Advanced search

4 sisters returned to Italian father after their Australian Mum took them to Australia.....dragged 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?

Xenia Sat 20-Oct-12 08:52:24

Here is another case from today's Times:

Court ruling is vindication, says father of abducted girl

A British father whose young daughter was abducted by his wife while on a family holiday in Mexico in 2008 has won a crucial victory in a four-year legal battle.

Jonathan Hunt won the right for all custody or welfare hearings about the future of his daughter, Lydia, to be heard in a British court, rather than in Mexico, and for her to live here until a family court judge decides otherwise.

Mr Hunt’s plight, as he was forced to fight case after case in the Mexican courts to try to bring Lydia back, has been covered extensively by The Times.

Close to tears as he heard the judgment in the High Court yesterday, he said he was “over the moon”.

He added: “It’s not a case of winners and losers. The only victim here, as it is in all cases of international abduction, is the child. But I am extremely grateful that the British court has found that a child’s best interests are served by having a close relationship to both its mother and father. I know this is not the end of the legal action but I am prepared to keep going, fuelled by love for my daughter.”

Mr Hunt was eventually reunited with Lydia, now aged 6, in March this year after she was tracked down in Mexico and her mother arrested.

Born in London and a UK citizen, Lydia was abducted by her mother, Maria Obregan, while on holiday in Mexico in May 2008 when she was 2. The mother subsequently severed all contact with Mr Hunt and went on the run for more than three years to evade international law. Mr Hunt spent £140,000 in the Mexican courts trying to establish Lydia’s right to be returned home. Using Mexican constitutional law, his wife was able to challenge each court decision, even though she was a fugitive.

In the end the case became so bogged down in Mexican courts it was the subject of a debate in the House of Commons. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, urged the Mexican Government to do everything in its power to return the child.

Publicity surrounding the case led to a tip-off earlier this year about Lydia’s location. She was found and the mother brought to court. But rather than return the child immediately to the UK, under the terms of the International Hague Convention, a Mexican court urged the couple to come to an agreement about Lydia’s future, including an understanding to make Mexico her permanent residence.

The Mexican judge feared new proceedings under the Hague Convention would be challenged at every step of the way by Ms Obregan and take many months. During this time Lydia would have to stay in a government care home. Signing the agreement allowed Mr Hunt to see Lydia for the first time in almost four years, remove her from the care home and bring her back to the UK for three months.

He agreed to sign — but that document was the subject of a week-long court case in the High Court in London that ended with a judgment yesterday. Mrs Justice Macur ruled that, given Lydia was made a ward of court in the UK in 2009, a fact that the Mexican judge was unaware of, Mr Hunt did not have the power to agree to change her residence to Mexico. Lydia should therefore stay here and have any future custody case heard in Britain.

Mr Hunt, a project manager from London, was struggling to take in what the court decided when he spoke to The Times. His life has been ravaged by his daughter’s abduction. His health has deteriorated, he has been taking anti-depressants and sleeping tablets and, by his own admission, he has not been able to focus on anything else. “I have lost friends over this,” he says.

Since being reunited with Lydia in March, his life has been transformed. “She is the centre of my life. I cannot tell you how I look forward to the weekends and the other times I see her. We just do the normal things together, like going to the park. I think that is important for her. What she has been though, it is a lot of pressure for a 6-year-old to take, too much for her young age.”

Lydia was forced to change homes five times while on the run in Mexico, and to use a series of false names. She is currently living with her mother in England and sees her father several times a week. “Her English has really come one. It is amazing how quickly a child can pick up a language,” Mr Hunt said.

Mr Hunt urges any parent in his situation to keep fighting. “Over the years there have been so many times that I have thought of giving up. In the end, I just couldn’t and I would urge others to do the same. If you give up you will never know what could have happened. Use all the resources available to you. Reunite [the charity that advises parents in cases of international abduction] can help you. Your MP can help. The British courts can help.”

As he prepared to see his daughter again this weekend, Mr Hunt said he could still barely believe that he had won this significant victory. “It is going to take a while to sink in. For four years a great black cloud has hung over my life and now it’s lifting. In my darkest moments — and there were many — I wondered whether I was doing the right thing.

“I feel I have been vindicated.”

Why Lydia’s secrecy was lifted

The strict prohibition on media identification of children in family court cases was lifted in the Hunt case by Mrs Justice Macur after an application from The Times, which argued that it was trying to publicise the growth of child abduction cases, which rose by 47 per cent last year. The Times first reported the case last year, to illustrate the distress caused to parents and the difficulties even of countries that have signed the Hague Convention in returning children.

The Times was allowed to identify Lydia because a judge took the unusual step of asking for media help to find her. Mrs Justice Macur ruled that The Times had “a legitimate public interest” in reporting this week’s judgment, and the story stripped of its human elements would “detract rather than focus on its ultimate purpose”.

In addition The Times argued that the high-profile nature of the case, including a lengthy debate in the House of Commons on Lydia’s abduction, meant that there was already considerable information in the public domain.

It was “simply unrealistic” to ignore this given that these reports were available online, the judge said.

hannah0000035 Fri 19-Oct-12 00:10:18

I've just been stalking the KWV website and I've noticed the presence of a professional child abductor there.
how is this legal?
Is he a simply mercenary who abducts children on behalf of burnt parents?
What differentiates his actions from anyone else abducting children?
It certainly doesn't sound like a Court Order, what regulates this 'industry'?

hannah0000035 Mon 15-Oct-12 23:54:11

omg did i type out 'him'? ( the doctor )

hannah0000035 Mon 15-Oct-12 23:50:49

if it is the case that there are people who post here that hate a gender, and I know there are ..then instead of typing these negative thoughts exclusively in these windows and posting things, i suggest you type some of your negative thoughts in a journal, and then take that journal to a doctor and show him.

Im not saying stay away from here, far from it. The presence of such people is an excellent opportunity for the growth of everyone, the poster and the reader.
i consider censorship to be totally unnecessary, let it all out i say, however i understand that others may not feel this way.

How do we identify what we really are ( and how to deal with the world ) if everythings being hushed hushed?

hannah0000035 Mon 15-Oct-12 23:35:14

segue, if you are biased towards the mother admit this. ..and " whenever there is a dispute between a man and a woman the preferred gender will win."..- your words...

aren't you saying here you couldn't give a shit what either party does you back the gender?
the real conflict at this time in this forum is between gender haters like this one, and people who are impartial due to the seriousness of the situation.

did i just call her a gender hater? Or did she call herself that?

Should i be censored? or should the conflict continue in a politically correct fashion?

i say if you post things, be prepared to have your motivations analysed and discussed, if that hurts too much...go gardening.

say what you like about my posts, laugh at them, hate them, censor them, get angry at them ..even respond to them..i couldn't care less..but i will always call a spade a spade and i always will.

Redsilk Mon 15-Oct-12 23:27:18

"It can be sorted out in Italy."

Yep. More agreement.


Back to the naval. Anyone know a good bellybutton anti-wrinkle cream?

Redsilk Mon 15-Oct-12 23:24:51

Segue, you're just wrong, dearie. As I just posted, if you don't care much about DV then you can discount or minimize DV accusations.

If you do care, and when you are fiercely opposed, then you learn to draw a line against false accusers. If you have ever done work in an anti-DV org or shelter, you quickly learn just how awful real DV is, and how someone who includes, "he wouldn't help his daughter move the table" as an accusation ought to be ashamed.

Morloth Mon 15-Oct-12 23:18:12

When I first heard of this case, my initial response was to support the mother and let the girls stay in Oz.

I am an Australian mother who has travelled extensively. I have seen the rest of the world, it is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there and I definitely want to raise my children here in Oz.

However, on further reading and thinking, I realised that my initial response was wrong. That there were more important issues at play.

I have no idea whether there was DV or not, I have no idea whether the dad is a demon or a saint, I have no idea whether this woman is just doing her best or is a lying cow. What I do know is that the Court believed that the children had been unlawfully removed from their home country and should be returned.

It can be sorted out in Italy.

hannah0000035 Mon 15-Oct-12 22:15:40

i think that notion that" the preferred gender will win" ..only applies to the extreme people.
normal healthy people really do want the best for children and i think this case is a good example of this.
the mothers actions are so despicable, the people that usually back preferred genders ( in much less extreme cases perhaps ) are switching sides.
only the hard core gender haters are " backing the gender" on this one i feel.

MaryZed Mon 15-Oct-12 22:13:02

Um, I'm a bit pro-dad in this and have been from the start. But I haven't been aggressive or anti-women in any way (just slightly open-mouthed at the turn the thread has taken).

I don't, by the way, prefer my dad over my mum or vice versa or view either of them with fear or distrust.

So I don't really get that post either confused.

I tend to be generally pro-law-abiding people, men or women.

segue Mon 15-Oct-12 22:05:49

Well, I’m a supporter of the mum, and always have been. But then that is my natural bias. Those of you supporting the father would have a natural bias towards him. Bias leads all of our deeply rooted opinions; the rationale follows. Speaking of the adversarial system – which someone raised before - I suspect a lot of judges have an innate bias towards the offender rather than the victim, because I think lenient sentencing is a reflection of basic values. Judges would disagree and say they are bound by this or that, but when sentencing against victims is predominantly lenient, you have to wonder at the relative worth they give to people. The gender divide would have to be one of the most intrinsic biases.

So the mum supporters aren't any more deserving of psychoanalysis than the dad supporters. But generally, the mum supporters tend to be less aggressive. Considering that the pro-mum or pro-feminine group is anti-dominance this would make sense. The pro-dad or pro-masculine group does have a tendency to mitigate domestic violence. We make ethical rules in our heads to match the flavour of our bias.

Things get heated when our sense of justice is challenged. In our view of the “just world” whenever there is a dispute between a man and woman the preferred gender will win.

Some people are lucky in that they love their mum and dad equally and don’t view either parent with fear or distrust. I guess these are the most well-grounded and well-balanced people.

hannah0000035 Mon 15-Oct-12 21:16:54

i seem to remember that the father was in fact in Australia to collect his daughters but the courts decided to pander to the lying mother and refuse to permit his daughters to go with him?
can it be the case do you suppose lteve, that he didnt want to make the same trip again, a matter of weeks or months later, for nothing?
he travelled here once, at expense..for nothing. if he was going by previous judgements in Australia whereby the mother alleges dv, then im sure he thought he had no hope.
I too would have stayed in Italy.

Redsilk Mon 15-Oct-12 20:51:58

Agree on that!

LtEveDallas Mon 15-Oct-12 20:45:40

Aye, you're not wrong Redsilk! Well, agree to disagree about the DV then, the best we can do in the circumstances. We won't find common ground here.

Let's wish the best to the girls, and leave it at that. smile

hannah0000035 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:42:03

good morning . i see that the judgements are flowing, which is normal for people to do. blame is being apportioned.
i read that the father can be blamed for not being here and..
for manhandling his daughters.
i read that the mother can be blamed for irrepairably damaging those four girls psyches , and doing it for selfish reasons.
i read much, much more but most if it is the same thing over and over.
i read that people are trying to explain the mothers actions, to minimise her actions? i think so.
I see people are even creating things that aren't there in order to ease pain that they feel in their own lives.
this also is expectable in that we all have emotions and some of us have unresolved issues. I don't feel bad for those people, life is just life and although i can detect this phenomenon, i know nothing more and can't comment on that issue any more really.
I see divisiveness, lots of it..its father vs mother..a reflection of the adversarial system that judged/ will still judge this matter.
pursuant to that, right now the father is winning.
for two years or so the mother was winning.
but before that remember , the children were winning.
i see some pettiness, some childishness which is ok too.
Do i feel bad for coming here apparently causing trouble? no. i think its a healthy thing, all factors considered. Do i feel bad for using bad words? im trying to feel bad but i just don't.
i feel much more sorry for those four girls, there may be worse to come still for them.
what i will continue to see is two posters that will bring the same issue up, the same issue which i consider ambiguous and frankly minor.
what i saw to those two posters is, pull your heads in and get over it.
Are these debates/ discussions about the issue of this judgement , or about us?

Redsilk Mon 15-Oct-12 20:36:22

It is very disputable and highly improbable. Garrett has been show to fabricate accusations and use the girls in her war against the dad.

If you believe in coming down hard on DV, as I do, then it follows that false accusations must not be tolerated.

Now, seriously, we've reached a point in our going around and around that my naval here is much more interesting than my posts. And I suspect you'd agree on at least that....

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Oct-12 20:18:22

Good evening all. Here is
a link to our talk guidelines
for anyone who may need it.

hannah0000035 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:14:10


AmberLeaf Mon 15-Oct-12 19:49:04


My apologies, I read your 09:26am post as being from hannah, which is why I said about the preceeding posts, which of course weren't yours. My point about them still stands though.

LtEveDallas Mon 15-Oct-12 19:29:20

Ok, well that is fine. I suppose the biggest difference is that I do believe the mother was a victims of DA and you don't. There is nothing either of us can do about that, and the only people that know are the man and woman involved.

I don't believe the DA excuses what she did, more that I can understand why she made that terrible (and frankly idiotic) decision.

AmberLeaf Mon 15-Oct-12 19:23:47

MaryZ I obviously disagree.

hannah was repeatedly attacking me personally, I think I was refrained in my responses.

Redsilk round again it goes...but is it disputable that there was in fact DV? even if it was historical?

Redsilk Mon 15-Oct-12 19:04:16

LtEve, huh?
Oh, sorry...still gazing away here...
Where we disagree is in the benefit of the doubt you're willing to give the mum and her version of events. Based on what has emerged, I'm not willing to do that. (I was more sympathetic to her at an earlier time when I first learned of the case, not now.)
I think we both agree that the girls need counseling, and mom needs some serious help, no matter whose version is believed.
I'm not a "truth is somewhere in the middle" person when it comes to abduction. I'd say it is reality vs fantasy.
And I think we disagree when I said that it's women like Laura Garrett, with false claims of DV, who make things so difficult for women who are truly abused.
And now back to my naval....

LtEveDallas Mon 15-Oct-12 18:44:03

Hey Mary, no I know that, we are cool smile.

LtEveDallas Mon 15-Oct-12 18:41:04

Honestly Redsilk, I am very interested, I have looked and really cannot see where I have disagreed. I would appreciate knowing where we have 'disagreed fundamentally on everything else' because I just cannot see it confused

MaryZed Mon 15-Oct-12 18:40:50

I think you were both as bad as each other actually, amberleaf, so I understand completely why both your posts were deleted.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now