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Parents 'should go abroad to avoid family courts'

(442 Posts)
ScrambledSmegs Mon 13-Jan-14 12:40:07

Yep, that's the BBC. Currently trending as one of the most read pages on the site.

I know they've tried to make this balanced by referencing CAFCASS, but it doesn't feel like much balance when the headline is something as scaremongering as that. It feels quite irresponsible.

Yes, I know that they're trying to drum up interest in their Panorama program, but I think they'd have been better off not publicising JHMP and his ramblings. Unfortunately, he's dangerous. Ridiculous and foolish, but dangerous.

NanaNina Tue 14-Jan-14 00:23:30

I am actually glad that JHMP was given an opportunity to air his views. I agree absolutely that he is dangerous, ridiculous, foolish and dangerous. Many of us have challenged him through the MN threads for some years now, but he has continued to make his ridiculous claims like the one he made on the Panorama programme tonight. At least now he has demonstrated that he is prepared to advise people to "flee the country" if they are being investigated by Social Services. In the past he has actually admitted to funding parents to "flee" out of the country.

I think the fact that he has admitted to advising parents to flee the jurisdiction of the UK if they are being investigated by Social Services is a very serious matter. Many of us have contacted Nick Clegg about the lies and distortions that JH has made on the MN threads for many years but sadly no action has been taken against him and he has now I hope been given enough rope to hang himself.

The fact that he says "hundreds of parents" have contacted him I think is a gross distortion of the facts. Indeed it is parents caught up in child abuse investigations who are the losers here, as they believe that as an MP he can help them and of course he cannot do that. He has also advised them to dispense with the services of their lawyer and instead put in one of his volunteers (who has no legal qualifications) to go to court as a McKenzie friend (they have no voice in care proceedings and are there as moral support to the parent) they can only speak if the Judge asks a specific question of them. Hence the parents have been left with no legal representation.

You may be aware that JH believes there is a conspiracy theory and that all social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, children's guardians etc are all working together to ensure the child is removed from the parents. He even accuses the lawyers for the parents being "in on the conspiracy" - oh yes and the Judge too. You may know that he was severely criticised by a High Court Judge WallLJ when he was acting as a McKenzie friend and made accusations that the lawyer's files had been altered to prove the case.

Tonight in the Panorama programme he again stated that social services carry out all the assessments, and this is fundamentally untrue. A variety of independent professionals also carry out assessments but he choses to remain glued to his view that they "are all in this together" to remove the baby to get him adopted to meet adoption targets.

I don't think he is allowed to post on MN anymore and I hope that at long last something will be done about this dangerous MP.

As for the programme tonight, I thought it was very measured (with the exception of JH's talk of a tsunami) and provided food for thought. It is just so difficult when Social Services are not able to give their side of the case because of confidentiality. If there is an issue about Vitamin D deficiency causing fractures in babies, I would think it only sensible that the tests to determine if lack of Vit D could be a cause of fractures in a baby is carried out as a routine procedure.

AnyFucker Tue 14-Jan-14 00:26:07

JH is permanently banned from MN.

Unfortunately there are other parenting sites where he still has an influence.

NanaNina Tue 14-Jan-14 00:53:09

Yes I gather he's banned from MN and that's good news but of course he will find a way to peddle his ludicrous claims and nonsense. I would hope however that Nick Clegg would do something about him now. So many of us have spent so much of our time and energy refuting his ridiculous claims, and some of us have contacted Nick Clegg, thus far to no avail.

Can I ask how you know about the MN ban?

I gather there have been a lot of tweets about the Panorama programme but I don't understand twitter!!

HollyHB Tue 14-Jan-14 00:53:12

Without wishing to be incendiary (I gave up reading the other mental health thread for hostility) - even if - even if - the parents think (rightly or wrongly) that they are being unfairly treated in this way, surely it sufficient to move to Scotland in order to come under a totally different (arguably juster) process and legal system?

Moving to Scotland (in time) seems a lot less extreme than "going abroad".

AnyFucker Tue 14-Jan-14 00:58:11

JustineMN confirmed his permanent ban earlier this evening on another thread.

Or should I say "said there could not be helpful discourse if he came back"

AnyFucker Tue 14-Jan-14 01:00:51

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ)Mon 13-Jan-14 18:29:17

Fyi all, we've written to John Hemmings to let him know that we think it's best he didn't come back onto Mumsnet. Can't really see that how constructive debate could now take place given all the water under the bridge etc.

AnyFucker Tue 14-Jan-14 01:02:18

here is the thread

LokiIsMine Tue 14-Jan-14 10:12:44


In one of the threads Hemming said that Scotland is even worse, I even have a screenshot of his comments because half of my family is Scottish.

It might escape to people that Hemming is actually advising families to break the law. Does it not exist anymore to be arrested for treason here in UK? Because he is actually advising abusers and rapists to go abroad in order to keep their children
Note that he already did that in two cases, because he is allowing paedophiles and child molesters to escape justice.

Sorry but this man is a threat to the state and to democracy. I still can't get why he's not been arrested yet.
I hope United Kingdom will be ridiculised abroad for Hemming's actions.

LokiIsMine Tue 14-Jan-14 10:14:36

By the way,

If anyone is interested to get rid of Hemming, a petition was posted on another thread:

LokiIsMine Tue 14-Jan-14 10:15:35

Sorry, 'converted' link:

Spero Tue 14-Jan-14 11:32:12

People thinking of moving to Scotland may be interested to know that they operate a 'tribunal' system there i.e. your case will be decided by 3 lay people.

And as I understand it, there is less access to funding to get legal help at these tribunals.

This Gov was very keen to introduce the tribunal system here, as it is obviously a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for parents to have these pesky lawyers, always fussing about tedious things like evidence and due process.

But even this Gov were so horrified by what they saw in Scotland they backed off - for now.

this is why, in my darker moments, I believe the Gov does nothing about Hemming - because they are pleased to see such fear and loathing of the current system encouraged. Because in time that will make it easier for them to strip it out and replace with cheaper tribunal system.

I tell myself to stop being a conspiracy theory muppet, but then I look at what they have just done to the Criminal Bar and I wonder, I wonder....

nennypops Tue 14-Jan-14 12:02:48

You just have to look at the proposals for legal aid and judicial review to see that that particular conspiracy theory is well founded. Can't have these pesky people challenging illegal government activities, can we?

Lioninthesun Tue 14-Jan-14 13:23:49

Sadly no nenny, or a certain someone would have been arrested as any other mere mortal would have been if they had divulged sensitive information...It is certainly already a reality.

HollyHB Tue 14-Jan-14 13:39:10

As to Scotland, no-one here has suggested that the Scots system should be adopted in England. There is no reason to think it is superior when it is dealing with local cases.

What is suggested is that it is different.

So that if parents in England or Wales think (rightly or wrongly) that they are being unfairly treated in a situation similar to those described they can, by moving to Scotland be subject to a different process and legal system. Presenting one's case to a panel of Scottish lay people who are unlikely to be invested in giving SSS (Sassenach social Services :-) ) the benefit of the doubt is quite different from having it heard by English professionals who are thought to be so invested. Scottish lay people are much more likely to be sceptical of the English SS than English judges.

A corollary might possibly apply too. A Scottish couple may find it advantageous to remove themselves to England if they feel they are under unfair suspicion.

I don't think even Hemming has advised people to flee illegally. Only to get out before it becomes illegal to emigrate to the Continent without leaving a forwarding address.

LokiIsMine Tue 14-Jan-14 13:56:59


I don't think even Hemming has advised people to flee illegally. Only to get out before it becomes illegal to emigrate to the Continent without leaving a forwarding address.

He has.

Because if you flee to another country only for scaremongering, you are an idiot and you shouldn't doubt the justice system. If you flee to another country because you broke the law, you are a criminal!!
(You is meant in a general way, not you as Holly, of course).

Having lived in Scotland, I won't comment on the rest. Believe me that you have no idea what you are talking about ;)

Lioninthesun Tue 14-Jan-14 14:34:40

The other issue to consider is how it looks if you run away, which is technically what an MP is advising.
Just as it looks bad when he has no facts or figures, it looks bad when a family uproots itself once it is investigated for abuse. This should be fairly obvious; it is a common theme in American films and never ends well.

HollyHB Tue 14-Jan-14 15:15:57

There is a difference between emigrating for a better life and fleeing. Fleeing implies that a person is, in some way, a wanted outlaw. Even in the worst cases, if the child emigrates with a parent (the parent might be fleeing, the child is not) the child falls under a different legal system. Where there has been no legal process against the parent, but there is merely an investigation in process (and nothing more) then leaving is merely emigrating for the parent also. If charges for alleged lawbreaking are filed after the travel that does not retrospectively change emigration into fleeing since it was mere emigration at the time of travelling.

In the bad cases the authorities may indeed be able to (should) reach and take action against the mother, perhaps through Interpol, but they cannot reach the take child from overseas because the child has done nothing wrong. And that is the crucial part. Incarcerate the parents for proven wrongdoings, yes, perhaps. But take away the child, no because the child has done nothing wrong and is no longer resident and so not under their jurisdiction.

As the BBC Panorama program illustrated, a justice system that deprives parents of their children based on a standard of preponderance of the evidence rather than a standard of beyond all reasonable doubt is inherently unjust. It's entirely reasonable not to put trust in a a legal system one believes to be inherently unjust. Whether such belief is based in stupidity or otherwise.

The expatriated parent's main concern is likely to be staying under the radar long enough to establish the child's residence in their new homeland and thereby end residence in England before further process. Not leaving any forwarding address must help in that regard.

nennypops Tue 14-Jan-14 16:10:24

Holly: But what Hemming and Joseph advocate is undoubtedly fleeing, not a considered decision to emigrate. Whether that is legal or illegal doesn't matter. The point is that, at best, it seriously harms your defence in any care proceedings, and at worst it leaves an abusive partner free to carry on abusing.

It seriously worries me that you characterise taking a child into care as some sort of punishment for the child only to be imposed when the child has done something wrong. It can only be done to protect the child. As has been asked elsewhere, if your child were being regularly raped or was the subject of repeated emotional abuse, would you think it OK for the child to stay with her abuser whilst the police and social services try to find proof beyond reasonable doubt?

Lioninthesun Tue 14-Jan-14 16:31:44

I am quite astounded that you think running away is a viable option. JH himself used the word 'flee' but to most of the public it means the same - either way you are leaving the country to stop an investigation.
Only the guilty run away, is the general opinion IMO.

Lioninthesun Tue 14-Jan-14 16:34:02

Although I suppose if an abuser 'snatches' the kids and end up in Italy, for example, you can be sure they would get a much harsher prison sentence than in UK plus I hear their prisons are not quite as accommodating as ours, so for people not keen on child abusers, this may strike a chord.

LokiIsMine Tue 14-Jan-14 16:41:09


Your naïveté is quite incredible. The child would be fostered by social services in that place instead of UK. It changes NOTHING.

People who think it will change something is Hemming, you and a bunch of brainless people who know nothing about how things work abroad.

And honestly, if I come across one of these people in Italy, first thing I do is to call the carabinieri.
Why should Italians get the scum of British society too? Hell no!

Lioninthesun Tue 14-Jan-14 16:43:35

Ah but Loki they are poor ill advised fools you see, not scum! Th fact they didn't wait around to prove that they aren't scum means nothing, honest guv'nor!

LokiIsMine Tue 14-Jan-14 16:43:47


I don't think they care about the children.

It is always about the parents, not the children.

Might try to rally a bunch of people who were abused in their childhood and see what they think about Hemming.

It is time people wake up, I guess

LokiIsMine Tue 14-Jan-14 16:45:38


Milord/milady, must say that Italians have enough illadvised fools on their own to accept this new wave of intraeuropean migration.
I will appeal to the European parliament <cough cough> and see what the outcome is.

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