Friday, November 28, 2008

Family Court system - more blood on your hands

David Cass told mother they’re asleep forever as he smothered two children

As soon as I saw the headline I knew what the story was about. The father had been denied equal time with his children, and had murdered them and committed suicide.

Sure enough, when I went to the article, it was a case of family separation, and the father had been upset because he didn’t get to see his children enough.

Note the censorship here. It is about EQUAL TIME. Why not give us the full facts?

The Family Court system in the UK, throughout Europe, in Canada, the US and Australia and New Zealand etc has blood on its hands. Had their Family Law and Policy not been blatantly skewed against fathers, many childrens’ lives would have been saved. And they say they are only interested in the best interests of children? What a farce.

Not to mention the number of fathers and mothers that have also suicided or been murdered in Family Court-driven murder-suicides.

The coroner says "An event of this nature is extraordinarily rare. Certainly I have not had to deal with a similar tragedy in the 15 years I have held this particular role”.

Well it may have been extremely rare for the coroner, but ‘extremely rare’ is a relative term. Unfortunately murder-suicides are all too common (perhaps 100-500 per year in the OECD countries overall).

And they are often not reported in the media or under-reported (the story omits the key facts such as that the murder-suicide followed a separation and a biased ruling by the Family Court). In Australia there are media laws preventing the media from discussing cases in the Family Court.

Family Courts - more blood on your hands!

Get out of the business of deciding on 40:60, 30:70, 33:67, 29:71 time between the parents – very arbitrary rulings by judges who need to keep themselves in business, not to mention protecting a very lucrative and immoral Family Law industry.

Use Family Relationship Centres and Social Workers to resolve disputes where they are backed up by law – a Presumption of Equal Parenting Time.

De-escalate the Family Court system and escalate Family Relationship Centres and unbiased Child Protection Services. Help parents to be good parents. Teach parents that Parental Alienation (eg denigrating the other parent and acting uncooperatively) constitutes serious harm to the mental and emotional wellbeing of children.

The Family Court of Australia says that if the parents cannot cooperate, then the mother must have majority time. Not only does this give incentive for the mother to be uncooperative (and make false or highly exaggerated accusations etc), it does not deal with the main issue of parents acting inappropriately and in a way which harms children.

Occasionally the Family Court will act on extreme cases of parental alienation by reducing the time the offending parent has with the children. This shows that they really do not understand the issue because by restricting time you are punishing the children. What is required is a raft of graded responses:

- warning
- course in good parenting at Family Relationship Centres
- Community Service
- fines
- daytime jail (when not looking after children)

The feminist lobby will use incidents like this as evidence that men are intrinsically violent and that instigating a Presumption of Equal Parenting in Family Law will expose children to more violence.

But the feminist lobby is a hypocritical opportunist movement interested in enhancing the power of women, irrespective of its original philosophy of gender equity.

A Presumption of Equal Parenting will not expose children to more violence - quite the contrary.

If there are accusations or suspicions of child abuse, perpetrated by men or women (and our society mistakenly believes women do not commit child abuse, or perhaps only extremely rarely), they need to investigated thoroughly irrespective of whether parents are together or separated.

Where false accusations have occurred and can be shown to be deliberately misleading, then the perpetrator needs to be punished in some way because the investigations draw resources away from real incidences of child abuse - not to mention unnecessary harm to the accused victim.

In the meantime, the Family Court can reflect on the three deaths it has indirectly caused and the suffering of the mother and other family members for years to come.


David Cass told mother 'they're asleep forever' as he smothered two children
David Cass told the mother of his two children "they're asleep forever" in a phone call just moments after he had smothered them, an inquest has heard.

Cass, 33, killed his daughters Ellie, three, and 14-month-old Isobelle in his caravan in the grounds of the garage where he worked in Southampton, Hants, in September this year.

Just after carrying out the killings, he called his mother Lynn and then the girls' mother and his estranged girlfriend, Kerrie Hughes, 20, to say what he had done.

He then went into a building at Paynes Road Car Sales and hanged himself on September 21 this year.

Southampton Coroner Keith Wiseman recorded verdicts that both girls were unlawfully killed and Mr Cass had committed suicide.

Ms Hughes and her family attended the hearing at Southampton Coroner's Court and left without comment.

The court heard that Mr Cass and Ms Hughes had split in August this year and Mr Cass had been given weekend access to look after the girls, plus time during the week.

But in the days before the killings, Mr Cass grew angry he was not seeing the girls enough and had threatened to kill himself, but never mentioned harming the children.

He told work colleagues he was quitting the garage and he had a plan and they described him as subdued, the hearing was told.

He had also said he wanted to move back into the rented family home, which had caused anxiety with Ms Hughes.

The hearing was told Mr Cass called his mother at 6.22pm and she initially asked if he had taken Ellie and Isobelle back to their home in Fairoak, Hants.

Reading from a statement, Detective Sergeant Glyn White said Mr Cass replied: "No I cannot allow the children to live in the conditions they have to live in. The children have gone to sleep and so am I. I love you Mum."

Just minutes later at 6.26pm he called Ms Hughes and Mr White said Mr Cass told her: "They're asleep."

She replied: "What do you mean asleep? Where are they?"

Mr Cass said: "They're asleep forever."

Ms Hughes: "What do you mean?"

Mr Cass: "Just remember I will always love you." And he put the phone down.

Mr White said a distraught Ms Hughes could not remember everything that was said and told a neighbour, Valerie Fraser, telling her Mr Cass could not live without the children. He had smothered them and he was about to hang himself.

Police eventually went to the garage and broke into the caravan to find the two girls dead on a bed.

Mr Cass was found later hanging in the building.

Post-mortem examinations concluded the two girls had died from smothering and Mr Cass from hanging.

The hearing was told the split between the Mr Cass and his girlfriend had been protracted with both sides calling the police and social services.

Ms Hughes had accused Mr Cass of trying to run her over in 2007 and Mr Cass had called the police over the theft of money.

He also called social services to complain about the state of the house the girls lived in.

In the days before the deaths, social worker Susan Poole had spoken to both parents and described both as being calm and thoughtful. Ms Hughes described her estranged boyfriend as a good father, she told the court.

Mrs Poole described the situation as an ordinary contact with a young family under stress and that she was not anxious about the children.

Giving the verdicts, Mr Wiseman said: "There is no indication or likelihood of harm coming to these children until literally the event itself.

"An event of this nature is extraordinarily rare. Certainly I have not had to deal with a similar tragedy in the 15 years I have held this particular role.

"This was something totally out of the blue. It's impossible to say whether planning lasted more than moments or even seconds.

"No one has provided any information or evidence that suggested this event could have been anticipated in any way at all."

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