Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dad in custody for death of 10-month-old son (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

This is nuts! We see mention of UNNAMED DAD, another kid in the home who apparently witnessed Daddy hitting the baby. We have Daddy's relatives who are in the usual state of denial. But where is Mom? Somebody gave birth to this child 10 months ago, and it certainly wasn't Daddy. Why is the mother being erased from the story AGAIN? Did this jerk have custody or visitation or something? If so, WHY?



Milwaukee Police investigate death of 10 month-old child
CREATED May. 29, 2011

MILWAUKEE-Police are investigating the death of a 10 month old baby boy.

Police say the baby's father brought him to St. Luke's hospital Saturday night.

Police officials aren't providing many details but sources tell TODAY's TMJ4's Lauren Leamanczyk that this is being investigated as a homicide.

The died of blunt force trauma and according to her sources, the father initially told officers he was playing with baby at his house when he accidentally dropped him.

He told investigators the boy hit his head on a piece of furniture.

But another child said he saw the father hitting the baby.

The father has no prior criminal record.

He has not been charged with a crime in this case, though he was taken into custody.

Family members are mourning the baby while waiting for the results of the autopsy.

That father's relatives say they hope the allegations aren't true.

Police say it is still very early in the investigation.

Custodial dad took boy out of Jamaica; now charged with son's murder (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)

We've seen cases like this before. Dads who get custody by preying upon and exploiting the impoverished mothers of their children--moms who live in countries like Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, or the Dominican Republic. And after these dads get their way and move the kid to the U.S. or Canada, they kill, rape, or severely abuse the kids. For a list of similar cases, see this post:


It looks like dad Garfield Boothe will be added to this list. This POS didn't even know this boy was his son till two years ago....Some devoted dad, this one.


Father charged in death of Brampton boy
By Chris Doucette ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 1:48:38 EDT PM

BRAMPTON — Neighbours recall little Shakeil Boothe’s excitement when he glimpsed snow for the first time a couple winters ago.

It’s one of the happy memories Homeland Ct. residents are clinging to as they try to come to grips with the 10-year-old’s murder, allegedly at the hands of his father who moved him to Canada from Jamaica for “a better life.”

“They seemed like the perfect family,” Dan Greig said Monday. “It’s just so sad.”

He said Shakeil’s father, Garfield Boothe, 31, only learned he had a son in Jamaica about two years ago.

And when he did, he brought the boy here to give him a better start in life,” Greig said.

The youngster lived briefly in the Jane St.-Finch Ave. area before moving with his dad and stepmom to the two-storey house in the quiet neighbourhood, near Dixie Rd. and Queen St. E.

The family occasionally visited Greig’s home next-door for barbecues and Garfield seemed to be a “good” dad.

“His son was such a polite little guy,” Greig said.

“He always had a big smile on his face,” he added. “He was a great kid.”

Peel police responded to a 911 call at 15 Homeland Ct. around 5 p.m. Friday and found the child dead.

Shakeil’s dad was arrested the next day after detectives concluded the boy hadn’t died of natural causes.

“When we were in the house that first day, there were no visible signs of injury,” Const. Adam Minion said. “But since then, we’ve received the coroner’s report, we’ve talked to witnesses and determined there was a criminal element involved.”

Garfield, who is in custody, was initially charged with failing to provide the necessities of life.

But Minnion said the father will be formally charged with second-degree murder when he appears in court Tuesday.

Police aren’t releasing the cause of death, so neighbours can only speculate as to what may have happened.

Greig said he often heard the couple arguing leading up to the birth of a child eight months ago.

He and others said they believe Shakeil’s stepmother moved out a few weeks ago and took the baby with her.

Long-time resident Rilla Armitage thought the Boothes were “a wonderful addition” to the neighbourhood when they moved in a few doors away.

She said the family mostly kept to themselves, but they were always friendly.

“This is just horrific,” Armitage said.

Custodial dad charged in death of 10-year-old son (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)

Dad GARFIELD BOOTHE obviously had custody of this boy, though the press--as usual--is reluctant to say so in clear terms. So what happened to the boy's mother? Is she deceased? Or did Daddy get custody through the courts? Somebody needs to do their jobs better. Whenever a custodial father is arrested for murder, you should ALWAYS question how and why he got custody and who gave it to him. Single moms--more often that not--are a default parent. Nobody challenged them for custody, so their custodial status is just a given. Dads nearly always are GRANTED custody, so when a custodial father kills a child, there's nearly ALWAYS a back story.



Father charged in death of 10-year-old son

A Brampton father has been charged in connection with the death of his 10-year-old son. Michelle Dube reports.

Toronto police charged the father with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his 10-year-old son on May 30, 2011.


Date: Tuesday May. 31, 2011 9:45 AM ET

Police have charged a Brampton man in connection with the death of his 10-year-old son.

Shakeil Boothe, 10, was found without vital signs inside his family's home in Brampton at about 5 p.m. on Friday.

Neighbours told CTV Toronto that loud arguing was heard, and that a moving truck was seen outside the home in the Dixie Road and Queen Street East area.

Garfield Boothe, 31, has been charged with failing to provide the necessities of life.

Peel Regional police say Boothe's death is a case of abuse where legal and moral responsibilities weren't met.

"Being a parent doesn't just mean you have a moral responsibility to the person you care for. There is a legal responsibility as well to ensure their health and welfare," said Const. Adam Minnion.

Rilla Armitage, a neighbour, said that area residents were hoping Boothe's death was the result of an undiagnosed illness.

"Something nicer, as if there's a nice way to die. But it's horrific," said Armitage.

She described Boothe as a "terribly polite child" and said he lived with his father, step-mother and their eight-month-old baby. Armitage said the family kept to themselves.

Boothe was a Grade 5 student who played soccer at Hanover Road Public School before he was allegedly taken out of school by his father, according to school officials.

Results from an autopsy over the weekend will not be released to the public.

After making a court appearance on Saturday, Boothe is scheduled to make another Tuesday morning.

Anyone with more information is asked to call Peel Regional Police at (905)453-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Dad arrested for "spanking baby daughter to death with a belt for soiling her diaper'; Is this a custodial dad? (Austin, Texas)

Interesting trend I've noticed recently. The UK press is reporting murders by U.S. fathers (especially those with custody) while the U.S. press ignores these stories in favor of the latest on Casey Anthony.

What is going on in this case? Notice that the mother of this murdered 2-year-old girl LIVED OUT OF STATE. It was daddy's new gal pal who called the police when Daddy started beating this girl to death.

So did dad NICHOLAS WILLIAMS have out-of-state visitation with a todder? Why? What possible benefit would that have been to a child this young? Or did this hot-headed @$$hole have actual custody?Why is that not clarified? Who gave this idiot custody and/or visitation and why?


Father arrested for 'spanking baby daughter to death with a belt for soiling her diaper'
By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 10:48 PM on 30th May 2011

A young father has been arrested after police said he viciously spanked his two-year-old daughter to death with a belt after she soiled her diaper.

Nicholas Williams, 22, was held in Austin, Texas, last week after his girlfriend called 911 to say the child, Alaney Queen, had stopped breathing.

When police arrived they found Williams holding his daughter, who was unresponsive. After performing CPR at the scene, paramedics took the child to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The child had several bruises across her body, with the greatest injuries suffered to her head and buttocks.

Williams admitted to police he had spanked Alaney Queen about 10 times with a belt because he had caught her in the bathroom eating her own excrement.

He said her lips were already purple before he hit her. After then putting her down for a nap, her later found blood and vomit on the bed and said that was when he noticed she had stopped breathing.

The woman who called authorities, who is not the child's mother, said she heard Williams beating Alaney Queen but did not see it. She said Williams admitted to her that he used a belt to punish the child.

It is thought that the girl's mother lives outside the state.

Detectives have now taken another two-month-old child who was living in the property from the couple and are holding Williams, charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony. in jail on a $40,000 bond.

They believe the child died because of the horrific blunt force injuries she had suffered.

An autopsy performed on the girl's body the next day reported several bruises to the girl's head, face, back, buttocks, chest and arms.

Sergeant Hector Reveles said: 'He said he spanked her approximately 10 times with a belt.

'The child had some contusions throughout various parts of her body... It is clear the child had received more injuries than he was accounting for. Clearly he was the one disciplining the child.'

Dad accused of raping daughter (Warwick, Queensland, Australia)

Of course, this is an UNNAMED DAD. Notice that there is NO MENTION of a mother in this home, and that this child later went into foster care. I'm not convinced there was a mother based on this father's seeming ability to rape and sexually abuse this girl, apparently at will. If there was a mother, than why is that fact never reported in any context? Did the mother know? Did she condone these actions? Is that why the child went into foster care? OR was this a custodial father? If so, why is that fact not reported?  



Man faces child sex abuse claims
Jeremy Sollars | 31st May 2011

A FATHER accused of the rape and molestation of his daughter allegedly carried out the acts when the girl was aged just four and five years old, the District Court in Warwick has heard.

The trial of the man – who under the law cannot be named, to protect his daughter’s identity – finally got under way yesterday morning after a week of legal argument.

Crown Prosecutor Isaac Munsie opened proceedings, giving an outline to the jury of his case which includes evidence on four charges of rape, five of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 12 and a known direct descendant, and two counts of assault.

The five-man and seven-woman jury listened to distressing accusations that the man raped and indecently treated his daughter inside the Warwick home they were renting, on various dates between May 1993 and October 1994.

It is also alleged that he repeatedly forced the girl to perform sexual acts on him and that he injured her when she refused to do so.

Mr Munsie told the court the Crown case would allege the instances of rape took place inside the father’s bedroom, the living room of the house and while the girl was showering with her father.

The rape alleged to have taken place in the bedroom is said to have been witnessed by the girl’s younger sister who was aged two or three, with the sister expected to testify that the older girl protested and complained of pain.

Mr Munsie said the jury would hear from the complainant that she found blood on her legs after intercourse was performed.

The five counts of indecent treatment involve several instances of the girl being forced to perform oral sex and other acts on her father after first refusing to do so.

These include one occasion where the two were in the bath, with the father accused of slamming her head against the tiled wall when she would not comply with the request.

This accusation has resulted in a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm against the father, who is also alleged to have choked the girl until she blacked out on another occasion when she declined to do as he directed.

Mr Munsie said the complainant, who is now aged 23, had narrowed down the time period as to when the offences are said to have taken place to a period between her fourth and sixth birthdays.

After that time the girl went to live with a foster parent, who is also scheduled to give evidence that the complainant told her about the abuse she suffered from her father when she was aged 18 and began dating a boyfriend, while the two of them were discussing sexual health issues.

The court is also set to hear evidence from a school friend of the complainant who was also told of alleged offending involving the father.

Other evidence is expected from police officers who investigated the daughter’s complaints and from a medical expert on child sexual abuse who examined the complainant before the trial.

Due to the multiple sex charges involved, the man has also been charged with the over-arching offence of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 12.

The complainant in the case and her younger sister both gave evidence in a closed court yesterday afternoon, with media not present and with a screen placed next to the witness box to prevent eye contact with their father, who was seated in the dock.

The jury was given copies of material outlining the charges and the timeframe in which the offences are said to have occurred.

The trial continues today and evidence is expected to be completed by lunchtime tomorrow, after which the jury will retire to consider their verdicts on all 12 charges.

Mom speaks out: Infant twins were fatally beaten by father (Baraboo, Wisconsin)

We're reported on this case before. What is not made real clear here is that these babies were murdered during VISITATION with their father, DAVID YATES. Newborns don't need visitation--especially with fathers who have a history of domestic violence.


Mother Of Fatally Beaten Infant Twins Speaks Out

Bird-Winbun Encourages Others To Be Vigilant About Child Abuse

Updated: 10:05 pm CDT May 30, 2011
The Baraboo mother whose husband was convicted of killing their infant twins three years ago is breaking her silence.
At just 5 weeks old, twins Tyler and Savannah were victims of a savage beating that ended their lives, tore a family apart and subsequently landed their father in prison.
Susan Bird-Winbun, the mother of the twins, said that child abuse can escalate quickly. She said she is telling her story in hopes of helping to end child abuse once and for all. She said she doesn't want what happened to her children to happen to others.
"What most people don't know or understand is that violence can turn to homicide overnight," said Bird-Winbun.
Bird-Winbun claims that the cycle of abuse that left her children dead started before they were even born, although she hasnt always known that.
"I thought it was just me that made him angry," she said.
The "him" Bird-Winbun is referring to is the children's father, David Yates, who is now serving two consecutive life sentences for the twins' deaths.
Bird-Winbun said she only gained the strength to end her abusive relationship in the week after she delivered the children. She said she hoped for a successful co-parenting relationship with Yates, but never in her worst nightmares did she think the situation could go so wrong. Making matters worse is the blame she carries with her to this day.
"I can only say to people who say I never should have left Tyler and Savannah with him, that they are absolutely correct," said Bird-Winbun.

While the story of the twins' deaths is an extreme one, it isn't an isolated case of abuse, experts said.
Hanna Roth is founder of the Rainbird Foundation, a group committed to ending child abuse once and for all.
She said she believes that statistics don't tell the whole story, because they can never be current, nor exhaustive.
"The truth is, we don't know how bad it is," said Roth. "I see parents take a hand to their child, and smack them upside the head, or on the fanny, on the streets. It's so acceptable they don't even hide it."
Both Roth and Bird-Winbun are encouraged by the recent passage of a bill by the state Senate that requires all school employees to report child abuse if they even suspect it. They said that the legislation is a single yet huge step in a journey of a thousand miles.
"I sit here today because Tyler and Savannah weren't allowed to live long enough to leave their own footprint on the world," said Bird-Winbun. "So I'm going to spend the rest of my life leaving mine big enough to cover what they would have accomplished as well."
Roth stresses that the mindset of hitting a child in the name of discipline, especially considering if the same adult were to hit another adult, it would be considered battery, has to change.
She also said she believes that the general societal acceptance of yelling and screaming at children also has to be modified.
She is also asking for the public's help. She is participating in a rally to help end child abuse set for Sunday, July 31, at the Capitol Square in downtown Madison.
David Yates plans to appeal his conviction. Yates had until the Friday before Memorial Day to formally file that appeal. It is unknown at this time if that has happened. Calls to his attorney were not immediately returned.
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Dad gets six years for attempted arson murder of ex, two children (Newmarket, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom)

Notice the misleading headline. This wasn't some random jealous "man" who started this fire. Dad DANIEL COE was also targeting his two children in this attempted arson murder. But you have to search for that fact.


Man jailed for ‘revenge’ arson

Published on Monday 30 May 2011 06:00

A PATHOLOGICALLY jealous man who started a fire at his former partner’s Newmarket home while she and their two young children were asleep inside, has been jailed for six years.

Thirty-one-year-old Daniel Coe had stalked and intimidated Alison Wakeling after their relationship ended and she got a new boyfriend.

Then, in the early hours of September 12 last year, he went to the rented house in Brickfields Avenue on Newmarket’s Studlands Park estate where 39-year-old Ms Wakeling was living, poured petrol through the letter box and set fire to it.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that the fire alarms were not working in the house where Coe had been the day before and cut the telephone wires, an action which Judge Rupert Overbury called “particularly sinister”.

The alarm was raised by Ms Wakeling’s 18-year-old daughter, Amy, who was woken by the pungent smell of burning plastic. She woke her mother who fled with her two-year-old daughter, John Farmer prosecuting told the court.

Ms Wakeling then went back into the smoke-filled house to rescue another daughter, aged nine.

Jailing Coe, Judge Overbury described what he had done as “premeditated revenge”.

He said his motive for starting the fire was to punish Ms Wakeling for embarking on a new relationship. “You were dangerously jealous to the extent that you were prepared to risk the lives of those who were once nearest and dearest to you,” he said and added it was fortunate the fire was discovered soon after being started as it could have spread along an entire terrace of houses putting other residents’ lives at risk.

Coe, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and also causing criminal damage to the phone line.

Outlining the background to the case Mr Farmer said Coe’s relationship with Ms Wakeling had begun in 1999 and they had two children together.

They separated in August last year but Coe had shown signs of “pathological jealousy” when he discovered Ms Wakeling had a new boyfriend.

On the night of the fire he had stayed at the Rutland Arms Hotel in Newmarket. Affer leaving at 4am on September 12 he went to a petrol station where he bought the petrol he used to start the fire.

He said that Ms Wakeling, Amy and the two children were taken to hospital but were not seriously injured. The damage to the house was put at £22,000.

For Coe, Joanne Eley said: “He apologises for the trauma and the suffering caused to his family. He knows the terrible consequences that could have happened if they hadn’t got out of the house.”

Dad charged with murdering 17-month-old girl while mom was working (Richland County, South Carolina)

These cases keep surfacing with a depressing regularity: the father or other male "caretaker" who gets "frustrated" and kills the kids while Mom is forced to work. Can we finally admit that our grand social experiment in turning virile, testosterone-fueled men into babytenders has--with a few individual exceptions--been an abject failure? Either these men need to get jobs and support these moms or we need decent publicly funded child care and other financial supports so these moms don't need these pieces of sh** around anymore. Take your pick.


Tuesday, May. 31, 2011
Family of murdered child warns others

By NOELLE PHILLIPS - nophillips@thestate.com

On the eve of 17-month-old Kaitlynn Hill’s funeral, her family gathered to talk about her death and to warn other young women to be cautious when leaving their children under the watch of someone else.

“Young mothers, be aware of the men y’all have your kids around,” said Maxine Scott, the little girl’s maternal grandmother. “Parents, be near your kids and watch your kids.”

Kaitlynn, nicknamed “Kay-Kay,” died Thursday at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital from injuries she received in what appears to be a shaken-baby syndrome death. She was taken to the hospital May 23 with extensive bruises on her body and a brain injury, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Antwan Lydell Gaddist, 32, has been charged with murder in Kaitlynn’s death. He is at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, where he was booked last week on child abuse charges. His bail was set at $75,000, but a new bail hearing for the murder charges will be held this week, authorities have said.

Gaddist was watching Kaitlynn and her twin brother, Kaleb Hill, while their mother was at work, the Sheriff’s Department reported. Kaleb was not injured.

Kaitlynn’s mother, grandmother, aunt and nearly a dozen other family members talked about Kaitlynn’s short life Monday before they attended her viewing at the funeral home. Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. today at Bostick-Thompkins Funeral Home. A memorial fund has been established at Wachovia to benefit her twin.

The family thanked the doctors and nurses who cared for Kaitlynn before she died.

“They did all they could for Kaitlynn,” said her aunt, Robin Hill-Davidson. “It was as if Kaitlynn was their own child.”

The little girl was dedicated to Christ by the Rev. Charles Jackson Jr. of New Laurel Street Missionary Baptist Church before her death, Hill-Davidson said.

Kaitlynn was the bold one in the set of twins, Hill-Davidson said. She had an independent streak and always smiled like she was ready for fun. Scott called her granddaughter a “little go-getter.”

“She had such a beautiful smile,” Hill-Davidson said. “It just makes no sense to be taken so abruptly.”

Robert Hill Jr., the father of Kaitlynn and Kaleb, held his son and cried while the other family members talked.

“If you have kids and you love them, then you know how I feel,” Hill said.

Kaleb already misses his sister, the family said. He has pointed at her picture a couple of times and is more withdrawn and clings to his father and mother, they said.

Miesha Miller, Kaitlynn’s mother, said she had known Gaddist for nearly 14 years, and they had one child, now age 13, together.

She warned other women to be careful when leaving their children under the watch of others.

“He just messed up my whole life,” Miller said.

Legislature fails to support victims of domestic violence (Baltimore, Maryland)

All across the country, men are murdering their partners and children in every increasing numbers. And yet the "enlightened" state of Maryland won't make it easier for moms to get protection orders. Note that the high bar for getting a protection order contributed to the murder of the three Castillo children at the hands of their father. How many other mothers and children will die from this ridiculous policy?


Maryland legislature fails victims of domestic violence
Maryland General Assembly fails to make it easier for women to seek protection after non-physical abuse

By Naomi Sternlicht

6:00 a.m. EDT, May 31, 2011
What would you do if your spouse punched out your television? What if he (or she) threw a table across the room and it smashed to pieces against the wall in a fit of rage? Even if you weren't touched during this episode of violence and intimidation, aren't you a victim of it? Do you deserve protection?

By Maryland's narrow definition of abuse, you may not. It virtually all cases, it will take more than destroyed property, incessant and harassing text messages, or even your abuser coming to your home uninvited to convince a judge that you deserve the protection of the state.

It seems we have a high standard of proof in Maryland for what constitutes domestic violence. It's a high standard that nevertheless puts us in low company: the dwindling number of states that don't recognize a wrecked TV or a destroyed room as an indicator of escalating abuse — a big hint that physical harm could be next. And now, with the legislative session just ended, those who represent the people of Maryland have declined to do anything about it.

This is not the first time the Maryland legislature has neglected to expand domestic violence laws. You might remember Amy Castillo, the Montgomery County woman who, in the middle of a custody dispute with her estranged husband, was denied a protective order due to the rigid standard of proof of domestic abuse. At a particularly volatile moment in their failed relationship, Ms. Castillo's husband took their three children to a hotel in Baltimore and drowned them. It was a sickening headline across the country, and it cried out for some measure to be taken to try to stop it from ever happening again. But even the wrenching testimony of Amy Castillo would not convince the legislature that changes to Maryland's domestic violence laws are overdue.

That was just over a year ago. Fast forward to 2011, and little has changed. During the just-past session, the House and Senate considered legislation that would have permitted domestic violence victims to obtain a protective order from their abuser for more forms of abuse than those that are strictly physical. The bills cited trespassing, harassment and malicious destruction of property as forms of abuse in which victims of domestic violence could seek protection. They didn't even get out of committee. If the legislation had passed, Maryland would have joined 27 states and the District of Columbia in having a more inclusive definition of abuse within their protective order statutes. Yes, it would still be difficult to obtain a protective order under Maryland's stringent standard of proof, but the expanded definition could help more domestic violence victims (disproportionately women) seek protection.

As a student attorney in the University of Baltimore Family Law Clinic, I saw firsthand how Maryland's limited definition of abuse makes it difficult for victims of domestic violence to obtain protective orders. I will not forget my time representing a woman whose husband, in a fit of rage against her, punched a hole in their 50-inch television. Then, with his knuckles still bloody, he threw an end table across the living room, shattering the table and causing damage to the wall.

This man never physically harmed my client. But he frequently destroyed their personal property as a way to intimidate and instill fear in her. Believe me, it worked. Still, it was nearly impossible to obtain a protective order because he had never hit her.

Unfortunately, my client is not an exception. Many abusers pride themselves on never touching their victims and employ other methods of abuse to intimidate and control. Maryland's failure to recognize this as abuse is a national disgrace.

Watching the legislation fail this year, I had to ask: What will it take? Does every lawmaker have to stand in a wrecked room before they can grasp what's going on? Who is really being protected by our state's domestic violence law?

Another year has gone by, and Maryland has failed to take needed steps to protect victims of domestic violence. I want to believe that it will change, but a busted TV and a splintered table leave me thinking, and feeling, otherwise.

Naomi Sternlicht is a recent graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law. Her email is nmsternlicht@gmail.com.

Abuser dads: murder-suicide ultimate form of control (South Carolina)

Obsessive and controlling men put their partners AND children at risk of murder....

Note that once again, we are reminded that the greatest time of risk is when mothers leave their partners. And yet, we require these women have "shared custody" with these abusers? This is simply setting up a license to kill.

And once again, we are also reminded the media is mistaken when it reports that these guys suddenly "snapped" and killed the family. NEARLY ALL THESE MEN HAVE HISTORIES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. While we can't predict who will kill and at what hour, we do know who is at risk and when. Authorities need to stop with the wide-eyed naivete act and stop these killers. Don't give them have "shared" custody. Don't let them have guns. Give these mother protection orders and ENFORCE THEM. And lock these guys up when they violate them. And moms: learn some self-defense and don't be afraid to use it. And as far as I'm concerned, if that means using fire arms yourself to defend your life and life of your kids, then so be it. Nobody else is going to defend them. Certainly the police aren't going to take on the job.


Tuesday, May. 31, 2011
Murder-suicide ultimate form of control
Guns, mental illness, increased threats common in murder-suicide cases

By NOELLE PHILLIPS - nophillips@thestate.com

Men who are driven to murder-suicide are obsessed and controlling, leading them to take drastic measures when women decide to leave, experts in domestic violence say.

“The perpetrator thinks and believes he cannot live without her and he will not,” said Nancy Barton, executive director of Sistercare, which provides services for battered women in the Midlands. “He has got to have her, and you see this picture of real intense, constant jealousy. It’s ‘I’ve got to have her, and I’ll have her in death.’”

Since January, Richland and Lexington county police have reported at least five cases in which a man shot his wife or girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself. In those cases, 11 people died and one was seriously injured.

Two of those cases happened last week in Richland County. And earlier this month, Lexington County police and school officials intervened before a Saluda man, who was armed, reached his girlfriend at Gilbert High School. He shot himself as police were closing in but did not die.

The cases grab headlines and stick in people’s minds as the public tries to understand what drives a person to such extreme violence.

“To me, these first five months of 2011 seems like there is a disproportionate number of domestic homicides and murder-suicides,” Barton said.

Unfortunately, research on the causes of murder-suicide is limited because overall numbers of those cases are low. Also, it’s especially difficult to understand what happened when there are no survivors, experts said.

For years, South Carolina has ranked in the top 10 in the country in domestic violence rates, said Rebecca Williams-Agee of the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

The Violence Policy Council, which monitors gun crimes nationally, ranked South Carolina ninth in per capita cases of men killing women in its most recent “When Men Murder Women” report. That report studied 2008 statistics, finding that 39 women were murdered by men. Of those, only one woman was killed by a stranger.

The most common characteristics of murder-suicide in families are a prior history of domestic violence, access to guns, increased, specific threats and a prior history of poor mental health or substance abuse, according to the National Institute of Justice, which researches crime for the U.S. Department of Justice.

The most dangerous time for a woman is when she decides to leave the relationship, Williams-Agee said.

“The perpetrator has lost all control and is just trying to regain it and doesn’t care anymore,” she said.

When Brian C. Tindall in January shot and killed his wife, Victoria Williamson Tindall, and then himself, their relationship was ending, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department reported. He had moved out of their home three weeks earlier.

Mix that volatile situation of a breakup with guns, depression and drugs or alcohol, and there is a recipe for violence. And the lethalness has the potential to escalate to murder-suicide, including the killing of children, Williams-Agee said.

Laura Hudson, executive director of the S.C. Crime Victims Council, said the availability of guns leads to the violence. And South Carolina does not have strong gun control laws, including those that would limit access to firearms for people previously involved in domestic abuse cases, she said.

“There is a lot to be said about an emotional moment to have that available when you’re not thinking,” Hudson said.

In 591 murder-suicides studied by the U.S. Justice Department, 92 percent were committed with guns. And states with less restrictive gun control laws had nearly eight times the rate of murder-suicide than other states.

All of the recent cases in the Midlands involved guns. In March, Chancey Foy Smith killed 27-year-old Amanda Peake and her two children, Cameron, 9, and Sarah, 6, with a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun. He used the same gun to kill himself.

Lexington County Sheriff’s investigators said Smith, 32, had driven to the Peake home with violence on his mind. They found one assault rifle, two hunting rifles and more than 200 rounds of ammunition in his truck. Police reported that Smith had been drinking the entire day of the shooting.

Hudson also said the poor economy could be behind an apparent spike in domestic violence. Women are less likely to leave a bad situation when they do not have financial independence, she said.

The National Institute of Justice report said economic distress is a factor in murder-suicides although it is hard for researchers to understand exactly what role the economy plays because overall those types of crimes are rare.

Almost all cases of murder-suicide have prior incidents of domestic violence, experts said.

In Monday’s deaths of Amanda Ruth and Joseph Jarrard, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department had never been called to their Marbun Road home to deal with domestic disputes. But after Joseph Jarrard shot his wife in the back and then himself on the head sometime during the night, family members told investigators they knew the couple had been having domestic issues, the sheriff’s department reported.

It’s important for families and friends to recognize the warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship and try to get the couple to seek help, Williams-Agee said.

Warning signs include:

• A relationship that is fast and intense
• Increasing isolation from family and friends
• Public humiliation
• Physical and verbal threats

Clyde Flanagan Jr., a psychiatry professor at the USC School of Medicine, said therapy is essential. Undiagnosed mental problems such as depression or obsessive compulsive behavior can lead to an increase in violence in abusive relationships.

Flanagan said he can relate to that depression and obsession. When he was younger, Flanagan caught his wife cheating and went into a rage.

“I can remember I was pacing up and down in our downstairs and I didn’t know what to do and I was thinking about suicide,” he said.

Flanagan did not have an impulse to hurt his wife. And his medical training led him to seek therapy.

“That was a lifesaver,” he said.

Without help, however, he said, domestic violence will not end.

Mom seeks custody of murdered son's sister; children were formerly in custody of father (Gary, Indiana)

We have posted on this case many times.

Why the hell should the family of the step have any claim to custody at all? This is obscene. I have yet to see one good reason this girl's mother lost custody in the first place. It was simply a case of the Indiana family courts (yet again) caving into the demands of a violent, vindictive father--a father now charged with the murder of his son. I think we have catered enough to RILEY CHOATE, the sicko step, and all their kin. Even after her son was "allegedly" tortured to death by his father, this mother is still having trouble getting her daughter back.

Do you think the daddies have enough rights yet?

Mother Seeks Custody of Murdered Son's Sister
Christina's stepmother's brother says the girl is safe with him

By Ivanna Hampton | Friday, May 27, 2011 | Updated 7:35 AM CDT
After two years of silence, a scared Christina Choate called her stepsister to tell of how her brother died. Her stepsister, Alyssa Nieto, notified other adults.

The mother of a murdered Gary, Ind., boy, Christian Choate, is suing for custody of his sister.

Aimee Estrada's attorney filed an emergency motion May 13, so the estranged mother could regain custody of Christina Choate, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

Estrada's lawyer argued the children's father, Riley Choate, started intimidating his children's mother in 2005 after he won custody of their two kids.

Choate raised his kids with his wife, Kimberly Kubina-Choate.

According to court documents, Kubina-Choate's brother, Robert Hamby, told Estrada's husband over the phone that Christina accused her father of killing her brother.

Authorities found a body buried in a shallow grave May 4 near the family's former home in a mobile park in the Black Oak section of Gary.

Choate and Kubina-Choate face murder charges for the 13-year-old boy's death.

Kubina-Choate left Christina in Kentucky with her brother, who has hired a lawyer for the custody fight, the paper reports.

Christina believed her stepmother's family put a "price on her head," according to court documents.

Hamby countered, insisting people are threatening him not Christina.

"I might be Kim's brother by birth but by choice, right now I am not," Hamby told the paper. "I'm the one who turned her in (to police), and I want nothing to do with her. I just want what is best for Christina.'

Friday, May 27, 2011

DASTARDLY DADS FROM THE ARCHIVES (San Diego, California - 2009)

This is a classic case of court incompetence and corruption. It is good to see that dad HENRY PARSON finally had to face the music--but only because he got caught molesting other people's kids. How many other children are in similar situations, but their fathers haven't been caught?


La Jolla Mom Says She Kidnapped Daughter To Protect Her
Woman's Ex-Husband Now Behind Bars

Lauren Reynolds
10News I-Team Reporter

POSTED: 4:00 pm PDT April 23, 2009
UPDATED: 5:40 pm PDT May 6, 2009

SAN DIEGO -- When Joyce Murphy gave birth late in life to a beautiful, healthy little girl, it was a surprise. Murphy was told she couldn't have children.

"I was ecstatic," she said.

She is a 20-year employee of the University of California, San Diego, and was married to Henry Parson when her daughter was born.

"In the beginning, he was very charming," she said.

But as their child grew, Murphy said, her husband's behavior became disturbing.

"He would wake me up at two o'clock in the morning, tell me about pornography he'd seen and wanted to reenact, and it was pornography about kids."

She became frightened of his post traumatic stress disorder from his tour in Vietnam, which included a story about raping villagers. She filed for divorce in 2002 when her daughter was 6.

A battle ensued in San Diego County Family Court over custody of the little girl.

Murphy claimed that her daughter was afraid of Parson.

"She would cry if she had to be left with him," said Murphy.

The young girl told a doctor that when Parson was angry he pushed down on her shoulders and injured her. The doctor reported it to Child Protective Service, which Murphy said termed the incident inconclusive.

"From that point on, I was demonized by the courts," she said.

She said she was viewed as a delusional, argumentative trouble maker, while Parson was viewed more favorably.

One therapist appointed by Family Court, Marilyn Marshall, wrote that Mr. Parson was "no danger to anyone, especially his daughter."

"So this therapist said it was my fears of the father that was making the child afraid," Murphy explained.

Parsons was granted immediate overnight visits.

"And I just broke," said Murphy. "I thought, either I go to jail or I protect my child. It was like a primal instinct."

Murphy took her daughter and ran. She was arrested in Florida, brought to San Diego and tossed in jail.

She eventually pleaded no contest to felony kidnapping, accepting the charge without admitting guilt. She was placed on probation.

"I was told I was toxic to my daughter," said Murphy.

Her bosses at UCSD stood by her, but she lost her daughter to her ex-husband and was granted only limited visitation.

"And I thought, all I'm trying to do is protect my little girl from someone I know is a danger," said Murphy.

So she waited and worried for six years, until a call last November. Murphy had to pick up her daughter, because another young girl had bravely come forward, accusing Parson of molesting her. Parson was now the one behind bars.

"This man is a monster, and he hurts little girls," said Murphy.

The criminal complaint charges Parson with hurting three girls, two of them younger than 14 years old. The charges include oral sex with a child, molestation, possessing child porn and using a child to make porn.

A report from the District Attorney's Office said, "The defendant's computers and camera were seized ... revealed numerous photographs of young girls."

Using those photographs, an Oceanside police officer was able to identify and speak with one of the girls, which led to more charges against Parson.

Joyce Murphy feels vindicated, but it's bittersweet.

"I blame the entire family court system," she said, "because they are not held accountable."

I-Team reporter Lauren Reynolds posed the question to the supervising judge of the San Diego County Family Court, Lorna Alksne.

"Is family court doing a good job?"

"Family court is doing an excellent job," Alksne said.

She said each judge must juggle between 200 and 300 cases every month. She said the judges read before work, after work and during breaks to be prepared for their full day of hearings.

She can't comment directly on the Murphy case, and was not involved, but she acknowledges the need for improvement in how child custody cases are decided.

"Family Court has, statewide, some issues on how do you really make a determination on where children should live?"

Joyce Murphy said Family Court's only good decision in her case was granting her full permanent custody of her daughter after her ex husband was jailed.

Henry Parson's daughter is not one of the victims alleged in the criminal complaint. Parson declined to speak with the 10News I-Team. His attorney has a policy of not commenting on pending criminal cases.

Dad of badly shaken baby: 'I'm not a criminal' (Greenwood, Indiana)

This poor sweetheart! You are so right! Nobody should be held accountable for inflicting serious brain damage on a helpless infant--especially when you're a "tired and frustrated" father! Dads shouldn't be held accountable for abuse. Everybody knows that. Where's your get-out-of-jail free card, anyway? Everybody get out your violin for dad GABRIEL COOPER now!

I swear, the only parents I ever see who ever make or get away with the "tired and frustrated" excuse are fathers. A mother who did this to her baby would be condemned out-of-hand as a heartless bitch underserving of any mercy.


Dad of badly shaken baby: ‘I’m not a criminal’
Daily Journal staff writer
First Posted: May 23, 2011 - 10:23 pm
Last Updated: May 23, 2011 - 10:23 pm

A Greenwood father said he was tired and frustrated the day police said he grabbed and violently shook his infant son, causing brain injuries.

Gabriel Cooper, 19, said he knows he made a big mistake.

He hopes to be released from jail soon, so he can go back to school at University of Indianapolis and move into a home with his fiance and son, like they had been planning and saving for.

“I really want to be a father and get to the life I had. I’m not a criminal,” Cooper said.

He was charged Monday with neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury, a Class B felony, and could face up to 20 years in prison.

Dad arrested in beating death of 3-month-old son (White County, Arkansas)

Four months after the beating death of his 3-month-old son, dad BILLY GOFF has been arrested and charged with 2nd-degree murder.


Billy Goff arrested for allegedly beating son to death
8:09 AM, May 24, 2011
Written by Lindsey Tugman

WHITE COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Four months after a White County baby was beaten to death, police make an arrest.

In January, Today's THV first told you about the alleged incident. The man now behind bars is the three month old boy's father, Billy Goff.

He's charged with second degree murder.

The coroner tells THV the child died from a skull fracture and brain swelling.

It reportedly happened at the baby's grandmother's home.

The father has been a suspect from the start, but no word yet from the prosecutor why it took several months to file charges.

Dad gets custody of 2-year-old son after accusing mom of abuse; one week later the boy is dead (Ecorse, Michigan)

So Mama was really the abusive one, eh? And it's just this amazing coincidence that one week after UNNAMED DAD got custody, the 2-year-old boy is dead. He "accidentally" drowned, see, while, um, daddy was "removing a frog from their home." Wow. That's some story. Big points for creativity at least.

In reality, we have seen many, many cases here at Dastardly Dads of fathers who went on smear campaigns against the mothers of their children. It was all in a concerted campaign to ruin the mother's reputation and rob her of her children. Pure revenge, abuse, and control. And after all that, who needs the kids? They're just collateral damage after this point.


2-Year-Old Ecorse Boy Drowns In Bathtub
Police Say Father Left Boy In Tub While He Was Taking Frog Outside

POSTED: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
UPDATED: 12:52 pm EDT May 24, 2011

ECORSE, Mich. -- Ecorse police said it only took minutes for a 2-year-old boy to drown in a bathtub after his father had stepped away to remove a frog from their home.

Lt. Stephen Salas said the boy, Kamarion Lewis, had only moved into his father's apartment a week ago after abuse allegations surfaced with his mother.

"The child was rescued only to have this horrible accident a very short time later," he said.

Salas said Lewis' father had captured a frog to show his son on Sunday and was keeping it in a box in his apartment. But the father's girlfriend insisted the frog be taken out of the home and Lewis' father left him in the tub while he took the frog out, Salas said.

When the father returned, the boy was face down in seven inches of water, Salas said.

"He did say that he attempted to do CPR, although he'd never been trained in CPR. So, he wasn't sure if he had used the correct methods," Salas said. "But he said the child had started to cough water. He did dry the child and call 911."

Salas said Lewis was unresponsive when EMS crews arrived, and was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital in Detroit.

Salas said the situation appears to be an accident, but Lewis' father and the girlfriend are being interviewed.

"I would have to say that you should never leave a child unattended in the bathtub, especially when they're a toddler or small," he said.

No charges have been filed yet.

Custodial dad chained teen daughter to keep her from leaving the house (Desoto County, Florida)

Interesting that Florida abuser daddy stories are now found in the UK, and not in the Florida media. Especially when they involve custodial dads like OSCAR RUIZ. What's that about? And what happened to Mom? Not one word of explanation--as usual.



Single parent father faces abuse charge after he chained his teenage daughter to a set of weights to stop her leaving the houseBy Paul Thompson

Last updated at 8:09 PM on 23rd May 2011

Oscar Ruiz chained up his daughter before he left for work

A father is facing child abuse charged after he chained his teenage daughter to a set of weights to stop her leaving the house.

Police found the 14-year-old girl shackled by a 15 foot long chain attached to a dumbbell and two 25lb weights.

The teen told police her father Oscar Ruiz had chained her up before he left for work.

Deputies cut the chain off the teen's leg and said she was unharmed by her ordeal.

Officers contacted Ruiz at his work and he claimed he had to work away from the home in Desoto County, Florida, and had couldn't find anyone to look after his daughter.

He also said his daughter continually ran away from home and chaining her up was the only guaranteed way she would remain at home.

The teen, who has not been named, was chained to a 25lb dumbbell and two 25lb plates. The chain around her ankle was padlocked.

DeSoto County Sheriff William Wise said: 'I’ve never seen anybody get chained to an 85lb weight before. He’s a single parent. He thought he was doing the right thing and it landed him in jail.'

The teenage victim was able to escape by dragging the weights across her front lawn to a neighbours house where police were called.

Neighbour Deborah Harrison said: 'I can't believe parents would do that to their kids. I'm totally shocked.'

Police said the teen was taken into custody for a previous battery case.

She was held in a juvenile detention centre while her single parent father was in jail on abuse charges.

Police: dad beat 3-year-old son with hanger (Peoria, Arizona)

UNNAMED DAD here. Mom was afraid to report the incident for fear her children would be taken away--and then they were.


Peoria police: Father beat his 3-year-old son with a hangerby Shala Marks - May. 24, 2011 01:44 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

Police arrested a Peoria man for beating his 3-year-old son with a hanger.

The 21-year-old father was arrested Friday.

The child had welts and lacerations over his body, Peoria police spokesman Jay Davies said.

Police received an anonymous tip about possible child abuse Friday morning. They arrived at the apartment on the 13300 block of North 88th Avenue around noon.

The child's 21-year-old mother told police that on May 18 her boyfriend told her he had beaten their son with a hanger. She told police he told her, "I did something bad, I spanked baby," Davies said.

The woman told police her boyfriend said it was because the toddler had thrown toys all over the place, broken a door and rubbed shoes over freshly washed carpet.

The woman told police she went to bed and said she would "deal with it in the morning."

The next day the boyfriend showed her the hanger he used and the woman told police she planned to throw it away, Davies said.

She saw the marks on her son's body, but did not report the incident to police because she did not want her children to be taken away, Davies said.

When officers arrived at the home, the woman told them her boyfriend was at work.

The boyfriend later walked out of the bathroom and told police he hid in the shower because he was afraid, Davies said.

Police also arrested the woman on suspicion of failing to protect her children and providing false information to police.

The boy and a 1-year-old girl were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Finding out how boy in father's custody was murdered and buried in shed (Gary, Indiana)

Notice that out of all the handwringing in this case, there isn't ONE concern raised about how dad RILEY CHOATE was able to obtain custody despite a history of domestic abuse, and how he was shut the boy's mother off from all contact. And yes, we have shown here that the mother took this matter to court (see previous posts). Maybe we need to start asking questions about the Indiana fathers rights people and their influence on  and/or infiltration of the family court system.

Notice that the reporter even fails to mention that Choate had custody, and this boy was beaten for wanting to return to his mother.


Finding out how this boy died and was buried in this shed
May 26, 2011|By Andy Grimm

Our reporting began with the grisly discovery of the body of a 13-year-old boy buried beneath a layer of quicklime and concrete behind a mobile home in Gary, and the announcement of charges against his father, Riley Choate, and step-mother, Kimberly Kubina.

From there, the details released by investigators only got more shocking: Before he died, Christian Choate had spent his final years enduring daily beatings at the hands of his father, step-mother and older sister. And confined to a wire cage or bound, spread-eagle, to a metal bedframe. Worse still, no one seemed to notice the boy had been missing for two years.

The abuse was shockingly brutal, but beyond it was the question: How could this go on for years and no one know anything about it?

We sought answers from police investigators, child welfare authorities, former neighbors and relatives. So far, that reporting has raised questions -- authorities clearly were familiar with the Choate household.

He wasn't going to school. Why didn't truancy officers come calling? Calls to the school districts serving the neighborhood near the trailer found Christian was never enrolled. Records at the district where he had lived before moving to the trailer park showed Christian had been withdrawn from school when his parents notified administrators he was going to be home-schooled. Under Indiana law, school officials have essentially no contact with a child after his parents have announced their intention to home-school them.

Meanwhile, sources said they believed Indiana’s Department of Child Services had been in contact with the Choates prior to Christian’s death, though apparently not regarding Christian. DCS officials, citing state privacy laws, would not reveal anything other than that they weren’t investigating the family at the time Christian died -- detectives were going to have to subpoena the records to get them.

A visit to the trailer park confirmed rumors that neighbors had made complaints. But each resident we talked to who lived in the trailer park during the period the Choates were there said they had never laid eyes on the boy.

Dad charged with killing pet rabbits (Winter Haven, Florida)

REGINALD OWEN SEAR JR.: Just another one of your garden-variety psycho daddies.


Posted on Wednesday, 05.25.11

Man charged with killing pet rabbits
The Associated Press

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- A central Florida man faces animal cruelty and child abuse charges after authorities say he killed three baby rabbits.

Winter Haven police say 34-year-old Reginald Owen Sear Jr. got into an argument with his wife Tuesday over who was supposed to feed the family's pet rabbits. Police say Sear took the animals' cardboard box into the bathroom and killed the baby bunnies by twisting them.

The couple's two young children didn't see the animals being killed, but authorities say they saw blood on their father's face when he left the bathroom. Police say it was so traumatic for the children that Sear was charged with two counts of child abuse, in addition to three counts of animal cruelty.

Sear was being held without bail. Jail records didn't say if he had an attorney.

Family law is failing kids (Sydney, Australia)

Great piece by Catherine Gander.


26 May 2011

Family law is failing kids

Catherine Gander

Imagine for a moment that you are going through divorce or separation and you fear that your ex-partner is harming your children.

You seek help from community services who advise you to remove your children from harm’s way, but you are prevented from doing so because your ex-partner has shared custody ordered by the Family Court. You go back to court to review shared parenting, but a lack of evidence results in your ex-partner retaining unsupervised access. Your children remain at risk of ongoing harm. Unfortunately, this scenario is not an isolated case.

That’s why three major inquiries into the ability of the family law system to respond to family violence were conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Family Law Council and Family Law Reform Professor Richard Chisholm. They concluded that the Family Law Act and its principle of equal shared parenting were unintentionally undermining the legislation’s clear aim to protect children from child abuse, neglect and exposure to domestic violence.

The result of these inquiries is the proposed Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 currently before parliament with Senate hearings set for 9 June.

In a bid to better protect children and other victims of domestic violence, the Bill rightly seeks to define child abuse more broadly to

include exposure to violence, remove disincentives to victims of violence reporting abuse, improve courts’ access to evidence of family violence, and make it easier for state and territory child protection authorities to participate in family law proceedings.

Divorce is common in Australia, affecting about 55,000 couples and about the same number of children. In most cases where parents are separating the family law principle of equal shared parenting is desirable and works in the interests of both parents and children.

But in some families, where there is a history of domestic violence or abuse, or a threat of violence, the family law principle of co-parenting is unintentionally dangerous if parents are not helped to raise their fears, claims of violence or abuse are not taken seriously, or the court process struggles to identify risks to children.

Our 56 women’s refuges across NSW often see women who are directed to remove their children from violent partners, but when they prepare their case for the Family Court they are counselled not to raise allegations about domestic violence for fear of being seen as unfriendly to shared parenting and risking a negative custody outcome.

For the most part, our family law system’s Family Relationship Centres help thousands of couples every year to successfully negotiate post-separation parenting arrangements through mediation. It is only when there is violence or other abuse that parents are referred to the Family Court.

Our own Women’s Family Law Support Service that operates from the Sydney Family Law registry supported more than 200 women in 2010, 81% of whom identified family violence as an issue. In one case a young boy ended up in hospital after an assault against him by his father during contact. The father was charged and police took a Protection Order out on behalf of the child. The mother went back to court to seek a review of parenting orders, but the judge said the Protection Order would improve safety and ordered the mother to continue to facilitate unsupervised contact.

Why does this happen? In part because we have a Family Law Act that now puts the ‘rights of the child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents’ at the forefront of decisions about custody to the detriment of the safety of children. The 2006 amendments to the Act strengthened the principle of equal shared parental responsibility. This has put judges under pressure to make orders that, in some cases, give children unsupervised contact with abusive parents.

The Family Court’s difficulties in raising, identifying or recognising risks to children arises in part from a lack of coordination between the State legal and child protection systems and the family courts.

As a society we like to think that we have no tolerance for domestic violence at any level. Yet we endure a family law system that has serious systemic gaps obstructing parents – mostly mothers, but not always – from raising fears for their children.

It’s time we recognised that we are all part of a culture that struggles with and habitually denies the extent of domestic violence and abuse in family life. The Australian Institute of Family Studies’ Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms that surveyed 10,000 couples who had separated after 2006 found that one in five parents reported concerns for their children’s safety during contact with the other parent.

Our culture of denial also contributes to a family law system that struggles to recognise abuse owing to a limited definition of family violence. That’s why the changes before parliament have expanded the definition of family violence to include children’s exposure to violence and a range of behaviours, including coercion, torment and financial abuse.

It defies logic that in legal practice a parent who is violent to their partner can be considered a bad partner but a good parent.

It is time to make children’s safety a priority in family law.

Catherine Gander is the Executive Officer of the NSW Women’s Refuge Movement (NSW WRM).

Dad faces felony abuse charges for drug use (York, Nebraska)

Dad JOHN MILLESON was apparently "caretaking" for his three children when he overdosed on drugs. His oldest child had to call 911. Where is Mom in this story? Working? Or is this a single dad? Did he have custody? Lots of unanswered questions here.  



Neb. father no longer face felony abuse charges; trial on misdemeanor count set for AugustFirst Posted: May 26, 2011 - 5:30 am
Last Updated: May 26, 2011 - 5:30 am

YORK, Neb. — A York father will stand trial on a single misdemeanor count of child abuse after several felony charges were dropped.

The York News-Times reports a York County district judge has dismissed most of the charges against 26-year-old John Milleson, saying prosecutors didn't show intentional harm.

Prosecutors say Milleson took illegal drugs on Oct. 15 and became so intoxicated that he suffered breathing problems. Three children ages 12, 7 and 6 were home at the time, and the oldest called 911.

Milleson will stand trial Aug. 31 for negligent child abuse.

Dad indicted in death of 10-week-old daughter (Akron, Ohio)

Dad DENNIS WATSON has ben indicted on felony murder charges in the death of his infant daughter.


Father Indicted In Child's Death
5/24/2011 3:46:11 PM | Summit County Prosecutor's Office - news release

A man charged with causing the death of his infant daughter has been indicted by a grand jury.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Dennis Watson, 31, of Dayton Street in Akron, was indicted by a Summit County Grand Jury on two counts of Felony Murder for allegedly causing the death of his daughter, 10 week old Avionna Watson. Watson was also indicted with Endangering Children, a felony of the third degree.

Watson will be arraigned on May 27, 2011 in Magistrate Shoemaker's court. A grand jury indicts on two counts to offer a potential jury "alternative theories" on what may have caused the baby's death, Felonious Assault or Child Endangering.

Avionna's mother, Deborah Helms, was indicted for Obstructing Official Business, a misdemeanor. Her case will be handled by Akron Municipal Court.

Perverted father abused own children for ten years (Rugby, England, United Kingdom)

Gotta love the U.K. press. They don't tip toe around or mince words. Of course it's an UNNAMED DAD--with no mention of a mother in the home.



Perverted father abused own children for ten years

27 May. Updated: 27 May 10:18

A FATHER who has been sexually abusing his children over the last ten years has finally admitted to his perverted crimes.

The Rugby man - who is in his mid 30s but cannot be named to protect his victims - pleaded guilty to carrying out a catalogue of child abuse between 2000 and last year after originally denying it.

But a judge at Warwick Crown Court heard the perverted father maintains he did not rape one of his young victims - despite pleading guilty to doing so.

Defending him, Sarah Buckingham told the court he had decided to admit to what he did so he could 'spare his children' the ordeal of a trial and allow to them to start trying to recover from their trauma.

He was facing numerous charges of rape, indecent assault, indecency with a child and assault by penetration against four children all aged under ten-years-old.

At an earlier hearing the man pleaded guilty to some of the charges but denied others, including many of the rape offences.

But he later admitted to all of the charges after his barrister Sarah Buckingham asked for them to be put to him again.

Prosecutor Adrian Keeling QC told the judge he accepted the pleas because they meant two of the children in particular would be able to avoid give evidence.

Sarah Buckingham, defending, said the defendant had made ‘full admissions to all the offences,’ with the exception of the rape of last girl when she was aged nine or ten.

“It was difficult for him to accept that count as alleged, but he accepts he is guilty even though he maintains he has not done that act," Ms Buckingham said.

“He does so because he wishes to avoid a trial and to spare his children so they can begin the passage to recovery.”

But Judge Richard Griffith-Jones responded: “There is no hiding from it. There is no point him saying ‘I am not really guilty.’ He has pleaded guilty.”

From the dock the defendant said: “I don’t want to put my children through any more. I am pleading guilty.”

The case was adjourned for a report to be prepared on the father to consider ‘the issue of dangerousness’ he poses to children before he is sentenced.

He was remanded in custody after Miss Buckingham told the judge: “He does not wish to be re-admitted to bail. He asks Your Honour to remand him in custody today so he can begin his sentence.”

Mothers' fears persist after separation (Australia)

Lots of news from Australia today. Many thanks to the anonymous contributor who sent these articles to me.

"Joint" (or "shared")  parenting has been instutionalized in Australia since 2006--and has proven to be an absymal failure. Yet you still see the fathers rights people elsewhere in the world continue to push this as if it had never been tried. If you truly want to have shared custody with your ex, there is nothing to stop you. That is very different from joint custody becoming official policy, and the court authorities ramming it down your throat and putting you and your children at risk.


Fears persist after separation
Patricia Karvelas
From: The Australian May 25, 2011 12:00AM

ONE-in-five parents report having safety concerns for themselves or their child as a result of ongoing contact with the other parent after separation, a new report reveals.

And most parents who report a recent experience of being harmed physically by their ex-partner say their children witnessed the violence or abuse.

The Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, will today release research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, which finds parental conflict, fear, abuse, or safety concerns remain strong for a significant number of parents following separation. The government will use the research to boost its case for reform of the family law system to further protect children.

The report, Parenting dynamics after separation and views of adolescents in separated families, examines the behaviour and experiences of parents and adolescents from families that separated since 2006, when the Howard government changed the law to include the requirement children have access to both parents after divorce.

The release of the report comes as the government today begins debate on new legislation asking the Family Court to consider family violence before granting custody to both parents.

Of more than 7000 separated parents who participated in the Longitudinal Study of Separated Families, about 60 per cent reported a friendly or co-operative inter-parental relationship, while about one-in-five described it as involving high conflict or fear.

Experiences of abuse were more likely to take the form of emotional abuse rather than physical hurt. One-in-five parents reported they had safety concerns for themselves or their child as a result of ongoing contact with the other parent.

Almost one in four parents experienced family violence before separation and in many cases, children
had witnessed some of the abuse or violence.

The survey was taken in two phases. The results compare what parents reported from the first survey to the second, on average 28 months after separation.

The study found a lower proportion of parents in the second phase of the survey said they mainly relied (or were relying) on discussions between themselves to arrange custody -- 49 per cent against 60 per cent for the first phase -- while a higher proportion nominated use of the courts -- 11 per cent to 5 per cent.

Mr McClelland said: "The government has introduced the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill to create a safer and fairer family law system and prioritise the safety of children."

The bill faces pressure after the Coalition said it would push for changes to draft laws providing protection for children. Opposition legal spokesman George Brandis said the Coalition had concerns about three areas: the expansion of the definition of "family violence"; the proposed removal of "friendly parent" provisions from the section of the Family Law Act that governs the court's discretion in relation to parenting orders; and the proposed removal of the power of the courts to make cost orders against a person found to have deliberately lied to the court in order to attempt to damage another person.

The Coalition move is understood to follow pressure from fathers' groups.

Push to support new bill to protect children from visitation with abusive fathers (Sydney, Australia)

This is the sick situation we now have in Australia--thanks to fathers rights lobbying. This mother must allow her son to to have unsupervised visitation with his father, a convicted sex offender. And if she refuses, SHE'S the one who will be reported to the authorities.


Push to support new bill to protect children Adele Horin
May 25, 2011

Changes to child custody laws will be put under the spotlight today, writes Adele Horin.

A WOMAN whose ex-husband was jailed for sexually abusing her daughter is resisting Family Court orders to allow him contact visits with their son.

The man was sentenced to three years' jail and served 18 months for the aggravated indecent assault of a minor - his then 13-year-old stepdaughter. He was freed on a good behaviour bond and has been granted supervised access visits with the younger child. The visits, which were supposed to start last October, were intended to lead to unsupervised access after seven weeks.

Now the mother is fearful she might end up in jail because she is in contravention of court orders. ''The day he molested my daughter he lost his rights as a parent,'' she said. ''My son says he's scared of him and I won't make him go.''

The executive officer of the NSW Women's Refuge Movement, Cat Gander, says the case highlights the bind women are in under the Family Law Act.

''State child protection authorities insist women protect their children from danger but Family Court orders insist women facilitate access.''

A rally today outside Federal Parliament will be the first step in a campaign to ensure passage of a new family law bill that seeks to give greater protection to children in access and custody disputes. More than 170 agencies, including Lifeline, the YWCA, the Benevolent Society and Headspace, the youth mental health agency, have formed an unprecedented alliance to push for even stronger protections for children in the proposed legislation.

After several government-commissioned studies into family violence that showed children were insufficiently protected under the 2006 Family Law Act, the federal government proposed a new family violence bill. A public inquiry starts on June 9 in Canberra.

Some men's groups claim the government's proposed changes to family law may weaken shared parental responsibility provisions. However, Kylie Temple, project co-ordinator for a mid-north coast domestic violence service, said the 2006 law, in emphasising children's rights to a relationship with both parents, had compromised children's safety: ''If this mother complies with the federal court order and leaves her child with a convicted sex offender, under state law I am mandated to report the child to the child welfare department for being at significant risk.''

The new alliance wants the committee to take up the recommendations of the former family court judge Richard Chisholm to drop the presumption of equal shared parenting responsibility and the obligation to consider equal time in favour of treating all cases that come before the court on their merits.

The government has proposed more modest changes that will give greater weight to the protection of children above the benefit of children having a meaningful relationship with both parents where family violence was a concern. As well, it proposes to delete the ''friendly'' parent provision which obliged judges to have regard to whether a parent encouraged the child's relationship with the other parent.

Ms Gander said that at this stage it was unclear whether the proposed changes would have a smooth passage through Parliament.

Abuse claims "rarely used as court weapons" (Sydney, Australia)

The fathers rights people have long promoted the myth that mothers are involved in the wholesale manufacturing of abuse claims. This lie should have been put to rest years ago. But unfortunately, the lies still live, are still being promoted, and are still being used to put women and children in danger. If anything, mothers underreport or minimize abuse.

Abuse claims 'rarely used as court weapon'
Adele Horin
May 27, 2011

"Claims that abuse allegations are manufactured are bogus" ... Kate Ellis, Minister for the Status of Women.

THE Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis, has criticised individuals and groups who claim that separated mothers routinely made false allegations of violence and child abuse to gain tactical advantage in family law disputes.

Speaking yesterday in a debate on the introduction of a new family law bill, Ms Ellis said it was of concern that these groups were gaining increasing prominence and respectability.

''We are hearing their arguments repeated across the nation and indeed in the Parliament and … they are distorting domestic family violence figures, spreading misinformation and propagating the view that family violence and child abuse claims are fabricated during custody proceedings,'' she said.

Advertisement: Story continues below Ms Ellis said of even more concern was that ''this spurious view'' seemed to have got some following in the community, with a survey by VicHealth showing 46 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that women going through custody battles often made up claims of domestic violence to improve their case.

Ms Ellis said research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found the rates of family violence allegation in custody proceedings in the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court were similar to the reported rates of spousal violence in the general divorcing population.

''In short, claims that abuse allegations are manufactured are bogus and unsupported by any respectable form of evidence,'' she said.

The opposition has introduced proposed amendments to key parts of the government's Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill, indicating a battle ahead for passage of the long-mooted reforms.

A spokesman for the shadow attorney-general, Senator George Brandis, said the opposition would not support removal of the ''friendly parent'' provision from the act.

The government says the provision deters women from reporting violence in case they are deemed unwilling to foster the parent-child relationship.

As well, the opposition wants mandatory cost orders to be retained as a deterrent to people lying to the court. The government says the provision also deters some people from reporting violence in case they are not believed and have costs awarded against them.

The opposition also wants the word ''reasonable'' to describe a person's fear of violence retained. ''It is not too much for the fear to be reasonably held,'' the spokesman said.

The opposition supports the government's proposed new wording to give greater priority to children's safety over their having a meaningful relationship with the other parent.

Protesters demand divorce/child custody changes (Canberra, Australia)

This is so long overdue....


Protesters demand divorce law changesBY MYLES PETERSON
26 May, 2011 08:59 AM

Hundreds of protesters rallied on the lawns of Parliament House yesterday, calling for changes to divorce laws.

The protesters travelled from across NSW and represented women's refuges, children's organisations and charities who deal with victims of domestic violence.

Calling themselves the Safety for Children Alliance, the group called for the proposed Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 to be passed.

The new legislation seeks to make it more difficult for violent partners to receive custody in a divorce settlement, according to a spokeswoman for the protesters.

''We're looking to undo some of the damage that was done in 2006 when the Howard government placed the rights of parents above the safety of children,'' the spokeswoman said.

Helen Cummings, mother of international actress Sarah Wynter, told the rally her own tale of domestic terror. Detailed in her new book Blood Vow, Ms Cummings spoke of how the difficult decision to leave her husband in 1976 probably saved her and her children's lives.

Stuart Wynter murdered his second wife and their child, then took his own life. ''The police phoned me to say my ex-husband was dead ... I asked [the police] how his wife and child were and they told me they were dead. I knew straight away they'd been killed by guns,'' she said.

The Safety for Children Alliance erected more than 30 tributes, in the form of children's clothes hanging from a line, to represent children who had been killed by a violent parent with court-ordered contact.

NSW Woman's Refuge Movement executive director Catherine Gander said current legislation placed too much emphasis on parental access over the rights of the child to be free from violence and abuse.

''Many of the parents and children we see who are engaged in Family Court processes are in danger of ongoing exposure to violence because the current Family Law Act's presumption of equal shared parental responsibility is putting the principle of shared parenting ahead of the safety of children,'' she said.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland issued yesterday a report from the Australian Institute of Family Studies which found violence, abuse and safety concerns were prevalent among large numbers of separated families.

''The Government has introduced the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill to create a safer and fairer family law system and prioritise the safety of children.''

The legislation is due for debate in Federal Parliament this week.

One in five single moms "live in fear" (Queensland, Australia)

Once again, we see the mounting evidence on how mandatory "shared parenting" has put mothers and children and risk. And yet, with cocksure ignorance of this evidence, courts around the world continue to push for this. Ridiculous.


One in five single parents 'live in fear'
Marissa Calligeros
May 25, 2011

A Gold Coast mother-of-two killed by her controlling ex-partner was among 20 per cent of Australian parents fearful for their safety and that of their children's following a separation.

Research by the Australian Institute of Families released today revealed one in five parents described their relationship with their former partner or spouse as "highly conflictual".

The same number reported having safety concerns for themselves or their child as a result of ongoing contact with the other parent post separation.

And most parents who report a recent experience of being harmed physically by their ex-partner said their children witnessed the violence or abuse.

The figures come less than one week after a Paul Rogers killed his ex-partner Tania Simpson and their five-year-old daughter Kyla, eight months after the couple separated.

The former couple were in the midst of a custody dispute after Ms Simpson left the relationship for a "fresh start" close to her parents in Robina.

"Respondents' safety concerns tended to relate to their child's other parent — a trend that was most marked for mothers," the report says.

"Nevertheless, where the mother was known to have re-partnered, fathers were almost as likely to see this new partner, as much as the mother herself, as a source of their safety concerns."

Jill McKay, manager of Othila's Young Women's Support Service in Brisbane, which supports women on the verge of homelessness as a result of domestic violence, said a majority of mothers seeking support lived in fear of an ex-partner.

"Of the young women presenting to us with children, 95 per cent have experienced violence in their most recent relationship and are fearful for their children's safety," she said.

Ms McKay said legislation introduced by the Howard government that mandated children have access to both parents after divorce or separation "strikes a lot of fear in women".
"The move towards 50/50 shared care has really put women, who have already experienced trauma, into a position of having to potentially leave their children with a violent partner," she said.

"Our [community] has this perception that the perfect family and the healthiest family is one where mum and dad are involved in their children's care ...

"But when there are safety risks associated with that mum's stress levels and that of the children's increase and that actually has a detrimental effect."

The report, Parenting dynamics after separation, examined the behaviour and experiences of more than 7000 parents from families that separated since 2006, when the law was changed to include shared custody requirements.

The release of the report comes as the government today begins debate on new legislation asking the Family Court to consider family violence before granting custody to both parents.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the government would use the research to boost its case for reform in the family law system under the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill.

“The bill continues to promote a child's right to a meaningful relationship with both parents, but with one key difference – it emphasises that the child's safety must come first in situations where there is conflict," he said.

The research was carried out in two phases and the results compared what parents reported from the first survey to the second, on average 28 months after separation.

The study found less parents in the second phase (49 per cent compared to 60 per cent in the first phase) were able to discuss custody arrangements, while more parents (11 per cent compared to five per cent in the first phase) relied on the courts to decide upon custody.

Mr McClelland said the results showed law reform was needed to decrease the prevalence of inter-parental conflict, fear and abuse post separation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dad with joint custody murders 3-year-old daughter during visitation (Boise, Idaho)

We have got to stop believing the fathers rights hype. Giving custody rights to dads like ANDREW DAVIS doesn't stop violence. It only gives these murderous creeps easy access to their victims, so they can kill them. This guy was due to get 50/50 custody--which is more than I got when my daughter was young. But all this didn't stop Daddy from taking his daughter's young life, did it? We just had to have the big bloody Daddy Drama, didn't we. We just needed to make sure that Everybody Knew that Daddy Wasn't Happy, and that Mommy Needed to Suffer.

Turns out that Mom's initial instincts were absolutely correct, that this butthead shouldn't have been allowed around the baby. Too bad those in authoritiy didn't trust her mother's instincts.

Watch the nitwit FRs argue that if Daddy had had 50/50 now, his murder of this little girl could have been averted. Needless to say, they are full of sh**.


Boise man, child who died in murder-suicide Thursday identified
By Katy Moeller, Patrick Orr and Kathleen Kreller - Idaho Statesman
Published: 05/20/11

A Boise man who shot his 3-year-old daughter Thursday afternoon and then turned the gun on himself has been identified as Andrew Davis.

Davis, 38, killed his daughter Natasha Echon-Davis, who was in the back seat of his car at the Majestic 18 Cinemas in Meridian, according to the Ada County Coroner's report.

The Idaho Statesman spoke with Davis' mother and family Friday afternoon. The family is grieving and asks for privacy at this time.

Police were able to locate the mother of the child Thursday night. She was not harmed or threatened, Meridian police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea said.

Basterrechea said the child was in Davis' care since Thursday morning. The mother had no indication that Davis was upset or in any kind of a frame of mind to commit a violent crime and then kill himself.

"This was a complete shocker," Basterrechea said.

Court records indicate Davis and Natasha's mother were not married. There was a legal battle over the girl's custody which was resolved in 2009, according to Ada County court records.

Initially, Davis said the girl's mother refused to let him have access to Natasha following her birth but a visitation schedule was worked out once lawyers were hired, the documents say.

Davis sued for joint custody and was granted in April 2009, according to the records, but a 50/50 split was not to occur until 2013. Until then, Davis had custody certain days of the week.

Police suspect the shootings occurred sometime between 4:45 and 6:30 p.m., when emergency crews were called to the parking lot of the theater off Overland Road and west of Eagle Road. The coroner's office was dispatched to the scene at 7:53 p.m.

“We have no motive whatsoever,” Basterrechea said. “These are the most extreme cases our officers can deal with.”

The Ada County Coroner performed autopsies Friday.