abduction hmm

The vast majority of allegations of abuse are to be believed, sadly. But those that suddenly appear in the middle of a custody battle, when the parent who is making them looks as though they are going to lose, always seem a tad suspicious to me.

BananaGio Fri 05-Oct-12 20:00:14

not nice footage of the girls being dragged off but agree that the mother shouldn't have done what she did. And as one half of an international couple with Italian DP and DS living in Italy just would like to make the point that the place they appear to live in is a few km outside Florence, a sophisticated, cultural city and is not somewhere out of a Dolmio advert! My experience of Italian small communities has only shown me that small communities are very similar all over. To the extent I spent one car journey back from visiting some of DPs family in a small mountain village matching everyone I had met with their doppelgangers in the small, mining village in the UK I have family from. Same outlooks and characteristics, just different language (and weather).

The man could be and is alegedlly abusive.
Of course a woman would go into hiding over this.

I feel sorry for the girls, no matter the rights or wrongs they did not want to go.
The screaming and crying sounded like that of someone truly scared.

If this man was violent, what else was the mother to do.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 20:24:50

And I might believe the allegations of abuse if they had come before the abduction

But they did.

MaryZed Fri 05-Oct-12 20:44:28

Sorry, I should have said before the custody battle.

When did the mother allege abuse? And was there any proof, any police reports, anything at all? Not all fathers are abusive.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 21:36:34

Not sure M,ary but it would seem at least at the time she left Italy.

was there any proof, any police reports, anything at all? Not all fathers are abusive

I know not all fathers are abusive!

You should know that not all abuse will be reported too.

I have no idea as to what/if anything was reported in this case.

MaryZed Fri 05-Oct-12 21:42:25

I just think there has to be some rule about intercountry marriage breakups.

Hague originally came in to stop fathers taking children away to another country, and to give the mother the right to have the case heard in the children's country of residence. It may not be perfect, but if you let some parents take their children thousands of miles away and effectively hide them from the parent left behind, then where do you stop?

These cases have to be heard somewhere. It can't be left to whichever parent has the resources to hide the children from the other parent for long enough for that to become the status quo. That would lead to many children being taken and hidden.

I still think that if the father had taken four children away from their mother, stopped contact, refused to return them, and effectively alienated them from her there would be much more uproar against him.

niceguy2 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:53:08

The bottom line here is that what she did was illegal. She knew it, she did it anyway. This mess is of her making. I'm sure this wasn't the first court decision. She's been given multiple chances to do the right thing and she's refused each time.

Abuse? Not seen any articles about what has allegedly happened. But if there was then it's also a matter for Italian courts. They will listen to BOTH sides and weigh up the evidence available.

Let's assume for a moment he was abusive. I'm not so sure but let's assume he was. That does not give her the right to also do something illegal.

What she's done now is weaken her own case. What court is going to now award custody to her? She's already shown she doesn't care about the law. Or lying. Or secretly moving abroad and alienating the kids. And she's not even going to be in Italy to put her case across.

Dad has already given an undertaking to drop criminal case. If he did pursue criminal charges then he would be shooting himself in both feet in the eyes of his kids. He needs to rebuild trust and showing them he's not the ogre their mum has painted him to be. Putting their mum in prison isn't exactly going to help his cause is it?

The kids are the real losers here and it's all mum's fault.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 21:55:45

Did the Australian need to be visibly armed when dealing with these distressed children? Is that actually compulsory in Australia?

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 21:56:07

Australian police sorry typo

Morloth Fri 05-Oct-12 22:34:49

Our police are routinely armed (we take the view that not only the bad guys should have guns).

I don't know whether the the AFP can choose not to be in special circumstances, you would need to check with them.

I have never seen an unarmed police officer in Australia even when I have been in stations for administration purposes.

Personally, I prefer the police armed but that is another thread.

tryingtoleave Fri 05-Oct-12 23:05:58

It's fairly unusual for police to be unarmed, isn't it? I would say that Britain is the anomaly, not Australia.

MaryZed Fri 05-Oct-12 23:08:25

Had the mother been more reasonable, prepared them better, or even sorted out travelling with them, the police wouldn't have had to be involved at all.

She was banking on being able to have it stopped, by them getting really upset. Which is just dreadful.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 23:09:44

Girls were picked up and taken home by dad. (not placed with authorities)
And mum is "now" considering a return to Italy to pursue legal options there.

Excuse me while I go kill myself...

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 23:10:17

Well, I've asked loads of times, what happen when Australian police officers have to deal with vulnerable children? Do they have to carry guns in a visible way?

They don't have to, do they.

This particular operation was what's known as a cock up.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 23:16:07

I was wrong about one thing: I said it would take a week or two before she would show us that her "refusal" to go back to Italy was a huge lie. But by the time the girls had landed in Rome she was practically booking tickets.

She's a lying witch who treats her children as tools. I sincerely doubt she'll be jailed in Italy. Pity.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 23:18:01

Well anyway, about the girls, I still think the the force used on them was disproportionate.

adogforever Fri 05-Oct-12 23:18:35

I feel for this woman and it is a fact that Italians have a rule for them and a rule for their partner
First the father of the girls was in his twenties when he got this former wife pregnant at the age of 16 and married her when she was 17 to make it worst she was on a study tour and was put in his families care for the year she was to stay in Italy at his parents villa, one wonders how he and his family would feel if his now 16 year old daughter (she turned 16 this month) got pregnant to a Australian mane who was in his twenties? His former wife went on to have five daughters the middle on died after being born with problems and lived for a number of years in which she nursed and took care of her, all this time she lived with his parents and know how that would have been like, any won der why the girls do not want to return with the old Nona and papa ruling their lives pity they did not do the same in regard to their son with there mother. The girl’s father was abusive but that is accepted in Italy as normal, he signed the papers to let the girls return to Australia with their mother but changed his mind after they left, so look at the full picture of all this and the mother is only in her early thirties now, I can understand how the mothers parents feel that their granddaughters with suffer the same as their daughter.
The Australian family court has a lot to answer for in regard to this family.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 23:32:27

adogforever, why does everyone fall for this tripe now that the lies of the mother and her family have been exposed?
According to the Italian press, the father is 35.
They were BOTH kids when they got together.
What was mum doing in Italy, living there at 16, getting pregnant, and not returning? Probably she was sent off on account of sordid family scandal, an inference from her and the family's behaviour, and the fact that the family were happy to let her stay in Italy instead of bringing her home immediately when she got pregnant.

Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 23:36:01
Redsilk Fri 05-Oct-12 23:40:18

One more

THE Italian father reunited with his four daughters after they were kept in Australia for two years by their mother will agree to shared custody if his ex-wife joins them, his lawyer says.

Wollongong solicitor Paul Donnelly said his client was happy and relieved his daughters were back in their family home in the Tuscan countryside, ending a bitter international custody battle.

Mr Donnelly said the man did not mind if the mother returned to Italy, where they shared custody of the girls before she brought them to Australia in 2010.

"I think he wanted what was best for his children," he said.

"She will resume her parenting rights just as before. He just wanted them back home."

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 05-Oct-12 23:44:49

It's worth considering the timings here:

June 2010 - girls go to Australia on 'holiday' for 4 weeks
July 2010 - mother informs father that they will not return
February 2011 - Queensland Department of Child Safety files for return of children to Italy
June 2011 - decision given by the courts that the children should return within one month
July 2011 - mother ignores court order
August 2011 - appeal filed by mother against court order
March 2012 - appeal rejected
April 2012 - court orders children to go to Italy, either with their mother, or with their father
9 May 2012 - father arrives to bring children to Italy, pending meeting on 14 May 2012
13 May 2012 - Australian grandmother tells the *mother's* lawyer if the meeting on 14th May not successful, she would kill the 4 girls, and that the mother should kill herself also.
14 May 2012 - the murderous grandmother takes the children into hiding in order to prevent them leaving for Italy
21 May 2012 - "the children were recovered by the Queensland Police." "The transcript of the taped interview of that recovery by the police is in evidence before me. It is a troubling document, particularly given what was said by the great-grandmother to the police in front of the children, and later by the great-grandmother in direct response to questions by one of the children."

Subsequent to this is more legal wrangling, and finally the children have gone home (where home is clearly Italy, since the mother herself stated www.thefamilylawdirectory.com.au/article/family-flees-to-safety-of-coast.html

“I moved to Italy when I was 15 to study Italian for a year and ended up staying 15,”

and "She said it would take a long time for her girls, who are aged seven to 13 and speak no English, to adapt to the Australian way of life.")

So the children were abducted in July 2010, the order was given in June 2011 that they should return, and since then the mother and her evidently toxic family repeatedly ignored the rulings of the court (grounds in itself for imprisonment I would say).

Given the threats to kill the children made by their own grandmother who was supposed to be caring for them, the actions of the police do not seem in the least bit disproportionate.

The mother obviously loved Italy having spent half her life there, and far from her being some sort of helpless Australian flower trapped in a sinister Summerisle-type village surrounded by shrieking Catholicscultists, she evidently had the language ability and experience of life to have moved anywhere in Italy and set up a new life.

saffronwblue Fri 05-Oct-12 23:46:02

I think the police were terribly heavyhanded and added to the girls' trauma. But I think the mother has turned the whole thing into a huge drama unnecessarily. For some time the girls were on the run in Australia and hiding from the authorities. Can you imagine what that was like for them and what they were being told?
She should get on the next plane to Italy, live near the girls and focus on helping them get on with their lives with less drama.
The father has been in and out of Australia for the last two years.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 23:47:12

So why did the Australian police behave like this?

Morloth Fri 05-Oct-12 23:47:31

I just don't know Linerunner, i have been fortunate enough to never find out.

When police visit schools here they still have their gunbelts on. Whether they are there for 'business' or for talking to the kids etc.

Morloth Fri 05-Oct-12 23:49:38

Because they were told to.

Officers were clearly told to put those children on a plane.

fuckwittery Fri 05-Oct-12 23:52:14

I have come to this thread late but as a lawyer who deals with Hague cases, there will have been nothing preventing the mother going back to Italy with her children, and then seeking permission from the Italian court for permission to come back to Australia permanently. She should have asked the Italian court's permission in the first place before taking the children to Australia without consent. The Hague Convention does not remove children from their primary carer, it sends children back to their country of habitual residence, with the parent who removed the children (unless that parent refuses to go back) so that court can determine any dispute about long term arrangements.

In this country, when we send children back to other countries under the Hague, we ensure that a defendant mother returning with her children has a soft landing by way of somewhere to live and sufficient funds to get by until she can claim state benefits and appropriate protection if e.g. she has alleged violence. Agreement is sought for interim protection on return if necessary before the court here enforces a return e.g. a plaintiff father may say undertake not to remove the children from the mother's care once she returns apart from agreed contact, not to attend the airport / mother's home, to provide a property (e.g. pay rent for a certain length of time, or vacate the family home to allow mother and children to live there), to pay a certain amount of maintenance money. We would not send the children and mother back without information as to where they will live and support themselves.

There is a defence of a child objecting to a return, where the child is of sufficient age and maturity for that objection to be taken into account (the older and more mature, the more weight an objection will hold), but it is a discretionary defence. Possibly the mother influenced the children so much in this case that the judge declined to use exercise that discretion to refuse a return.

There was a case in this country though where the child kicked up such a fuss on the airplane that the pilot had to turn around, the case returned to court and the return order was not enforced.

LineRunner Fri 05-Oct-12 23:52:44

Ok, so the armed police were to police the mother's compliance, not the girls'.

Morloth Fri 05-Oct-12 23:57:08

Possibly, who knows. I can't imagine there was ever any intention to shoot anyone - this is Brisbane not Beirut.

If the mother thinks the police acted inappropriately then she should make official complaints.

The whole thing could have been avoided by both parents acting like parents. The law is a blunt tool, there should never have been a need to remove the children in those circumstances.

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 00:00:01

LineRunner, the family had hidden the girls before and threatened to harm them (as has been pointed out) if taken away. No one likes what they saw. But what was the alternative.

Meantime, more sleuthing.... I had imagined the "village" that the girls grandmum said was "all against" theirmum, Pontassieve, was some isolated mountain location. But look on Google maps - it's a friggen suburb of Florence! 15 min by train or 30 by car or city bus.

It's hysterical. Literally EVERYTHING the mum's family says is a lie in some way.

Excuses, excuses...

tryingtoleave Sat 06-Oct-12 00:01:58

In the case of questioning a vulnerable child, I don't know, but maybe it would be a detective or some other special officer who wasn't armed. Generally, though, I think we are used to seeing armed officers and we don't notice it as you do.

Ds (6) was told off by a police officer recently. He went off on a jaunt, taking his 3 yr old sister, one morning before school. I panicked, called emergency, and the police arrived just as dh found and returned the dcs. The (fully armed with bullet protection vest) gave ds what I considered to be a very appropriate reprimand. Not scary - just serious that he mustn't wander away and put his sister in danger. It certainly didn't bother me that he had a gun.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 06-Oct-12 00:03:29

BTW, age of consent in Italy is 14, so nothing wrong there with a 15 year old getting it on with an 18 year old, or a 16 year old with a 19 year old (not exactly unusual in the UK either tbh).

The basis of the alienation of the children from their father seems to have been as follows:

* if Mummy goes to Italy, Mummy will be put into prison
* if you go to Italy, you will never see Mummy again, because Mummy will be put in prison

even though no criminal complaint was ever filed in Italy, and none threatened either.

They then said that Mummy has no money and can't go to Italy for that reason, even though the father was ordered in July 2011 to pay A$8000 to facilitate the mother's travel to Italy, which he did pay.

In fact Mummy had, and would have, no difficulty finding employment in Italy being fully bilingual, and indeed the father's hometown Pontassieve is not exactly Buttfuck, Indiana, but a pleasant town 15 minutes and €2.40 by train from Florence, where she had worked previously, and part of a metropolitan area of over 1.5 million people.

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 00:07:04

I think that might be it tryingtoleave, I didn't even clock that the AFP were armed.

Because in my experience all police are armed. The bobbies with the stick were a surprise to me!

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 00:11:06

Skippy, I LOVE your posts on this!
Do you live in Italy? You sound pretty knowledgeable about the place for someone from Buttfuck, Indiana.

adogforever Sat 06-Oct-12 00:14:36

A couple of points I would like to make. Why do these girls want to stay with their mother and not return to their father?

A far as the family court goes I have yet to meet a honest lawyer it all come down to money is it a fact that lawyers have a large cow on the wall that says first milk them dry, there is no true justice in this country.

Skippy yourFriendEver true is that a dig at catholics?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 00:17:04

So no-one really knows if the police were compulsorily armed when they took the girls away.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 06-Oct-12 00:20:17

I went to Venice for my last birthday? hmm

The Australian family seem to be really toxic Jeremy Kyle types.

I found this:

"Back when the father and Garrett were still together and raising their children in Italy, they received a visit from her mother and her boyfriend.

The two checked into a hotel, but after two days, announced they were out of money. So the father moved them into his house with Laura and the four girls.

After a while, Laura’s mother announced that she wanted to travel around Italy by car. They had no money, so they asked the father to pay for the rental car, which he did, ponying up €1500 as a security deposit. The two left Florence and soon Laura and the father began receiving postcards from France.

Six weeks into the pair’s supposed driving trip in Italy, there was no longer any contact with them at all. The father, of course, was paying for the car all this time.

Laura reported the car stolen to the local police. But (speaking of ‘stolen’), eventually the father figured out that his mother-in-law had stolen one of his credit cards. They used the billings to track the couple to a small town in Spain.

The father and Laura hied themselves to Spain and began looking for the “walkabout” in-laws. When they found them, the car was badly damaged, the tires were flat and the two had been living in it for weeks. They were arrested for car theft. The father paid in all about €5,000 for car repairs as well as airfare back to Australia for Laura’s mother and her boyfriend."

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 06-Oct-12 00:24:57

No, adogforever, that is re this statement from the grandmother (?):

'Oh and btw just for the record, when media reports, as it is on 7 now, that the mother says she is "hated there" (Italy, specifically Pontassieve)... after she left the sect and her husband, she was ostracised by the community and would be on the phone in tears saying, i cant even go to church because they say that leaving the 'sect' i am now 'evil' and can not enter. There were many places she wasnt welcomed. A university education is also considered akin to embracing Satan because it means one must adopt principals of reason and logic, which are considered evil. One's purpose in the world is exclusively expected to be to preach door to door and bring new families into the Community for indoctrination, a 10 year indoctrination'

the 'sect' in question appears to be Catholicism.

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 00:41:25

Skippy, that's an amazing story and I'm inclined to believe it's true. Basically the mum and her family are trailer trash. They seem to be all women, which may explain the treatment of the father figure as expendable. (I could agree with that at times wink but not forever.)

Based on what I now know about Pontassieve (love the name) that's even more ridiculous.

Ahh...Venice...I so want to go there! Maybe when the monsters are older.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 06-Oct-12 00:49:51

I believe the Australian term is 'bogan'.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 00:54:06

Basically the mum and her family are trailer trash. They seem to be all women

Yes, those four girls would be women soon, part of their own mother's family. Charming. Absolutely charming.

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 01:00:53

Well maybe they've escaped the trash life now. Lord knows they've paid their dues.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 03:58:33

Linerunner, the police here are armed. They didn't arm themselves for that task, they just were, because they always are!

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 05:12:42

How many men could be primary carers for 4 kids or would want to be?

So because you hold the opinion, the father has no rights to his own children? My dh has admitted that he couldn’t be a SAH parent, that doesn’t mean I have the right to relocate with kids by lying to him!

And she did have a life there, choosing to move there when she was 16!

so you don't think it woudl have been 'unsettling' at all for 4 girls of that age to lose their established home, school, friends, etc?

What about the established lives they had in Italy? Where they were BORN & RAISED? The friends, the family etc? That their mother tore them from in the first place? They have been here 2 yrs. So the youngest had 7yrs in Italy & the oldest 13. Does that not count for anything?

The thing is this was never about custody. They had arrangements in Italy & if there were any issues, they should have sorted them out there; in fact I believe they were in the midst of a custody battle already. This is all about the fact that the mother kidnapped her children. They were returned so the courts in Italy can continue to decide what is best. The girls can’t be heard out here. They need to be in Italy to speak to authorities there. Australia cannot interfere with proceedings already underway in another country.

It did make me wonder of Austrialian police ( I know they weren't police) and such like often brutalise children?

Yes, of course they do. The police are often seen beating children in the streets. hmm What a stupid thing to say! They had a job to do. The mother made it so the girls wouldn’t go peacefully.

I think it would be terrible precedent to grant success to the strategy of abducting a child, taking them to a distant country and poisoning them against the other parent (assuming that's what happened; obviously I don't know all the facts)

That is pretty much what the authorities are saying happened.

They just know that the system, the police, their father has forced them to do something they didn't want to do The reality being, is that their MOTHER has actually forced this upon them. No one else.

dallas re the money,

As to this point, I note that solicitors acting for the mother previously informed the State Central Authority in September last year, whilst reserving her rights to appeal against the return order, that the mother would return with the children and requested the payment of the AUD$8,000 by the father, which the father made available from here

It is no secret that the mother is saying she can’t return

Read the whole of that document, it is interesting reading when it states that one of the girls was saying how nice Italy was, just last year. Yet now, just over a year later, she hates it so much!

The fact that the youngest child could go from stating in May last year [2011] that she wanted to go home to Italy to her home in the Tuscan countryside to now asserting that “Italy’s a scary place. I don’t feel comfortable”

Before I made the return order last year, .. that they had all indicated they would accept returning to Italy if their mother accompanied them

Of note though, was that expert’s report that the youngest child had stated a preference for returning home to Italy to live because she liked the place where they lived in the Tuscan countryside and the activities she used to do with her father and friends. Quite remarkably, in my view, she did not repeat that same preference to the Family Consultant when interviewed only a few weeks later, after the mother had the report of the psychologist in her possession

the efforts of their mother, and other members of the mother’s extended family, to keep them in Australia, notwithstanding the decisions of the Court, have had a significant emotional impact upon the children
The very public nature of the campaign has been very disturbing. I am satisfied that they have definitely not been shielded from the dispute and have clearly, I find, been significantly influenced in their views and their conduct by their mother and other members of her family.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 05:29:55

The older girls actually stated that they felt suicidal at the though of going back to Italy

Yet last year, when asked (before the return judgement was made), they said they were happy to return to Italy, as long as mum went too.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 05:35:03

So if this mother had voluntarily got onto a plane with her 4 children to return to Italy would the police have still dragged them off into police cars?

If she had got onto a plane a yr ago, after the return order was granted, NONE of this would have happened. Instead, she took them into hiding.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 05:57:43

Yes, linerunner, we get it. You don't like that the police were armed.

Here, in Australia, police are armed. They have their gun on them if they are on routine work. They have it if they are at the station. They even have them on if they are eating lunch at subway. I doubt it is protocol to remove it before they do certain aspects of their work. It is part of their uniform. Should they have taken them off & left them in their cars? So some idiot could have got hold of them & caused mass slaughter?

They are armed. Get over it.

tryingtoleave Sat 06-Oct-12 06:15:33

I'm fairly sure Italian police are armed too.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 06:18:18

in his twenties when he got this former wife pregnant at the age of 16 and

He didn't GET her pregnant. She became pregnant through the act of consensual sex! He isn't that much older than her either, a few years I believe.

Once again, there is NO PROOF that the father was abusive.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 06:28:32

In relation to the DFAT documents obtained by the mother, those documents were accepted into evidence prior to the original hearing and dealt with by his Honour Justice Forrest in his decision delivered on 23 June 2011. His Honour found that the evidence in those documents did NOT support a finding that any Australian Embassy officials who helped the mother did so knowing that the mother did not have the father’s consent to remove the girls permanently from Italy.

So it is possible (as I thought) that the mother lied to the Embassy, either with regards to the father knowing about them staying permanently, or with regards to how long they intended to say for (i.e told the Embassy that it was a holiday too)

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 06:30:29

It appears that the father was tricked into signing documents that were given to the Embassy saying she had his full consent to relocate permanently.

So she lied to both the father & the Embassy.

adogforever Sat 06-Oct-12 06:34:20

I see they are saying he is broke on site today but I find this interesting.

scription of which product are you interested.
Industry FocusHardware Components
Business TypeDistributor/Wholesaler
Products/ServicesServer-Workstation parts, Multiprocessors system, SCSI RAID Controller, SCSI hard drive.
Our MarketsWestern Europe
No. of EmployeesLess than 5 People
Annual Sales Range(USD)US$2.5 Million - US$5 Million
Year Established1996
Legal Representative(CEO)Laura Kate Garrett
Contact Information
Company NamePowerWeb
Contact PersonMr Tommaso Vincenti
Company AddressVia S. M. A Quona, 81, Firenze, Italy, Italy
Postal Code50065
Telephone Number39 055 8323361
Mobile Number
Fax Number39 055 8323361
WebsitePowerWeb, http://www.bizearch.com/company/PowerWeb_148956.htm

LtEveDallas Sat 06-Oct-12 06:54:55

Lots of woman hating on here last night then. Lovely.

Redsilk, did you really just join MN to talk about this case?

Thanks for the explanation Differentname.

needanswers Sat 06-Oct-12 07:52:09

A right so this is about woman hating and not disapproval of one parent (regardless of gender) kidnapping her children???

I see.

To call their culture and heritage a "sect" indicates no-one cares about them. I would think the same regardless of the gender of the abducting parent.

BananaGio Sat 06-Oct-12 07:59:45

The girl’s father was abusive but that is accepted in Italy as normal
Offensive much hmm. As one person who lives Italy, a country of over 60 million people, I can assure you it is not accepted as normal.

needanswers Sat 06-Oct-12 08:02:50

Yes I agree Banana - my family is of med extraction and that's massively offensive as well as wildly untrue.

LtEveDallas Sat 06-Oct-12 09:18:12

Trailer trash, everything the mums family says is a lie, stalking this woman's FB, 'sleuthing' all over the Internet for horrible stories, dismissing the mothers claims out of turn, being sarcastic about her reasons not to want to return et al.

Spending an inordinate amount of time to rubbish this woman, whilst Not caring at all how distressed the children were.

Oh, and the off the cuff 'age of consent is 14 in Italy' - it may be, but it doesn't make it right. 14 is a child.

Leaves a very nasty taste in my mouth.
<hides thread>

I agree Lt trailer trash & *all women*- what a sexist thing to say.
Just because there isn't enough evidence the father was abusive doesn't make it untrue.

Most women live in fear of their abusive spouse and often do not report as doing so makes their homelife even worse!

No matter what the reasons, i don't believe a woman would go into 'hiding' with their kids unless there is a good reason.
The girls did not want to go, they were screaming and sounded physically scared of being returned to their father.
Do these children not get a choice in who they want to reside with?

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 09:28:41

Not under the Hague Convention, they may however get a choice under Italian Family Law.

As I understand it, Australian Family Law was 'overruled' by International Law.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 06-Oct-12 09:33:12

So the fact they had a grandmother who promised to kill them and told their mother to kill herself too, plus a great-grandmother who according to the court made "troubling" statements when interviewed, "particularly given what was said by the great-grandmother to the police in front of the children, and later by the great-grandmother in direct response to questions by one of the children.", that would have no influence on these girls' mental state at all would it?

Obviously it's actually because Daddy is an abuser, and not because Mummy and her family are poisonous and manipulative.

niceguy2 Sat 06-Oct-12 09:46:21

There's no women hating going on here LtEve but it seems you are hellbent on defending this woman by clinging onto vague allegations of abuse which have no evidence and now claiming that Italy is engaged in some mass child abuse because their age of consent is lower than ours. The age of consent in some states in the US is 18. Does this mean the UK is promoting child sex because our ages is different from theirs?

The girls did not want to go, they were screaming and sounded physically scared of being returned to their father.
Do these children not get a choice in who they want to reside with?

From what I've read the courts have taken their wishes into account. That is entirely different from letting them choose. I think the decision is largely based upon the fact that a year ago they seemed happy to return (with mum) and now are 'suicidal' at the thought. What's changed in the last year? The only logical conclusion is that mum has heavily alienated them.

They may still get to decide but they will need to tell an Italian judge.

Apparently there has been allegations of abuse. But no evidence. But there IS a wealth of evidence that the woman has systematically lied and manipulated everyone around her. She lied to her ex. She lied to the embassy staff. Ignored court orders and has pretty obviously poisoned the kids minds against dad. The grandmother has even threatened to kill the kids! So sorry if I am not putting much faith in her 'abuse' claims.

There's no womenhating but plenty have pointed out that just because she is their mum, it doesn't give her carte blanche to do what she likes.

SaraBellumHertz Sat 06-Oct-12 09:47:56

I was about to come on and support Linerunners stance that it seemed grossly inappropriate for the police to be armed in these circumstances. however given the appalling commentary relating to the grandmothers threats to kill the girls I imagine the police had genuine concerns for safety

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 09:49:27

LED, and your point is?
Yes, I obsess too much, and yes I spend too much time on YBM and MN and other boards and periodically detox and then come back, and I'm not the only one who obsessed particularly over this story. our family lived a similar situation (not with Australia though) so I'm familiar with the Hague convention and what happens when countries don't honor their commitments promptly and the terrible abuse to children from being abducted, and the lies that were told about my family. It's a situation that's far more common than you would think, just usually without the media attention.
But again, your point is?

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 09:57:11

dallas No one is sleuthing at all. All this info is readily available on the net. People are googling etc to find out the whole story. No one is looking for horror stories, I don't think!

The mum put all this out there, people just aren't settling for her side, they are trying to find the closest truth.

I agree that calling her trash isn't really pertinent to the story, but people are entitled to see her how they do. She has done something pretty horrible.

AmberLeaf Sat 06-Oct-12 09:57:25

The trailertrash comments are out of order.

Someone wrote about the grandmother allegedly going off with a rental car etc, is there proof of that? because the Mothers allegations are not being believed here as there is no evidence so why believe stories that paint the grandmother in a bad light?

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 10:00:09

Just because there isn't enough evidence the father was abusive doesn't make it untrue

true, of course. But we need to remember that the mother has told NOTHING but lies before she even left Italy. She deceived the dad into signing passport forms for what he thought was a holiday.

She lied to the Embassy saying the dad knew she was relocating.

We can't be expected, really, to believe much of what she says.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 10:01:47

No matter what the reasons, i don't believe a woman would go into 'hiding' with their kids unless there is a good reason

She went into hiding after the judge granted the return order. Because she didn't want to return them. Also the fear that she would go to prison, so she wasn't really acting in the best interests of her children a lot of the time.

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 10:03:10

I take back the trailer trash comment but do admit to sleuthing on the net (thought i did a good job too) and obsessing too much on this story. My main lesson from yesterday was that Google translate is only so-so for reading Italian news on line...

needanswers Sat 06-Oct-12 10:11:26

I guess my view is coloured, but DHs ex has spent 9 years of her childrens lives trying to turn them against their father, for no reason other than he dared to leave her.

She has totally destroyed their emotional well being and turned her middle child into a child abusing bully.

I can fully believe women (and men its just this thread is about a woman) use their children as pawns and do not care about the impact of their behaviour on their children, because I have seen it with my own eyes.

Well DHs ex has got what she wanted now, all 3 children with no father, one lied to police and social services to protect the other, one has been on trial for paedophilia and the other one wouldn't know the truth if it came and smacked her in the face, because her and her mother have been so busy rewriting history.

Was getting what she wanted worth the cost to the children, personally, I very much doubt it, but I guess she probably thinks it was because in her eyes, she has "won".

Me, I think she has lost, because while our lives are full of pain, they are also full of the truth and I think knowing you have lied and lied must eat away at you from the inside out.

niceguy2 Sat 06-Oct-12 10:13:26

I was about to come on and support Linerunners stance that it seemed grossly inappropriate for the police to be armed in these circumstances.

Again I think you are applying UK standards to something which happened in Australia. A country where police are all armed. As they are in Italy too.

Police having guns are the norm in virtually all countries. I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill on this point.

Just because there isn't enough evidence the father was abusive doesn't make it untrue

It doesn't make it true either.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 10:16:43

sara, they are always armed though.

In Australia, police are armed while going about their duty. Therefore, while carrying out this particular duty, they were armed.

Let's drop the whole 'the police were armed' thing now please. It is a red herring. Because it means NOTHING!


differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 10:21:39

Redsilk, I don't think you have to worry. It is no different to all the sleuthing that others do regarding current affairs!

I am interested in this for various reasons. I am not talking on fb about it among friends, as they are all blindly taking mums side with bare facts, without doing any digging.

Also, my friends ex has kept their children after a visit & refuses to give them back, she is beside herself, thankfully they are both in Australia, so her journey, I hope will be easier.

LtEveDallas Sat 06-Oct-12 11:09:48

Actually Niceguy, I'd appreciate it if you would re-read my posts. I haven't supported the mother once, neither have I supported the father. I don't care about either of them. Your hyperbole regarding what I have supposedly said is ridiculous. I have posted my experience of small villages in Italy, yes, but I have also stated that I do NOT know where these children are going to, just that some villages aren't very nice. I also quantified that with the statement that it was my experience in 1990 - and that I haven't been back since.

I am concerned for the children. You will never persuade me that dragging children kicking and screaming and crying for their mother onto a plane was the rigt thing to do and won't have damaged them. That is my concern.

I don't need to dig into the depths of the Internet determined to find stories to discredit the mother - my ' evidence' is that the children were upset and that is plain to see.

God, I really should have hidden this thread. Poor bloody kids.

needanswers Sat 06-Oct-12 11:16:02

yes that I agree with poor kids

AmberLeaf Sat 06-Oct-12 11:24:57

Yes thst is the crux of it really, regardless of the ins and outs of the parents stories, those children should not have been treated the way they were during their removal from australia.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 06-Oct-12 11:40:17

How would you have delt with it?

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 12:03:43

The crux of it is, that NONE of that would have happened if 1] the mother didn't create a web of lies to abduct them in the first place & 2] she hadn't ignored the return order & gone into hiding.

TheTermagantToaster Sat 06-Oct-12 12:06:54

My first thought was that it's terrible that the kids should have been left in Australia, as they wanted.

But then I started to imagine how I would feel and what lengths I would go to if my DH decided to try this with our kids (and his country are not currently even signatories to the Hague Convention) - well, I would be devastated. Desperate. I would go to any lengths. If it took two years and they had been turned against me by the time I got them back - I would still do it. Because I would never stop loving them. Possibly selfish, but nowhere near as selfish as child abduction.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 06-Oct-12 12:16:58

No the kids shouldn't have been dragged to the aircraft by the police. But what other option was there?

Ignore the law because the kids were upset? There is a no other way to do this.

What should have happened is that the mother should have taken them back with her.

The method of removal is not the fault of the police, but the fault of the mother.

charlottehere Sat 06-Oct-12 12:17:54

She kidnapped the children,no? Sue caused this. hmm

charlottehere Sat 06-Oct-12 12:18:25

Sue, she.

SaraBellumHertz Sat 06-Oct-12 12:20:13

I also live in a country where police are routinely armed.

I understand that the police are ordinarily armed in Australia.

That does not negate the argument that there are some circumstances where exceptions should be made and dealing with young vulnerable children who are frightened is one of those situations where, IMO, the guns should have been dispensed with.

However, since the maternal grandmother is clearly quite mad and possibly dangerous I can quite understand why any available discretion was not exercised

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 12:45:30

You can't ignore the law because children have tantrums.

I sometimes have to force DS2 bodily into his carseat, he will kick and scream and shout No. But into the carseat he goes because it is what is best for him and it is the law whether he likes it or not.

The parents had the ability to make this less distressing they chose not to.

AmberLeaf Sat 06-Oct-12 12:51:24

Tantrums? at 15 years of age?

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 13:03:09

Has anyone considered that perhaps they didn't have time to disarm? Not that I believe they should have, because I don't! People here know that you need/cross/call the police, they turn up armed.

Once again, it is a red herring. It needs to be dropped because people are using it to make it seem like the Aus authorities are bullies because the police took guns. And in fact, it was the Australia Federal Police, not the state police. So they are even less likely to disarm.

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 13:08:26

Haven't met many 15 year olds?

I was a melodramatic PITA at that age, I can remember screeching at my mother that I hated her and was leaving home. She told me that was probably for the best and I should do so now, while I still knew everything.

Seen the thread on Parenting where posters are comparing teenagers and toddlers?

The girls did not want to go, and they were making it as difficult as possible, fair enough. But Australia cannot ignore the law because they don't like it. We just can't, because it is a much bigger issue than what 4 people want.

If the judge believed they were in danger in Italy then the judgment would have been different, of this I am sure, there was no indication of that though so the law was enforced. I agree with the Hague Convention, we signed it, we can't just decide to ignore it because someone is upset.

They are children and they acted like children. Their Mum had the power to make this a much easier ride.

AmberLeaf Sat 06-Oct-12 13:20:03

I have a 15 year old.

Toddlers tend to tantrum due to frustration and inability to express their wants [and cutted up pears] but I think if a 15 year old reacts in that way they certainly know their own mind.

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 13:30:21

So you think a 15 year old should have complete say over their own lives?

If so what was the UK's problem with the kid whose teacher took her off to France? Should they not have just been left to it?

I want Australia to reach out and pull back any children unlawfully abducted from here, so I agree with that very same law being enforced in this situation.

A 15 year old is a child under this law, she doesn't get to decide, the adults do. The adults in her life have fucked up, no question but we can't just ignore something we signed based on one child's feelings.

If she were in danger I would be right with you, but she isn't, she just doesn't want to.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 13:41:03

The "UK's problem" with the Megan Stammers case was was that her teacher broke a very specific UK law about relationships with pupils under the age of 18.

I think she was spoken to in Fance for some days, her family were flown out, and she was gently persuaded to return home with them.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 13:42:20

There are ways and means, you know. I always prefer the kindest, least physical, least violent option.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 13:43:01

Amberleaf, they will be heard. But they need to be in Italy & it is there that the decision will be made. They can't be heard over here. Beside which, the mother took them ILLEGALLY!

The girls were happy to go home a year ago, when interviewed before the order was granted. Once the order was granted, their mother took them into hiding & manipulated them so much that now they don't want to go.

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 13:44:42

As I said yesterday, the older girls have been programmed by mom and her family to throw more tantrums when they arrive. I will bet good money.
Question is how sensitive the press will be to the difficult challenge the dad now faces with his older daughters on a mission to destroy things.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 13:45:11

Linerunner, that was tried. You think that the AFP LIKED what they had to do? Do you think that they decided to forcibly remove those children? You think they enjoyed it?

It would all have been unnecessary if mum had done what she was told a yr ago & got them (and herself) on a plane.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 06-Oct-12 13:46:33

do those that believe a 15 year old wishes should be heard believe that the views of a 13 year old should be heard?

Because the mother didn't afford her the same option when she abducted her.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 13:48:24

When I was 14, if you have tried to take me from my mother I would have what these girls did.

Because I loved my mum & my dad was abusive. He was a lair, his whole family hated us. His new wife was a child beater.

Only none of that was true. My mother lied. She manipulated me to hate my father. It happens.

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 13:48:43

What, like what had been tried for 2 years?

So it is ok to enforce that specific UK law but Australia is not supposed to enforce its laws because it got messy?

If Megan had kicked and screamed and begged to be kept with her teacher would it have been OK to do so?

If my children are ever abducted from Australia I don't want there to be precedent for that country to tell us to get knotted. Even if my children behave like disturbed children.

We agreed to the law and have enforced the law.

I have sympathy for the children, it should never have come to this.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 13:49:49

BoneyBackJefferson Exactly.

differentnameforthis Sat 06-Oct-12 13:51:48

The "UK's problem" with the Megan Stammers case was was that her teacher broke a very specific UK law about relationships with pupils under the age of 18

Fair enough. But in this case, the mum broke a very specific universal law that YOU DO NOT ABDUCT CHILDREN.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 06-Oct-12 13:52:32


"There are ways and means, you know. I always prefer the kindest, least physical, least violent option."

the last time these where tried the mother took them in to hiding, So how would you have dealt with it?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 14:11:21

Are the Australian police not looking into the very specific issue of the force used on the girls and whether it was proportionate? I expect if there are any 'lessons learned' they will come out through that reflective process.

If the way the police performed turns out to be the only possible way to have handled placing four girls on a plane flight, ever, then I'm sure that that will be also be highlighted.

scottishmummy France Sat 06-Oct-12 18:41:22

the mother broke the law,she abducted the girls.
law must be upheld for other parents, can't pick and chose
if a father abducted kids would folk say ach theyre settled leave em be. no they wouldn't

saffronwblue Sat 06-Oct-12 22:46:36

The mother's family have been playing to the media the whole time. The judge commented that a relative had said to the girls " This will look good on the news!" at one point. I think the whole two years has ben very damaging to the girls and the responsibility for this lies with the mother.

adogforever Sat 06-Oct-12 22:50:08


9 news the 4 girls beg the reporter to take then home to Australia while the father Tommaso Vincenti drags the one of his daughters in a very rough drag behind the gates of the villa the other hanged on to the gate for a hour until the police came, as usual his mother the nunna was involved.
There is something very wrong in this case that they want their mother and I feel in the end they will be destroyed.

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 22:53:05

Shrug, the mother is free to lodge a complaint against the AFP.

I, and every other Australian I have chatted to about this think that the AFP were not at fault here so I doubt there will be much public pressure for them to 'reflect'.

difficultpickle Sat 06-Oct-12 23:06:57

I find it extremely odd indeed that the father has separated the older and younger children. How is that supposed to help them adjust to being back in Italy?

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:10:34

I just watched that news report, adogforever.

Awful. More dragging, more force, more police, more pain.

scottishmummy France Sat 06-Oct-12 23:13:42

if police were recovering children from a father overseas to return to uk
would the mn opinion be no.leave them be
the law needs to be upheld and enforced.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:15:47

Couldn't care less who is male or female in this.
Those girls are being treated like shit.
They have rights too.

difficultpickle Sat 06-Oct-12 23:16:45

I would be saying the same if it were the mother. Separating siblings is completely wrong imho.

scottishmummy France Sat 06-Oct-12 23:18:55

the father had rights.the mum breached his rights
there are global legal principles to be upheld here
is shame became such a bunfight

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 23:21:18

Yes, they have the right for the family court to hear their case and make a decision.

I hope the Italian courts expedite this as much as possible so it can be sorted out.

If I were the mother in this case I would be ensuring good legal representation and applying as much pressure as possible to get this heard NOW.

LineRunner Sat 06-Oct-12 23:21:26

The rights of the girls are the only thing I have discussed on here since yesterday.

difficultpickle Sat 06-Oct-12 23:23:01

I would have thought that the girls have the right to be together. I am surprised that the court order didn't stipulate that.

Morloth Sat 06-Oct-12 23:27:15

If he is breaching orders then he needs his arse kicked as well.

They should all get to make their submissions (including the children), all the evidence be presented and then an impartial ruling needs to be made as to what is best for the kids.

Clearly their parents are incapable of this sort it should be taken out of their hands.

adogforever Sat 06-Oct-12 23:28:13

One wonders are the 4 daughters needs looked after? what do they want or where they live and it seem they want their mother and Australia, he said in Australia they could have contact with their mother and on this news report the daughter cry they are not allowed to talk to their mother not even a phone call to settle them down and adjust, a lot of talk about Laura Garrett and her original family has no bearing on her what her or her children , this is about the parents of these 4 daughters and their happiness, so please no more talk of white trash and the like which I feel is degrading to the family and these girls.

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 23:44:23

adogforever, I just watched the video and it's exactly what I said would happen yesterday and again today. The older girls have been programmed by mum to bring hate and problems. The dad will have his hands full. But they'll get over it.

Leave it to an idiot Australian reporter to invade such a private and delicate moment. She ought to be in jail.

Again, I've said here repeatedly that the older girls were poisoned against the dad and they were coming to bring trouble. I'm sorry to have been shown to be right.

I've also said mum is a liar about not coming to Italy.

Redsilk Sat 06-Oct-12 23:49:29

The girls are 14 and 15. My guess is that they want their friends (and boyfriends) more than anything else. That's their age.

This also shows the girls are not being kept by the Italian authorities, as was suggested yesterday. But if they keep up this behaviour, they soon will be.

The girls have not lived in Italy for 2 years. Give the dad a chance to deal with the challenge he's facing. Not an easy one for any parent.

adogforever Sat 06-Oct-12 23:54:29


It has been reported in Italy the mother could be charged so this shoots your idea down

Morloth Sun 07-Oct-12 00:00:32

She doesn't need to physically be there to fight for custody.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:08:52

Oh dear. The officials in Florence won't rule out prosecuting the mother.

needanswers Sun 07-Oct-12 00:14:24

I dont see anything in the most recent linked article that suggests anything other than a family who want to heal.

The family have made it clear they dont want to prosecute.

The Australian authorities separated the children not the father.

He is right, all the media at their gate wont be helping them at all, so what if the grandmother is there, so she should be, med families hold family and extended family veyr dear, which makes it all the more wrong she spirited the girls away from everything they knew in the first place.

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 00:16:04

adogforever, I'll bet you a good Italian dinner that the mum does go to Italy and that she doesn't get arrested. If i lose, my skill is limited to a mean spaghetti Alfredo, which I've been told is not Italian. So we'll have to go out.

If these were my children, not even the risk of a life sentence would stop me from going. And I really don't think a prosecutor will waste time pursuing charges without a complainant.

Also if these were my children, I'd be getting short on patience with the behaviour of these older two.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 00:16:32

It would help if the Italian authorities would rule out prosecution. What a slap in the face for the Australian judge.

adogforever Sun 07-Oct-12 00:23:01

redsilk have to ever lived in Italy? or been married to a Italian?

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 00:24:10

If my teenage daughter were suddenly whisked away to live with dh's family in another country, she would yell and kick and scream.

But not because she misses me. Alas, those years are gone.

No, she'd want her friends and especially her boyfriend.


The price of being a mum is that your children take you for granted by this age.

adogforever Sun 07-Oct-12 00:25:47

redsilk that may relate to your daughter but not everyones daughter is like yours

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 00:26:16

Adogforever, I've visited and am certainly open to the idea! Why? got any suggestions for me?

adogforever Sun 07-Oct-12 00:29:45

The more these girls are bounced around by the father and his family and the reporting to the news about their mother they will only make them stand up and fight for what they want, and if they come down heavy on them they will run away. fact

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 00:31:16

No, I suppose not. But I've always felt that the expression that says it all is the one that having children is to forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. So I suck it up and don't complain. I know I'm loved. And, more important, I know that my love is felt. And that's all that matters.

14 is a rough age for any girl. Lets not forget that.

adogforever Sun 07-Oct-12 00:32:06

redsilk just step back and take a breath you may see things different.

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 00:35:33

Adogforever, agree fully with your last comment. These will be challenging weeks to come.

When my family lived through a similar situation, it took a few months for the children to restore the normal attachments they previously had. But then it all passed.

My advice to the dad is to show the girls he won't prevent contact with their mum and that he does not speak ill off her to them despite any anger he may feel.

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 00:36:55

Adogforever, the comment I agreed with was not the one about breathing. I do ok in oxygen intake. But thanks for the concern.

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Oct-12 03:37:45

Just watched that video.

I really hope all of you who are blaming the Mum and who think the girls are only reacting like that because they have been manipulated by her are right, because the alternative interpretation of the girls behavior in that video is awful.

Mosman Sun 07-Oct-12 04:02:08

This actually makes me laugh because when I wanted my Australian ex to pay half towards his daughters school fees I was told the British courts had no durestriction so even if I won at great expense they couldn't enforce the order. Apparently that doesn't work both ways, cannot wait until my girl turns 18.

Morloth Sun 07-Oct-12 06:14:41

The children were removed from Australia in accordance with the Hague Convention Mosman, unless your ex abducted your daughter and ran to Australia with her, then there is no parallel at all.

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 07:21:17

If you have custody and your ex doesn't appear and oppose your demand, you should be able to get an order and then go about having it recognized in Australia.
In your shoes I would talk to an Australian lawyer first to see what you need to enforce against your ex.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 08:01:52

*like the younger girls, the older girls arrived in Italy without incident.
They were calm upon arrival at their home and tired after a long flight.
It was later discovered that they had a mobile phone & communicated with someone, who surely advised them that Australian media was coming to the Villa. Upon hearing that the media was at the gates of their home, they made a scene in front of the cameras. In trying to protect his daughters, the father was attacked by six of the Australian media at his property. The father was kicked - which resulted in an injury to his leg and a dislocated, possibly broken finger. He required medical attention at the hospital. The fathers address was not publically known, and not provided to the media by any of the Italian family or friends. The father and the family understand that it will require patience to re-establish the harmony the girls once experienced in Italy, and reverse the painful stresses they have endured in the last two years. Unfortunately, the children have been subjected to media attention since their arrival in Australia. Now they have returned to Italy, in the care of their father, we ask the media to please leave these children alone so that they can resume a normal life. The actions of The Courier Mail & Channel Nine have been particularly invasive*

Once a gain, clever editing by the media to make dad look bad. And of course the girls are fighting out, they have been brainwashed to hate their father & his family.

Tell me, it is a good idea for the press to behave like this??? To whip the girls into a frenzy & then attack the father?

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 08:04:26


It has been in the open all along that the father dropped HIS charges against her, but there was no guarantee that this would hold true, because apparently the authorities can decide to press charges anyway.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 08:07:28

The woman in that news report should be shot. You can see it in her face, she is almost fucking gleeful at what happened! She riled the girls up...well done. I hope she sleeps well tonight.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 08:09:06

Oh & no one was being dragged in that video. Yes, they were being taken out of the media spotlight, but I certainly wouldn't call it dragging!

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 08:30:34

What that mother did is absiolutely disgusting. She took 4 children away from their father 2 years ago for a month's holiday. She lied, She kept them there. Imagine if he had taken them away like that against the law to another continent! It is absolutely imperative we support the Hague Convention (which says you cannto just remove children to another country). By all means apply to court for permissino to move them if the other parent does not agree and then the court will decide what is best but you nwever never ever steal chidlren like this from a parent and the more mothers and fathers know that there are severe consequences for it the better.

Fishwife1949 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:58:26

I heard oz is very strict on these things favors joint custody

Heard from people whom have emigrated and had o stay as the courts would not let them bring there children bak to the uk

Hes is most likey a shit even more reason why she whould have done things right

Fishwife1949 Sun 07-Oct-12 10:00:11

I heard oz is very strict on these things favors joint custody

Heard from people whom have emigrated and had o stay as the courts would not let them bring there children bak to the uk

Hes is most likey a shit even more reason why she whould have done things right

Mosman Sun 07-Oct-12 11:06:28

Which is exactly why I find this so odd the children are as Australian as they are Italian

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 11:11:29

differentname, where did you get this, a press release from the italian family?

I've thought the Oz reporting was disgusting and exploitative in the last weeks and completely indifferent to what the children are really experiencing. What a bunch of thuggish child a users these reporters are. I hope they get arrested.

Seriously, what's the dad supposed to do with his daughter hanging on a gate shouting hysterically at the media? "Go ahead dear, if it makes you feel better." My dad would have hauled my arse into the house and made me regret acting that way in public.

Redsilk Sun 07-Oct-12 11:49:01

This is all playing pit faster than I had predicted. Next move will be Lying Mum's announcement (expect it within days) that she's going to Italy after all.

Only her daughters were gullible enough to believe her.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 12:03:52

How are they as much Australian as Italian? They were all born in Italy, the oldest one spend 13 years of her life in Italy, only two years in Aus [baffled].

It seems to me the mother is still winding them up, trying her best to undermine the father from thousands of miles away.

And the press should be ashamed of themselves - as per bloody usual hmm

Mosman Sun 07-Oct-12 12:14:55

My understanding is once they are in Australia they are Australian and unless both parents agree to them leaving then they can't. I guess the issue is that both parents didn't agree to them entering Australia in the first place and how she managed that I don't know, the hoops I had to jump through to get mine in with their father.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 07-Oct-12 13:55:45

Are those that are supporting the right for the children to stay with the mother not wondering why it was only an Austrailian news crew outside of the fathers house?

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 14:07:27

Which is exactly why I find this so odd the children are as Australian as they are Italian

You have to remember that they have spent all aside from 2 yrs in Italy. So subtracting 2yr from their ages, 7 -13 yrs spent in Italy. I would say they are actually more Italian, than Australian. They are pretty much only Australian by descent. I know that that means they are Australian, but really, culturally, they aren't. They couldn't even speak a word of English when they left Italy.

Like my 9yr, been here since she was 3. Speaks with a accent, have Australian phrases, calls things by their Aus name. Even tho we aren't Australian, she is now culturally more Aus than she is British. She has all but the vaguest of memories of the UK. My 4yr old. Born here, is Australian. More Australian than she is British, despite her British heritage.

Redsilk Hidden sisters fb page.

I am also dismayed that the Australian family have set up a fb page asking for $$ to enable the girls to be bought back here. People ARE donating, but they are being conned. Mum will never get permission to keep the girls here now, no judge in the land would grant her that after the way she has played this all out. So those donating are wasting their money!

Only her daughters were gullible enough to believe her Unfortunately not! One of my friends is wholly on her side. Shouting down anyone who dares to say that the mother did anything wrong.

Mosman, she lied to the embassy. She told she had permission from their father to live here. She conned them so much that they even paid for airline tickets & gave her $$ for when she got here. They are secretly rescheduled her flights to help her "escape" earlier, as she said she feared the father would cause trouble at the airport.

All this time the father was under the belief that it was to be a short holiday. He had already said that he didn't approve of them living here, so in pretence she dropped that & took her time to persuade him to sign passport forms, saying that she would just have a holiday instead!

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 14:12:11

BoneyBackJefferson Of course they aren't. smile Anything that comes from the Australian side (press, family etc) is not to be questioned.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 14:26:02

Someone mentioned about the father having split the older & younger children. I have read that the reason for this is because the younger two are calm & seem happy to be there & the older 2, not. So for the sake of the younger two he decided that they should stay close by, with close family while the elder two clam down & adjust.

I don't see anything wrong with that at all. Why have 4 traumatised children?


differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 14:27:26

*calm, not clam. Fat fingers smile

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 14:31:32

It's disgusting.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 14:35:15

What is disgusting, Goldship? Taking four children away from their father and the only home they have known, hiding them in another country, and telling them loads of lies?

That seems pretty disgusting to me.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 14:36:00

It's disgusting. They're 6 years younger than me. I think some people on here have forgotten what it's like to be 16. Imagine being taken away from your HOME and your MOTHER to a completely different country. I'd kick and scream and fight ANYONE who tried to do that.

This should be about law, this should be about what's best for those girls and this hasn't been handled right at all. It's barbaric.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 14:37:06

Maryzed - I don't really care about what happened before. I care about what those girls are going through now.

Does anyone know why the mother ran anyway?

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 14:37:29

It's a legal issue., Most civilised countries have agreed the Hague Convention against child stealing by a parent which means if you want to move your children away from their other parent you need court permission. It is a very serious matter if you breach that. Apparently here mother pretended she was taking them to Australia for one month and then never sent them back! No one should behave like that.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 14:38:40

Xenia you're completely right she shouldn't have done it, but what's done is actually done and whereas the mother should face some sort of punishment, the girls shouldn't.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 14:39:54

Well you should care about what happened before.

Their mother took them away from their HOME and their FATHER to a completely different country. Would you have cared about them two years ago, or is it only now you care about them?

If your ex took your children thousands of miles away and hid them so you couldn't see them, would you fight to get them back? Or would you say "oh, well, they are happy there, I'll leave them to it?"

This has wider connotations for the thousands of children who are taken from their homes and their parents every year and taken to another country. The law is that they should return to their HOME country, and that the courts in their HOME country should determine what is best for them.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 14:40:34

"What's done is done" - would that be your opinion is your children were taken?

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 14:43:41

This is the problem - if one parent breaches the law as they do every day of the week in not letting a child back with the other parent not not allowing any contact ever, then a status quo emerges where the child is bonded with that parent and parents (wrongly) exploit that all the time and of course courts are left to decide do I change that status quo. That is why we need these proceedings to be much much faster and ensure there is no chance for the child to get used to never staying with daddy half the week or never seeing him or staying with mummy abroad when she stole the children in breach of the law.

Now we are where we are I really don't think we can give in all the time to parents who steal their children abroad. That is why so many nations signed this Hague Convention - it is very clear and very very fair and I wish mroe nations stuck to it (one poor parent has children in Japan they can never see - they wrote about it earlier this year because Japan does not enforce the convention - the children are British and were born here).

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Sun 07-Oct-12 14:44:37

Sounds pretty horrible and very likely to me. We don't know where in Italy the father is from. Having spent some time travelling there I can see how this would happen - some of the villages are extremely insular, and horribly backwards to western standards (think women being possessions of men, grandmothers/mothers running the families and DILs being expected to wait on their MILs hand and foot). Remember abuse doesn't have to mean physical beatings etc and the law courts are full of older, more 'traditional' men. If it is one of those type of villages that the girls are going to they are going to be treated as second class citizens from the word go.

Eve you are bang on the money. Half my family is Italian as is my mother.
Ive been talking about it on the JS threads.
If GOD FORBID anything bad happens to those girls in Italy they will be blamed for it. Victim blaming and woman blaming is rife.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 07-Oct-12 14:44:52


If the mother had done what was right two years ago the girls would not be suffering now.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 14:46:28

If it were my children I wouldn't want them to have to be dragged to me kicking screaming and crying. Of course I'd want them back, but I wouldn't put them through that distress. I'm sure any unselfish mother would be the same. I would want to uproot them. I'd have to find a different way. Maybe even moving to them.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 14:47:11


Have you read this thread? They were taken away from their entire lives 2 yrs ago. Taken away from friends, family, their home.

That is what is barbaric. She snatched 4 non English speaking children away from a happy life (that they have professed to miss & love) and she has kept them in the media spotlight for TWO years. Winding then so tightly that they have acted exactly how she wanted.

Don't tell me that what the AFP did was unfair & barbaric, because, not to sound too juvenile, the mother started it!

You can't tell me that what happened this week was barbaric, but what happened 2yr ago was not.

The girls didn't even know they were going to leave, they also thought they were having a holiday. They didn't get to say goodbye to friends & family in Italy. They didn't get a choice then. They didn't get asked if they wanted this played out by the media.

How can you say that don't care about what happened before? You simply cannot say that, because to be able to decide what you feel about it now, you need to read all teh facts.

The fact is, is that NONE of this would be happening if mum didn't kidnap them in the first place.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 14:47:15

boneyback does anyone know what she was running from? I think until we know that it's not fair to condemn this woman.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 14:48:30

How can you say that don't care about what happened before? You simply cannot say that, because to be able to decide what you feel about it now, you need to read all teh facts.

Because I'm more concerned about what the girls are going through now rather than legalities.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 07-Oct-12 14:51:54


Do you know if she was running from anything?

One year ago all of the children where happy to back to Italy, now they are not.
The two younger children are happy to be home with their father the older two are not.
The mother has lied from the beginning, the father has done everything in law to get them back.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 14:59:46

Gold, before she left with the girls she told the father that she wanted them all (sans him) to relocate to Australia. That she no longer wanted to live there. He refused to give permission for the girls to relocate & refused to sign passport forms as he was worried she would do exactly what she did.

It is worth nothing that at the time they had joint custody of the girls, (father having them weekends & one night a week) with no perceived issues. No allegations of abuse of any kind.

Over time (and I have read this in an interview by her) she worked on him to get him to sign the forms, promising that she would take them on holiday & be back in a month. He finally gave in, she told the Embassy in Italy that he gave his permission for them to live here. Telling the girls (rather telling I think) that they were going on holiday. The Embassy arranged flights, money etc to help her relocate.

She lied to the Embassy. She lied to her children. She lied to their father.

You cannot say that you don't care about that, only that you care about what is happening now, because what is happening now is a result of what happened then.

Mosman Sun 07-Oct-12 15:00:30

Unless you've been in a family court where everything you say is interpretted as lies by the other side it's really really hard to know how you would behave under the circumstances. Yes the father has legally done everything right, doesn't mean he is at all.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 15:02:14

It is worth noting

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 07-Oct-12 15:10:10

Mosman, there is nothing to say that he has done anything wrong either. Where as the mothers lies and actions are documented.

Mosman Sun 07-Oct-12 15:27:14

These things are never black and white, I was made out to be a liar, I wasn't, the court told I'd acted in my own self interest, it wasn't. All down to who's barrister has the loudest voice at the end of the day. The children don't come into it.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 15:29:57

you cannot say you don't care about that

Well actually, without meaning to be rude, I can. I have the girls feelings in mind, no-one else's. No matter what laws have been broken before and which parent was in the right, they are the ones suffering now and their feelings should be taken into account.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 15:44:11

Having the girls' feelings in mind is great, Gold. But what about their feelings of 2yr ago? Do they suddenly not matter? How must they have felt to be forced into staying here? Not seeing their father? Being ripped away from their entire lives? Suddenly thrown into a new life of running, hiding, lawyers, psychs, court reps, media circus, all as unwilling participants!

If you do, as you say, have their feelings in mind, it needs to be all of their feelings in the entirety, from the absolute beginning of this whole sorry saga! Not just because they have been sent home.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 15:46:19

Mosman, but the mum here has clearly lied. So it isn't about who is the loudest at all.

niceguy2 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:47:13

Goldship. You might not care about that but the rest of us do.

What she did was wrong. The law was clear. The lies are documented. To allow her to get away with this not only is in effect allowing her to get away with a very serious crime. It also puts in danger thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of children all over the world whose parents have dual nationality and could relocate kids just like she has.

In short many women are sleeping safer tonight because of the Hague convention. There is a bigger picture here. The mum broke the law in a calculated and manipulative fashion. The fact you seemingly don't care about any of these things just shows me how blinkered you are to the facts rather than the rhetoric.

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 15:50:48

Nice guy - the rest of you might but I'm not arguing with you and trying to change your opinion am I? So let me have my comment and you can have yours.

nkf Sun 07-Oct-12 15:53:59

The mother was wrong. Entirely wrong to take the kids away. She is the creator of any trauma the children have been subjected to.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 16:03:53


They live in Florence.

LineRunner Sun 07-Oct-12 16:06:31

The police and other agencies do have rules, irrespective of the 'cause' of any domestic situation.

differentnameforthis Sun 07-Oct-12 16:10:19

Not sure I follow, Line!

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 16:11:50

The law has to be strict otherwise other parents are incentivised to break it. There are few international abductions. A much more common issue is mother refuses father ever to see children are a divorce/separation. The courts do not act for 6 months because it takes ages to get reports. By that time children hate father and refuse to see him. Court experts say child does not want to see father end of story. It's very very unjust.

If we could get these cases before a court within 7 days of the mother refusing the contact visit we would have a much fairer situation without this terrible dilemma of children bonded to parent they live with due to lapse of time.

We all probably remember the English lady whose children were taken to Germany by their father (Germany is another bad one in not enforcing this convention very well - you can almost make a list of men never to marry from these countries as you might lose your chidlren and Muslim states). They then learned of course only German and in due course, years never wanted to see their mother. She married the British ambassador to the US but I don't think she reall even now the chidlren are adult will quite have got them "back" emotionally.

I suppose the moral is never marry a foreigner as you might lose your children.

niceguy2 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:13:47

Goldship. Of course you are entitled to your own opinion. And I am a firm believer of free speech. You comment away. I'm not trying to deny you your opinion. Just merely point out why I think your opinion is wrong.

You are more than welcome to do the same for mine. That's when it becomes a debate.

LtEveDallas Sun 07-Oct-12 19:21:36

Niceguy, as a matter of interest, did you re-read my posts?

VivaLeBeaver Sun 07-Oct-12 19:32:20

It's such an awful situation. Part of me thinks the wishes of the children should be put first as I always thought that children's interests should come before the adults. But if they've been brain washed then that's so unfair on the father. But then isn't it better that something is unfair for the father than for the children?

Then I know if I was in the fathers position I probably wouldn't think that. I'd want them back and just hope that I could somehow undo the brainwashing and rebuild a relationship.

Poor, poor kids.

needanswers Sun 07-Oct-12 19:41:36

I'm with Xenia - system here is shockingly bad for everyOne, children mothers and fathers, its too long, drawn out and adversarial.

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Oct-12 19:42:30


does anyone know what she was running from? I think until we know that it's not fair to condemn this woman

She alleges abuse/violence to both her and the children.

niceguy2 Sun 07-Oct-12 19:51:38

@LtEve. Sorry been away for the weekend and things had moved on. I've just looked at your last reply.

I think the point I'm trying to make overall is that the law is the law. It's clear and in this case unambiguous. Yes the kids were upset but that was entirely the fault of the mother. She put the court in an impossible situation. I'm sure the police didn't like their job much that day but they had to do it.

Like I've said repeatedly. You can't let this mum get away with clearly lying and intentionally breaking the law just because her kids are upset. Otherwise where do you draw the line for everyone else? What about all the other parents who then think "Oh well if she can kidnap her kids...so can I!"

I'm sorry the kids are upset. Really I am. But she had it within her power for the last two years and repeated opportunities to avoid this confrontation. She decided not to.

The emotional trauma inflicted on those kids are of her making. Not the courts, not the police. Whether or not the police should have been armed or not is a side issue and a minor point.

Nobody wanted this situation except mum. She got what she wanted. A scene.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 19:53:10

People keep mentioning abuse.

But as far as I can see, she never even alleged any abuse until after she had got to Australia.

And there is no doubt that the mother and her family have been emotionally abusive, but there seems no proof that the father has done anything other than follow the correct legal steps and try to keep in contact with his children.

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Oct-12 19:58:43

But what about the issue at the embassy when she was trying to leave Italy? they rescheduled her flights earlier because they feared he may turn up and create. Didn't she allege abuse then?

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 20:00:09

Up until then, they had been happily sharing custody, and at no time had she mentioned anything about abuse. Not until after she planned to take them out of the country.

It looks as though she claimed abuse when he said she couldn't take them abroad to live.

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Oct-12 20:02:38

From what I've read they hadn't been happily sharing custody though.

Re the abuse, broken bones [the childrens] were mentioned.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 20:08:03

Where did you read that?

giveitago Sun 07-Oct-12 20:10:48

The girls will have been back in Italy for a few days now. Is there any word on how they are or has the media chase just ceased?

We live in an increasingly global society and the dynamics of dual national families are complex when when break down. Certainly if I had kids overseas with a national of the country and the relationship broke down I would be tempted to return to my country but what does that mean for the kids?Who knows - I certainly don't.

Why didn't these girls want to go 'back' to italy - is it because they didn't want to be seperated from their mother or is it because of something else (eg they prefer the country they are in now, or they have been 'brainwashed').

giveitago Sun 07-Oct-12 20:11:43

Oh just seen a news report - it seems the mother can go to italy as the only way she can be with her children. Is that right?

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 20:17:01

The mother could always go to Italy. She just didn't want to, which is understandable. But you can't take your children away from their home, their other parent and their whole life just because you don't want to live there. It is (quite rightly) against the law.

She told the children she couldn't go with them, firstly because she wasn't allowed, and then she told them she would be put in jail. Then their granny told them she would kill herself if they went back to Italy.

No wonder the poor kids are upset angry

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Oct-12 20:19:28

Mary I can't remember where I read that, I will try to find it though if its still in my search history.

giveitago Sun 07-Oct-12 20:21:53

But I don't think this is the whole story. She is considered a criminal in Italy I guess but she's also possibly considered a criminal in australia because althought the kids have dual nationality they are Italian residents.

It must be hard. Hearing the voices of the children they are certainly OK in autralia in terms of their language skills as italian born youngsters.

Oh who knows - it's so hard for all of them.

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 20:23:48

Yesm, she could move to Italy. I remember talking to a man whose wife said - I am moving back to Australia (this was this year) and I am taking the 2 children (school age - son just won place at leading boys' school in London). Either you come or I take them. This man let her take them. I said to him if my partner did that even ifh e mvoed them to Saudi I would take a tent and camp in the desert right near them. He said back to me that he was too selfish although he will miss them and have them back here every summer. It is a real issue. It may sound racist but it is true - if you avoid marrying a foreigner there is much much less risk. She might move them to her mother's in Scunthorpe but it'#s not quite as expensive to visit them there.

The speed issue - well the Hague Convention is very important and we must respect it even if children have got used to an illegal means of living with a parent who has kidnapped/stolen them without court consent and even if the chidlren want otherwise otherwise we are sending out a message to all fathers and motehrs - take child abroad and bond with it and then you keep it.

What I would really like is contact decisions in 7 days. If you can save a British bank with teams of lawyers working 24 hour shifts in a weekend you can open a court at mid night on Friday night to deal with contact disputes, you can get each side's psychological expert to write a report in 2 days. Things do not have to take the 4 months social workers and CAFCASS and other low paid low grade state workers take. I think we need much much much shorter time limits on child contact issues.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 20:29:17

It could be even simpler than that Xenia.

In cases where children have been moved out of a country without permission of one parent, you don't need psych reports or lawyers, or appeals.

There should be an instant (next plane) return, exactly as there would be in the family had no visas. And it could be sorted out in the courts in the country of residence of the children which is what Hague was set up for.

It shouldn't have taken two years, because she should have been barred from going to court in Australia at all.

giveitago Sun 07-Oct-12 20:39:44

But we don't know what's going on. In that two years has the father who clearly loves his kids loads actually gone to see his kids or has it been just a legal case ie he's staying put and his lawyers just getting then back to him?

bruffin England Sun 07-Oct-12 21:05:11

He went out in May to bring them home. There were photos of them together on the Facebook page started by the aunt that was linked above. The fb page has now been removed.

giveitago Sun 07-Oct-12 21:09:08

This May - din't he go straight out when he realised his daughters were not coming back home?

bruffin England Sun 07-Oct-12 21:28:49

We don't know how many times he has been outbreaksand its irrelevant. It shouldn't have taken two years for him to get them back.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 21:35:02

He has been out a few times. Because he has visited them, and attended more than one court case.

It does seem the mother has refused to let him see the girls on some of the visits - but it's hard to know exactly what is happening as the media seem to have been completely blinded by the mother's story.

The only fact we know absolutely is that she broke the law by taking them in the first place, by refusing to return them at least twice and by taking them into hiding.

giveitago Sun 07-Oct-12 21:35:17

Well, if it were my kids I'd be straight over there.

Hope the girls are OK - they'll be back at school now.

Dual nationality relationships can be very hard when it comes to kids. So many posts on here when a woman can no longer stand her partner but has nothing else and no family in the UK and wants to go home with the child. You can see it from both sides.

segue Sun 07-Oct-12 22:19:17

The point is: the girls didn't want to go. They were not allowed to talk to the judge to put forward their point of view. This is just one disgusting element of this case and Australian law. They were not given a chance to speak in court. Anyone who saw last night's footage saw that they were screaming for their mother. This goes beyond "brainwashing". They simply didn't want to be there and this is what they've consistently said all along. The girls are old enough to be independent human beings with a life outside of the parents, and they were happy, well-adjusted kids, active socially and at school. They are really at an age where it is more about the community and less about the parent. They are certainly old enough to voice their preference, why wasn't this given any weight in court? I agree that the mother was wrong to take the children away in the first place, if there was no abuse. But the father certainly comes across as controlling; we just don't know the circumstances of life in Italy for the mother. But the girls are old enough to decide for themselves, and this is what very few of you are acknowledging. As far as our court was concerned they had no rights themselves. Also, the father can't guarantee that the mother won't be charged with a criminal offence in Italy. She could be arrested if she goes back. It is up to the Italian government if any charges are laid against the mother and it is likely they would be. The father knows this. The girls belong with their mother.

MaryZed Sun 07-Oct-12 22:26:00

They haven't consistently said it [baffled]

A year ago they said they loved their dad and liked living in Italy.

Letting them stay in Australia with their mum is saying to all parents "if you can take your children away from their other parent, go far enough away and hide for long enough, you can keep them".

Which is a dangerous message to send out to all the parents out there who are afraid that is what their ex-partners will do.

And how does the father come across as controlling? By wanting to live in the same country has his children?

When the case is held in Italy, the judge will take the older kids' opinions into consideration. The Australian judge can't because the case cannot be held in Australia.

Why do the girls belong with their mother and not their father?

segue Sun 07-Oct-12 22:49:01

The girls belong with their mother because that is their clear preference. Most children will naturally favour the mother over the father when push comes to shove. This is nature and has nothing to do with legalities. Yes, it is a dangerous message to send, that an abducting parent keeps the children, but none of us know what life was like for the mother in Italy. There have been claims of abuse but no-one knows how accurate this is. He comes across as controlling by direct quotes from today's Courier Mail (Queensland's main newspaper): "...he said he had not allowed the girls to talk to the mother since their return because he feared it would inflame the situation". He said to the mother "... it is impossible for you to speak to the girls. If she continues with the war and the struggles, it is not going to help anything". "My daughters think that with the Australian media near them today, the journalists will save them. But it's not the reality". You can draw your own conclusions.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sun 07-Oct-12 22:52:38

What he is saying sounds very sensible, some one needs to take the reigns here and sounds like he has done the right thing given this situation. Not in the slightest ideal, but the reality of it is that she will inflame the situation.

scottishmummy France Sun 07-Oct-12 23:00:36

Australia is signatory to Hague convention,thus must return the girls
lot handwringing and yes I do think there a gender bias on mn,re poor mutha
can't abduct your child it's not fair,it's not legal, and it's hard to establish facts in this case,so disputed

Morloth Sun 07-Oct-12 23:22:07

The Hague Convention is much more important than any one case.

They can be with their mother. In Italy.

I would be on the next plane and ride out the charges and all the rest of it if it was clear as it is in this case that the kids will be in Italy.

It is a ridiculous mess.

I am proud of the Australian Judge who knew it would be an unpopular verdict but stuck with the law. Good, that is what I want. Because one day I may need that law applied and I don't want precedents where it can be ignored.

The mother has the ability to put her case for custody before the Italian courts and if the girls say there that they want to live with their mother then I think that should happen.

I bet they end up splitting the kids, two older ones back in Australia with their mother and the two younger ones stay in Italy.

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 03:07:01

Re the abuse, broken bones [the childrens] were mentioned

Which is pure speculation! There is no evidence that the girls are in danger with their father, otherwise the judge would not have realised them into his care!

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 03:09:50

They were not allowed to talk to the judge to put forward their point of view

YES they were! A year ago they told the Authorities here that they would happily return to Italy IF their mother accompanied them. The return order was made with that in mind, It was after that order was granted that she took them into hiding & started her turn them against their father. Telling them that she couldn't return, wasn't allowed to, would be arrested, everyone in the "village" hated her etc. So they started to hate it all based on her words. And the outcome is what we have today!

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 03:13:56

The facebook page is still up & running. There are pictures on there of a recent visit where the girls are surrounding dad, with cuddles & smiles.

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 03:15:37

AmberLeaf they rescheduled her flights earlier because they feared he may turn up and create

She lied to dad. She lied to the embassy.

I have covered this. She lied!

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 03:18:09

giveitago, yes, at the moment the only way she can see her children is to return to Italy. She has added an all new level to the custody issue by removing them. They won't be granted leave from the country to see her for some time, until it is all sorted (if at all, tbh. Which is why people donating to bring them back are wasting money)

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 03:22:03

Maryzed, it should never have taken 2 yrs. The order was granted last yr (perhaps still too long) but the mother took them into hiding. On finding them recently, the courts/AFP acted as quickly as possible before tehy could go into hiding again!

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 03:31:52

They simply didn't want to be there and this is what they've consistently said all along

No they haven't. Read the thread. Before the return order was granted (May 2011) the girls said they would happily return if mum went too. The youngest said she missed Italy & her father.

Shortly after (once mum had read the report that stated this) they went into hiding & the next time we see them, they all hate Italy &their father!

Australian law has bugger all to do with this, segue Australian Law DID NOT send them back The Hague convention did.

sashh Mon 08-Oct-12 03:57:48

They have been split up, the older ones are with their father but the younger ones are at a different address - that can't be good.



differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 04:11:27

I have covered this below. They were separated because the younger two were calm & settling down & the elder two were not. The elder two were taken off the first flight as they were so upset. Knowing this, the father took the decision to keep the calmer two separate. The family thought it best to keep the younger ones calm, so away from the older ones for a while. It would seem they were right, as at least the younger two were not subjected to the attack on their father.

He reported that they were calm on their arrival (older ones) & only started acting the way they were on the video after the were found with a mobile phone & told the press were outside.

I wouldn't believe anything on kids without voices.

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Oct-12 04:12:07

And ninemsn are in trouble over the way they handled that scene in Italy, I heard!

Redsilk Mon 08-Oct-12 04:42:41

Article in the Italian press about the "seige" of the Australian journalists at the father's home