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since June 19, 2001


Shaun's Story

The story of one man and his children being abused by his wife–then ex-wife, and by "the system" in the U.K.

Shaun’s story and why he wants to change the current system in the U.K., as Shaun tells it.

  1. I have attempted to outline the problems and experiences that I have faced in the UK in as simple a way as possible, all facts can be proven based on evidence obtained through complaints and using the data protection act, etc.. Sadly, much of the history came to light after the events, and the present judge refuses to allow the new evidence to prove the gender bias and lies told in reports.

  2. Most of the public in the UK is unaware of matters as they stand, most believe that we have a fair system, as I used to believe myself. Indeed, three or even two years ago I would never have believed the truth. This history may be passed onto other groups or used on websites, etc.

  3. Because I used to teach science, special-needs- and then emotionally and behaviourally disturbed children, I have always had an interest in the behaviour of children.

  4. My problems began after marrying a Spanish woman and after the birth of our first child (1991).

  5. The resultant process was slow. Only after the birth of the second child, again a caesarean, did the violence and obscene behaviour begin. Whilst it was obviously a difficult time for all and even more so for my wife who had been hospitalised for two months after breaking waters early, it does not explain events thereafter.

  6. Behaviour from April 1994 to January 1998 included closing me in a room, ordering me out and then demanding I return – back and forth for twenty minutes, with eyes popping out of her head. I had objects thrown at me, was chased around the garden, spat at, punched, kicked and scratched. All for no more reason than being present.

  7. During this period, there were problems with missing her mother (whom I had only met once), and guilt at being in the UK. There were problems with being active, sleeplessness, allergies including two inch blisters all over the body, low back pain, migraines and mood swings. A lack of care with the children and impatience and bad temper with normal children’s behaviour.

  8. It took six weeks to get her to see the GP, who referred to state mental health team. After being interviewed separately and together, a community psychiatric nurse diagnosed some features of post-natal depression. The problems according to the mother had begun after the birth of the first child.

  9. Struggling to look after the wife and children, as she had a short fuse with them, taking time off work and having my wife ring the school because she could not cope, I resigned and took her to Spain to help her get better.

  10. Spanish state mental health team diagnosed depressive anxiety, neurotic, manipulative and somatoform symptoms along with a borderline personality disorder. Violence against me continued and after 9 months I persuaded her to see a private psychologist.

  11. After a battery of psychological tests, a diagnosis of emotional instability: unresolved conflicts with mother/father from childhood abuse and an abusive relationship with a man 26 years older from the age of 18 to 28.

  12. One night she went for the knife drawer. I cowered in the bathroom as she was out of control. She caught her head in the door, as there was no way I was going to let her in. She broke a blood vessel at the side of her head and this caused a black eye.

  13. She went to Social services and alleged I had hit her, she removed the children and contact was made difficult. Her brother threatened me with death.

  14. This greatly disturbed the children. Eventually she begged to get back together and we returned to the UK to escape her dysfunctional family. (Her mother used to fight with her brother in public, etc.). That period was a nightmare. She called out the civil guard called out by her against me, and they arrived with machine guns.

  15. There is a lot more detail, but at the time I was trying to get her support, as any caring partner would. Her behaviour was awful. I still do not understand why it only happened in the house.

  16. We returned to UK. She got better at first – then more violence, hatred of me, lack of time for the children etc.

  17. I left on 26th of May 1996, alone, as she had threatened to kill me if I tried to take the children.

  18. I informed the authorities: the psychiatrist who had – I had believed – been treating her for the same reasons as in Spain, and Social services.

  19. It took six months to get legal aid. I had regular contact but her behaviour was horrible when I did not have a witness, e.g. my daughter did not want me to go, she put her arms around my waist and mother then picks up her back legs and dropped her on the floor etc.

  20. I had been through three years of psychological and physical abuse. It sounds funny now, but I had been given 2 packets of rolling tobacco and 4 pounds per week, after she took away all my money. I used to have my tee shirt checked to see if it was correct: in or out of my trousers depending on her mood. I cycled to school because I did not have enough money for the bus!

  21. The Court ordered a report on fitness for residence, having seen her medical records…fair enough. Her solicitor did not instruct the psychiatrist as the court had ordered. The clever and deviant solicitors get mother to go to the GP who refers her for a check up on depression.

  22. The psychiatrist does not see a depressed person. The solicitors then ask for a letter from the psychiatrist. The Court, the CWO [court welfare officer] and my solicitor then insist this is a report on fitness for residence and includes emotional instability, which does not fall under a mental health check in any case!

  23. I complain to my solicitor, he withdraws legal aid based on the psychiatrist’s letter and on the court welfare officer’s report based on the psychiatrist’s letter.

  24. I refuse to budge…addendum ordered by the court welfare officer. I get the evidence to prove that mother was locking my son at age 4 in the bedroom, as the children had told me. (I taped the boyfriend who admitted the locking-in and pursing of the children’s lips, etc). According to the court welfare officer the, boyfriend is the partner. The court welfare officer refuses to listen to the tape. She reports to court it is appropriate to lock a child in. (Steam coming out of my ears at this stage).

  25. Go to 2 day hearing with no legal knowledge on my own. I had thought that the court process in family law would involve people being honest under oath! Result, ‘I have no doubt whatsoever you are an abusive husband (based on false allegations by mother when she had no proof) and wittingly or unwittingly an abusive father- cough, what? Locking a child in according to my learned friend is appropriate!

  26. Complaints fly off. Social services complaint is passed to the court welfare officer, who passes to judge and I am dragged to court for contempt. When asked if I knew what contempt is, I ask the judge if he has got any problems with the truth…. Laughter in court…. review.

  27. September 23rd 1998 – I offered to withdraw my residence application in return for child and family guidance, I was not there to be an enemy of the mother, since the children have two parents even though the mother had abused me etc…Seemed a good idea at the time.

  28. Walk out of Court thinking I had acted sensibly and would defuse mother’s hostility. Mother’s promises for phone contact evaporate…I ask for child and family guidance to the Doctor who refers to social services since the concerns raised were child protection concerns.

  29. Social services interview the judge and the court welfare officer then speak to the Doctor, Health Visitor and School…Suddenly, no one has any concerns. Therefore, 7 months later social services provide an assessment of risk stating that there are no problems except the father raising concerns.

  30. However, I had been busy battling to get information…When I read the assessment of risk, I smelt a rat. I Put complaints in and an application to Court for residence after the behaviour and tales from the children and the evidence that I had that no one was willing to take into account.

  31. The evidence consisted of tape recordings of the boyfriend/ mother all backing up the children’s own admittals. I had secretly recorded the children; their stores were in fact true. Independent witnesses to violence against me in public who made statements to the police that she looked mad, the children did not want to go with her and a woman like that should not be with children.

  32. The Police notified social services and now deny being contacted by the Police despite letters from the Police naming the details of the conversation and the names of the people spoken to!

  33. I put another application to court in October 1999. The Judge orders the social worker that was under complaint to carry out an addendum, as I had never been seen with or without the children, and neither had my evidence been addressed.

  34. I had asked for an independent psychological report as the social worker was obviously going to be biased since she would have to criticise herself to do an objective report. As expect the addendum comes out the same as the assessment.

  35. The Judge believed it to be a section-17 report (a child in need); the social worker recommended no contact with father under oath. The result was a section 91(14) order, no contact direct or indirect and all costs against the father (about ten thousand pounds). It was all a set-up with collusion between them all.

  36. WARFARE begins in earnest and this is the scary bit: The Health Visitor notes show 3 years of sleep disturbances in my son, attention seeking behaviour and the health visitor referred my son to child and family guidance. The Health Visitor and the child and family guidance team were unaware of mother’s psychological and emotional history. He had been referred for anxiety to the bedroom, which was wrongly diagnosed as separation anxiety! Not the effect of being locked in from 2.5 to 5 years of age.

  37. My daughter has had 5+ years of urinary tract infections and daytime wetting. No physical cause according to the examinations and internal investigations by the paediatrician who was unaware of my existence for some time.

  38. Quality control/ review person and panel for social services suddenly admit parts of the locking in/ violence against me witnessed by the children etc. All a cover-up. The violence does not matter because we no longer live together and the rest is an invention because they know I have the proof and sent it to them, but it was not in the social services file or in the assessments!

  39. Turns out the court welfare officer had told social services that the Health visitor had visited 14 times at my request- crap.

  40. Either social services or the court welfare officer told the GP there had been no concerns and that I was a danger to the public and deserving of the violence against me!

  41. The GP has now involved his medical protection society to protect him and refuses to answer questions.

  42. I even uncovered a fax sent to the Chief Probation officer of Hampshire from Jo Lock manager for CAFCASS. (The old Family Court Welfare Service renamed as the Children and Families Advisory and Support Service), stating what to put in response to my complaint and that the social worker stated I had a mental illness.

  43. Went to the Court of Appeal under the Human Rights Act (HRA), and just by coincidence was given the judge who was having a protest outside his house two days later. The result was that in the second minute of the hearing I was told you have lost your appeal, the first sentence on reading the judgement was ‘I do not know whether there have been any violations of the HRA’.

  44. Whoopee, I do. I could say a lot more, the current situation is that my daughter (10) still wets herself, has asthma and hay fever, my son has been referred to child and family guidance for the second time for his behaviour (but school have no concerns). He has eczema and hearing problems.

  45. I haven’t seen them for two and a half years. I do not know if the mother is affected by her past problems but my parents saw the children for five days at Xmas 2000 into January 2001and raised concerns with social services because of the stories the children told them. The result: social services refuse to investigate and the children have had no contact with their paternal family at all since then.

  46. The judge refuses to allow the new evidence of the collusion and lies since he is aware that he is implicated by misleading social services himself and I have put the proof to his Court (sadly the case is reserved)!

  47. Rather strangely, the police will not look at the evidence of perjury and perversion of the course of justice, or should I say the same inspector who dealt with the protests outside the judge’s house. Under the data protection act there is apparently no information held on this despite the presence of 4 police officers and the BBC cameras and media contact with the police!

  48. In all the above the mother never made any allegation against me to the professionals, except in statements to Court and with no evidence!

  49. My personal career is on the slide, I have no moral choice but to stand up and use my energy and training for the well-being of all children for their futures. Indeed, my own children have been badly damaged by people who earn their money by making children cry.

  50. This is a blatant abuse of children’s rights, misuse of section 26 complaint procedures to divert complaints and protect the body involved. The Family law system has in this case abused justice.

  51. The last time I saw my children was on October 26th 1999, when both children wanted to live with me, and my daughter begged me to let her stay. Sad to say, I was a coward and obeyed the law….NO MORE. Justice or bust – even if it makes the guilty cringe.

  52. I have all the proof for everything I say. Sadly, the system has badly let my children down.

Shaun O’Connell
76A San Diego Rd
Gosport, Hants, U.K.
PO12 4QT

Tel: 07719020208
E-mail Justjesting@Hotmail.com

My Note:

None but those who've gone through a hell like Shaun's will believe me, but some of the abuse that Shawn describes matches what I experienced at the hands of my first wife, right down to having to ride the bicycle to work for 10.5 miles each way.
   Over the years I have come to see that such abuse is far, far more common than most people, by far, believe. We know better. We have had far too many men cry their hearts out about such things in our kitchen. —WHS

whiterose.gif (6796 bytes)The White Rose
Thoughts are Free

Posted 2002 05 26