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Advice to Men

U.K. Father (Timothy Forder) to be jailed for refusing to use violence against his son.

The court removed the son, Henry Forder, — by means of force — and secreted him away.

From: "Dr Michael Pelling" <michael@drpelling.fsnet.co.uk>
Reply-To: fathers4justice@yahoogroups.co.uk
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 16:06:09 -0000
To: "Fathers 4 Justice" <Fathers4Justice@yahoogroups.co.uk>

Subject: [fathers4justice] F4J TROOPS NEEDED!

A FATHER is about to be committed to prison for no other reason that he refused to use violence on his own child to comply with a court order to return his son to the mother who has a Residence order. The child has been grossly ill-treated by the mother and has run away numerous times. He was in the care of his father and other relatives for some weeks until Judge Altman made the child a ward of court and sent the Tipstaffs and Police to break down the door of the child's room at his father's and aunt's residence and drag him out by force: child is now being looked after by local authority. Judgment and sentence on the father's committal should be in open court at Court 33 Royal Courts of Justice Monday 24 November 2003 at 1000 before Judge Altman, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge. All members of F4J who can attend are requested to do so to witness this shocking spectacle and to do what they can to ensure that justice is done.


The Father Timothy Forder was married to Michelle Forder, who broke up the marriage and committed adultery, but gained a Residence order in respect of the 4 children of the marriage. All the children desperately want to live with their Father. The eldest child is Henry Forder aged 11 and will be 12 in January 2004 (usually called Harry). The 4 children were being educated in a good London private school, which was often used as a collection/ handover point for Contact arrangements with the Father. However the Mother created embarrassing scenes at these times and in the end the School refused to have the children any more because of the disruption caused by the Mother. The Mother then sought to put Harry in a Local Authority maintained school, which not surprisingly Harry hated. His Father and relatives on the Father's side were able to offer an excellent private education at a school near the Father's residence in Cobham. A change of Residence was appropriate on any rational view. The Mother would not have it and Harry refused to go to the Local Authority school and ran away numerous times to his Father and relatives in Cobham. Harry had been there some weeks, being educated at home as a temporary measure while school and Residence issues were fought out in Court.

The Mother sought to enforce her Residence order and "recovery orders" were made. Tipstaffs attended at Cobham twice to no avail: Harry barricaded himself in his bedroom and the Tipstaffs at that time would not use force. Things came to a head this week. His Honour Judge Altman (deputy High Court Judge - the case is High Court) made an order that the Father must return Harry to his Mother by 7-30pm Thursday 13 November, penal notice attached. The Father did his best to comply but Harry could not be persuaded and the Father would have had to assault his own son and use serious violence on him to compel compliance. That would be obviously unreasonable. There was no wilful refusal or neglect to obey the order and therefore, it is argued, no culpable breach. The Mother applied for the Father's committal to prison for disobedience to the order. The Committal hearing was on Wednesday 19 November before Judge Altman. The proceedings count as criminal proceedings. Such hearings, where the liberty of the subject is at stake, are nearly always held in open court.

I attended with Nurun Chowdhury and we were admitted initially to the hearing in open court. But after the lunch break, the Judge announced that he would continue the hearing in private. I addressed the Judge on that but to no avail. We left and the case continued. The Judgment and Sentence will be on Monday 24 November at 1000, Court 33 RCJ. The Judge on the 19th indicated that part of his Judgment at least would be in open court. But Article 6(1) ECHR allows no exception or qualification to its statement that "Judgment shall be pronounced publicly" ("judgment" means the reasons and order or sentence). F4J members are invited to attend and ensure that Judgment is pronounced publicly; that an innocent man is not sent to prison in a secret court. This is England, not a totalitarian state?

Meanwhile, on the 19th November, Judge Altman secretly made, on his own motion, Harry a ward of court, and sent the Tipstaffs down a 3rd time to Cobham, but this time with instructions to use force. Tipstaffs Philip Johnson (whom it will be recalled I am suing for assault [Matin case], trial February 2004) and Richard Cheesley attended with 3 policemen, and kicked down the door of Harry's bedroom and dragged him out by force. On the Judge's instructions he was taken into the care of the local authority (but not under a care order - the legality of this is questionable but wardship powers are wide). The child is being kept incommunicado and the Judge even ordered that he be prevented from contacting his own Solicitor (Harry had previously instructed a solicitor, who was present at court with counsel for him on the 19th). Denying a child of Harry's maturity access to his own Solicitor is again of questionable legality.

What is this mad Judge up to? This is a judge who has said he is not prepared to have his own orders flouted and who said that Harry would not be allowed to rule the roost [so much for the Children Act requirement of taking the wishes and feelings of the child into account]. This is a judge who has made it a personal battle to ensure that the Father and Harry do not get their way and that Harry has to live with a Mother from Hell who has already wrecked Harry's education and whom Harry loathes. The welfare of the child simply does not come into it.

Judge Altman's plan, it is believed, is to cut off all of Harry's escape routes to his Father and relatives, so that the boy will have no choice but to live with the Mother. Thus Timothy Forder will go to jail on Monday to keep him out of the way while extreme pressure is put on Harry to leave the local authority care and go back to Mother. Relatives have been ordered not to talk to Harry about any of the legal proceedings, though at present no-one knows where he is. Harry must be suffering dreadfully and could be losing hope and strength after the brutal way he was treated on Wednesday. He needs all the support he can be given once he is found.

This case demonstrates the utter bankruptcy of the present Family law system. I have had discussions with Matt [O'Connor, Fathers4Justice], who knows this message is being put out, and Matt wants maximum publicity and support for Harry Forder and his Father Tim Forder.

Michael J. Pelling

NOTE: None of the above information breaches any contempt or other law.

See Also:

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Posted 2003 11 22
2005 01 04 (re-formated)
2006 03 04 (added link to Feminism for Male College Students)