17 years of hell at the hands of social servies Part 1
My story is in three parts, two of my daughter and one part of my grandson and is a continual catalogue of failing after failing by social workers from Greenwich Hospital, Kent County Council, Cornwall Social Services, Bournemouth Social Services and Dorset County Council.
It all began in 1994 when my now ex wife decided to stab me in the wrist with a pair of hairdressing scissors, I went into hiding in South London as I was in shock for some considerable time when my ex turned up waving a pregnancy certificate some months later having persuaded my mother to divulge my address.
Becky was nearly full term and her behaviour had not changed, it was still erratic, unstable, violent and I enlisted the help of Greenwich Hospital social services who I was advised was a really good step to take…
Famous last words sadly.
Becky has a severe personality disorder, she is one of three in her family with paranoid schizophrenia and she was ever so clever at playing the victim and she is very plausible, this is mentioned many times in the court records that whenever a new worker arrived on the case, she would do her little child lost victim routine and I may as well have been Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein and the Devil incarnate rolled into one.
The hospital social worker from Zimbabwe or somewhere like that could hardly speak English and she was very indoctrinated and launched straight away at me pinning the blame wholly on my shoulders for the violence in the family, Becky was very violent towards me over many years that has left me with 18 stab wound scars, broken bones and is partially blamed too for my severe PTSD.
Needless to say at that early stage, I became a target and continued to be until after Siana was born.
We moved out of South London to Gravesend into a hostel for families and the erratic behaviour and violence continued, quite publicly as well, our case was transferred to a Monica Dahl who like her predecessor could find no fault with the ex but every thing I did including breathing was wrong, it was during this time that Siana started to have “little” accidents and bruising, Monica ignored my pleas for help and said the mother was no risk.
We were thrown out of the hostel when my ex beat up two of the resident single mothers and the hostel’s manageress, we moved from property to property until the whole town was on the point of lynching her and we moved to Cornwall, partially to escape Monica.
The stress was getting to me and on Christmas day 1995 two undetected ulcers split and became one big tear in my stomach lining and I became critically ill, despite my own needs I discharged myself after asking the doctor to give me a special drug from a huge needle directly in the stomach which seals ulcers, I could not leave my daughter in the care of the mother hence why I left hospital but I was incredibly weak from blood loss and before the year was out I developed double pneumonia, I do not to this day know how I survived as I was dying but it was Siana that kept me alive I am sure of this.
Gravesend social services, the manager of Monica became suspicious of Becky’s continual accusations as did Kent police when a surgeon asked her why if I had “beaten her to a pulp” she had not a mark on her body, Becky found a place in Cornwall for us to live in and we moved down soon after, I was weak as a kitten for many months afterwards and unable to think straight as all the time I was focusing on keeping Siana alive.
In Cornwall (1996) Becky’s behaviour actually got worse, the landlord lived below us in the flat and she smashed the flat up in a fit of fury whilst I was out at the shops with Siana.
The police were called and a social worker called Sue Hogshaw turned up, Sue was the epitome of the worst kind of social worker, two faced, I found out after she had left Birmingham Social Services leaving a string of serious upheld complaints against her, I was actually out at the time of Becky losing it and the landlord agreed and said this as well but suddenly I got the blame and I was forced off my own property by the police, placed in a B&B overnight and then told the next day to be out of Cornwall or we will have you inside, I was forced to abandon my baby daughter under duress and I fled the county to my mum’s in Bournemouth.
Becky denied her usual target began to abuse Siana physically, the landlord continually called the police and social worker to say she is screaming at that child again and apparently it was so loud that it could be heard very clearly on the phone which prompted the police to turn up with concerns.
The social worker still would do nothing until Siana ended up in hospital, Siana who was learning to walk when I left, according to Becky, stood up on her own, walked across the front room floor, grabbed the lit gas fire and wrenched it off the wall pulling its security chain from the brickwork, Siana had three very deep burns on her leg from the red hot grille of the fire, social services accepted Becky’s versions of events as an “accident” but they were put into a foster family placement and Siana was put on the risk register, she was placed on the risk register as being at risk from me whilst I was 150 miles away and not allowed to see my child.
Becky attacked and severely assaulted several family members of the foster family and was moved to another, she did this again and Sue Hogshaw decided enough was enough and gave Becky 50 pounds, a travel warrant to London and Becky ceased to be a problem and this was all done without any consultantion with me.
The first I knew about it was when I was at my mums when a friend rang me urgently to tell me Siana had been seen in London sporting an enormous black eye down the side of her face, I rang Cornwall, Cornwall refused to tell me at first what was going on, I rang the director who did tell me that Becky had been returned to her parents, I rang Lewisham Social Services who denied any knowledge of Becky being there as Cornwall hadn’t told them, I told them about the black eye and later that day they confirmed yes she had an enormous bruise on her face, given to her by her uncle Jimmy who didn’t like her crying and punched her in the face but refused to do anything about it.
I spoke to my mum and we decided we had enough of this and through her contacts at Bournemouth University, we took on a lovely barrister cum solicitor called Kerry Taylor, we went to court with our concerns and Judge Bonvin gave me an ex parte hearing and a court order for the child to be placed in my care.
Lewisham refused to carry out the order and Becky turned up at my mothers looking for second chances and I took on the role again of Siana’s carer, we were moved into a bed and breakfast, where Becky became involved with a serious ring of paedophiles who lived next door and as we had social services involved I reported this and had confirmed to me they were all convicted paedophiles, Becky went on one over this as I told her she could not take Siana there and attacked the landlady and other residents, the next day she said she needed to speak to the social worker and she placed Siana in care for adoption and social services agreed to accept Siana and I again was not told this until AFTER it had happened.
Needless to say I was not tolerating this, Kerry Taylor and I launched a blistering court action and we had a Judge McKinney who agreed with us that Siana should live with me, Judge Bond and Judge Meston also agreed during this first action when McKinney wasn’t available, social services lost heavily and still refused to obey the order, the worker Julian Vernon said simply, we don’t do single fathers of daughters but McKinney was having none of this and she made an order that Siana be returned to me, that we be housed in emergency accomodation and a council flat found, that any contact with mother was to be restricted and observed and failure of return of Siana to me she said to the social worker that he can choose to go to prison instead for contempt.
By this time I had two years of hell from failure of social services, I was very much the enemy yet I had done nothing wrong except want to make sure Siana had a good loving home and upbringing but the worst was yet to come.
Becky continued her relationships with the paedophiles and kept bringing them round to the front of my flats block seeking to come in, I told her that they could not come in and basically bid them to get lost, one day she was out there shouting at me with her friends in tow when the social worker Julian Vernon turns up.
He came in and said my flat was untidy but he was concerned that I was allowing paedophiles into my property, I said to him that not one of them would cross my threshold and that other neighbours saw them in the block, they would likely get their heads kicked in as I had told them all about some of their doings and the neighbours were 110% behind me.
Social worker wanders off, next day turns up again to tell me that he was taking Siana into care because I was exposing her to paedophiles and that my care of her was neglectful. He had obviously been waiting his opportunity and done a lot of work in the background as he presented me with an EPO and Siana was taken from me to a foster carers in Parkstone.
Becky had almost daily, sometimes many times a day made anonymous and not anonymous malicious calls to social services, I was not told about this but it was this that Vernon used against me, he knew damned well that I would have no truck with the paedo friends of Becky and it was that which led to his undoing.
We had a SWA called Sindy Rowley who was brilliant, I must admit she was a pretty lady and had such a wonderful personality that outside of a professional relationship I could have become quite smitten and we did get on like a house on fire, the problem with Sindy was she was totally honest, she could not lie and would not lie and she was the weak link in Vernon’s chain, it was looking very bleak for us in court with social services looking like adoption was going to happen when we put Sindy in the dock, within a very few minutes it was changing and Bournemouth were losing fast, Vernon had made a terminal mistake when Sindy refused to lie to back him up, he threatened her and she sat there and told my barrister Gary Self EVERYTHING!!!
We then put Vernon in the dock and he was torn to pieces alternately by my barrister and the Judge herself, oh she really had her teeth into him and you could see the look of disgust every time she addressed him and she was furious. We kept Vernon in the dock for three days and then it was the Guardians turn, the Guardian asked the Judge for a short adjournment, wrote a new report on her A4 pad, refuted everything she said and resigned herself from the case after stating Siana should be returned to me.
In her summing up, Judge McKinney made Vernon stand up, he was shaking like a leaf and she spent half an hour delivering such a condemnation at him that if words and looks could kill, he would be a terminal case there and then, Bournemouth were told to stop vicitimising me by her (Bournemouth ignored this) and that she read out a letter she was sending to the Director of Social Services in Bournemouth that was so withering that Vernon resigned that day before he could be sacked (He is at St Annes in Canford Cliffs now I believe), a plan was drawn up over six weeks to rehabilitate Siana with me, that I would attend family centre and Becky was to have contact supervised once a week at the family centre as well and McKinney said she would be checking and if Siana wasn’t back with me full time in six weeks then she would hold every officer responsible in contempt. Siana was back with me in two weeks.
We entered a period where Siana and I lived under siege from her mother, who would daily, sometimes many times a day come round to our flat in Cunningham Crescent and force her way into the flat to attack us both or scream abuse at us from outside, one time she forced her way in whilst we were at the family centre and I was advised of this and Siana and I went into hiding at a friends until Becky drank a bottle of bleach and tried torching the place, she destroyed every photo of my other daughter, my mum and Siana’s baby photos, our furniture was trashed, excreta daubed on the walls when we returned but we managed to get our first injunction BUT Becky was winning an argument for unsupervised contact with Siana with the new Judge.
From 1997 to 2000 we endured this until we took an exchange to Cornwall with the help of the ONLY good social worker Bournemouth applied to our case, Louisa Buckthorpe was brilliant and she left the service a year after we moved to Cornwall but we kept in touch for a while and she helped us with Cornwall Social services who found we were no problem, no hassle, all the previous social worker “concerns” were unfounded and for the first time Siana had actually been discharged from their beady eyes.
But not going too far ahead as Bodmin social services is still a fair way ahead in this tale, the social worker applied to us after Vernon was a Ginette Oubridge, who was the traditional sensible shoes, anti-family, anti-men and certainly anti-me was assigned to the case, Ginette knew it all and it was her that fell for Becky’s “poor little me” routine and forced an issue where Becky was to be given unsupervised contact at her home for the first time, I refused and Bournemouth pushed it to the point where they had cornered me so if I refused again despite my protestations, I would go to prison.
I had no choice but to capitulate, the police were unhappy and said so to the court (Alan Berry a great man and a beacon of hope in those times), the Judge wasn’t keen but was given all manner of undertakings by the ex, the injunction was relaxed to allow her to collect Siana and deliver her back and so she won this point.
It was during this time I met my third wife Tracy and Becky absolutely detested her, it has to be said that I have remained alone ever since because of what Becky put Tracy through and subsequently what Tracy put me and Siana through, I don’t blame her, I really don’t and neither does Siana considering what Becky cost her in pain and loss.
We had a period of bouncing back and forth to court for breached injunctions, Becky was allowed to meet me at the contact centre in the local church to pick up and drop off Siana but she was not allowed to approach the property. This ended with a quarter mile exclusion zone from my property, Siana or myself and Bournemouth police under this order were given the power to arrest and detain Becky if she was found within this quarter mile, it was ironic as the quarter mile as the crow flew perimeter was 10 up the road from where she lived and the police did regularly check to see if she turned left or right as turning right they would arrest her.
Becky was having assessment done at this time at Kinson family centre when she disclosed to the social worker Ginette Oubridge that Siana had cigarette burns on her buttocks and genitalia (I’m sorry for repeating this Siana but it was such a crucial thing at the time) Ginette Oubridge rushed from the office to the family centre and in the public area, in front of twenty people made up from staff and parents, took Siana’s nappy off, examined her first intimately in the rectal area and then equally intimately in the genital area and inserted her fingers into Siana’s privates stating that yes it was cigarette burns, the family centre staff tried to pull her off of Siana saying they were going to call the police but Oubridge wasn’t phased at all, she went back to the office leaving Siana in the care of the family centre, drew up an open EPO, grabbed Siana and forced me at the point of removal to take Siana to the paediatric centre in Poole where Siana was put onto stirrups and the doctor was instructed to examine Siana. Siana was found by the doctor to have three spots of nappy rash on her left buttock, they were very small pimples, I told the doctor that I had been told by the family centre that Oubridge had internally examined her and the Doctor immediately rang the director at Bournemouth to disclose the social workers criminal actions. Ginette Oubridge resigned immediately and Bournemouth refused to comply with a criminal investigation of indecent assault by the social worker, they simply refused to talk, admit or notify a thing and the courts could not get them to budge.
Social services were being very harsh towards me, the daily anonymous calls continued unabated.
We then in 1999 had a three month break of contact as Becky was really causing us problems then contact resumed and it was very lucky that Siana is alive.
The first contact Becky took Siana to Wallisdown but ended up spraining Siana’s ankle as Becky was chased by a gang of West Howe gypsies she had called the police on and made allegations of child abuse against one of the gypsy men.
The second contact Siana was taken to hospital as Becky had bought Siana a bike and left her unattended next to a steep set of concrete steps and a busy road whilst she went in to make a hour long phone call and only realised something was wrong when a neighbour called an ambulance for Siana who had fallen down some 40 concrete steps on her bike.
The third contact Siana was punched in the stomach by a neighbour trying to defend himself, his wife and his young son when Becky attacked Siana.
The fourth contact I was called to pick Siana up early outside the library where Becky had attacked my new wife, her two children, her friend and her two children, she smashed Tracy in the stomach causing her to miscarry our child she was carrying.
The fifth contact Becky refused to give Siana back.
Becky said that Siana had told her that I had whipped Siana mercilessly with a leather belt and used this as grounds as keeping her from returning home. he was examined by Poole paediatric service and no marks or traces of abuse were found and the police and doctor both submitted reports to the court that they believed Siana was being threatened to say these things.
Siana was returned to me in a dreadful state at court during the week as Becky absconded from the hospital with her and was finally found and taken to the court under arrest and she was given a suspended prison sentence for eight weeks by the Judge.
Siana when we were visitied by Louisa told her everything and the police and doctor were right on the money, Becky had forced Siana to make a disclosure as she was threatened with not only being killed but her mother was going to kill me too.
The next contact allowed saw half of Bournemouth police down Cunningham Crescent and Verney Lane because Becky had been given permission to take Siana to the beach, I said to Becky, you must put sunscreen on Siana or she will get sunburned and Becky flipped, in the end they arrested Becky and returned Siana to me as they could hear Siana’s screams.
This of course was beginning to wear my marriage and Tracy was beginning to crack as Becky put around a rumour that her eldest son Stephen who was eight at the time was a paedophile and Stephen was being beaten up at school, Tracy and I ended up having an argument which culminated when I overreacted and I thought Tracy had Siana by the throat, we were screaming at each other, Tracy punched me in the chest and I slapped her round the face to try and calm her down but I was so traumatised by losing my self control even though it was a slap that I handed myself into the police and Louisa arranged for me and Siana to have some respite in a B&B til things calmed down.
Contact against my wishes resumed with mother and Siana ended up in hospital with a very bruised face and eye, Becky claimed Siana locked herself in her bathroom and Becky caught her when she broke the door lock, this is partly the truth, Siana stated to the police that yes she did lock herself in but not by accident, Siana had seen a cat and her mother thought Siana called her a C*** and went berserk, Siana fled into the bathroom and locked the door, Becky kicked the door in and beat Siana very hard and then sought to play it down what happened, I of course went back to court and the Judge again gave her another chance.
The final contact happened and Becky refused to give Siana back, she took Siana to Poole hospital saying Siana had disclosed to her that Stephen had “fingered her bottom” on more than one occasion and Poole out of hours service were at a loss what to do, the police refused to take Siana back from Becky without help and I was asked to make a voluntary care request to ensure Siana could be accomodated and the police were duty bound to investigate these claims regardless of the fact that again they felt she was coached and coerced into making this allegation. Louisa also felt Tracy and I could do with a time out as well as it was devastating us and Tracy’s kids, Siana’s stepbrothers and Louisa said with her senior practioner that as a family we were in dire need of support because of Becky.
Siana returned three weeks later, as Tracy and I asked for an extra week to help settle the boys, the police had found no evidence to even suggest Stephen had done such a thing and that there was no physical evidence either and after interviewing Siana on video, again it came out that she had been heavily threatened if she did not make a disclosure against Stephen, however, Tracy was less forgiving and she never forgave Siana this even though it was Becky’s doing not Siana’s.
We decided that it was time to get out of the flat and with Louisa’s help we found an exchange in Cornwall, Louisa and other professionals all entered into the “lie” we were moving to Norfolk and Becky went and found herself a place there, we went to Bodmin instead and for the first time we did have some peace.