Thursday, June 29, 2006
Quite a good explanation of civil and criminal differences in dealing with international child abductions - pretty much a moot difference - you're unlikely to recover your child no matter what system is used which begs the question why are we failing so badly ?
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
On May 28th 2004, Emily's dad was arrested by US Immigration - the official reason was a "technical violation" of his visa to attend court hearings. The violation ? Following the instructions of Orlando Border Patrol which resulted in the visa extension being filed ONE working day late - the penalty ? One month in prison and Emily subsequently allowed to go missing and become classified as endangered for over a year. This was an arrest and deportation that was unique - attorneys for both sides could not find a similar instance of this happening. So the question is .....why was this done and who was behind it ? Attached to this post are some of the papers recently uncovered while on my recent trip to Florida - the immigration arrest report of Agent Baehre which claims that the State Department instigated the investigation - something that the State Department has repeatedly denied. JOHN BALLIF is the former director of the Office of Children's Issues at the State Department who wrote a letter advising State had no authority to "request, instigate, or order your arrest or removal from the country" - he also wrote that immigration contacted the State Department - this too was untrue. The fax from BARBARA GREIG at the State Department clearly indicates she contacted Immigration and not the other way around - something confirmed by Agent Wayne Baehre to my attorneys.
If you believe this does not demonstrate State Department involvement - let me know why not - I have other evidence too. In my next post I'm going to show how BARBARA GREIG and Emily's mom, SHEILA FUITH, set Emily's dad up to be arrested in a no-win situation using Emily as the bait.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
In October 2003, the British High Court in London ordered that Florida had jurisdiction over Emily. We were all ordered to go to Florida for custody proceedings and Emily was sent there in the care of her mother, Sheila Fuith.
I packed my bags and prepared to try my luck at proceedings in the 4th court venue - the third in the United States.
Now as a British citizen, I am normally allowed to travel freely to the US under the visa waiver scheme. I was then advised by Glen Keiser of the State Department that my visa waiver privileges had been revoked and I needed a visa to travel to the US - we had a court hearing set up for February 2004 so I applied for a visa to attend and start the legal process in Florida.
My visa was denied as the State Department claimed I was travelling for unlawful activity - the basis for this was the mothers allegations that she was being stalked and harassed by me in the US - now bear in mind I was in the UK 4,000 miles away and have no criminal record nor an arrest record for anything anywhere.
It became apparent that despite various undertakings to the British High Court (the English Supreme Court) that Sheila would not file any criminal complaints, as soon as her feet hit Florida she commenced filing complaints...some of them very serious, one of which was that I was sexually abusing my children in the UK and was using my eldest daughter for making child pornography.
Nevertheless the British police had investigated and concluded their investigation in January 2004 - they found Sheila was making false allegations to evade the legal process in the US and to deny contact between Emily and I - this didn't cut any ice with the State Department, they were not letting me onto the US for the court hearings.
The hearing was rescheduled for April 2004, and with the help of the British government a visa was issued but it was restricted so I could only attend the court hearing - I had to be out of the US by the 20th April....or else !
I arrived in the US on 4th April 2004 - missing my eldest daughters birthday and it was not to be the first - during depositions it became apparent that Sheila and her attorney, Teresa Anderson, had been given my visa information and that the only source for this information was the State Department
I was denied contact with Emily until on 16th April (the day before my flight home) my attorney was told that I could see Emily the following day - my day to fly home....a nice coincidence indeed. Nicer still, on 17th April after over 6 months I got to see Emily again...supervised by an off duty prison guard, Emily and I could not leave the house or be further than 10 feet from the supervisor (who I had to pay for the privilege of guarding me)...all conditions laid down by Sheila.
I had also been summonsed to attend court on 20th April to defend myself against a domestic violence injunction petition being brought by Sheila.
My attorney, David Ferguson, advised me to stay and extend my visa, so on Friday 16th April we contacted Orlando Border Patrol and asked them what we needed to do - I was told to file a visa extension and have it in the mail with a postmark not later than midnight 19th April 2004.
We did this - the application being mailed from my attorney's offices in Ormond Beach.
On Monday, 19th April, my attorney received a phone call from Teresa Anderson, Sheila's attorney - if Mr Hindle gets on a plane and goes home we will drop the domestic violence hearing - I said no, we'll defend this...and we did....and we won - Judge Doyle ruled..."it is clear to me these proceedings are being brought to gain adantage under the custody proceedings.." - His Honor ruled I was no threat, and I was also awarded unsupervised access with Emily three times a week.
I was enjoying this - seeing Emily again, but it was difficult too - I could not work and I was a world away from home and I had married Yulia, in January 2004 - all in all I just wanted to get the court process finished and get Emily medical treatment for her blindness.
On May 28th 2004, I waited for Emily to be dropped off in the morning for my contact - instead I was approached by two men from immigration...and was arrested for overstaying my visa. I protested I had applied for it to be extended and that I was legal as far as that was concerned. No I wasn't advised Agent Wayne Buehre - as nice a guy as you'd ever wish to be arrested by - and I was handcuffed, belly chained and shackled and taken to Orlando where I was booked into Orange County jail and did not see daylight for 2 weeks.
I was transferred to Bradenton Immigration Detention Facility just outside Tampa where deportation hearings were held - it became clear that I was not being held because I had overstayed my visa - that was a technicality - I was being held because BARBARA GREIG of OFFICE OF CHILDRENS ISSUES, DEPARTMENT OF STATE had represented to immigration that I was a threat and a menace to my daughter, her mother and to American society.
The immigration attorneys acting for the US Government were Attorneys Grimm and Maingott - Grimm was business like and professional while Maingott appeared to me to be a sh*t - in either case, they had been ordered by Washington DC to appeal my release - this meant I would be held incarcerated for 6 months awaiting the Governments appeal and by then I would be deported anyway.
Jail was horrendous - in Orlando I had an attack of scyatica - excruciating back pain - which I had suffered with for 20 years after an accident in the British Army where I had seriously injured myself and my back in particular - they left me on my cot for 2 days without food or drink and without a doctor...unable to move I pissed myself and relied on my cell mates to give me food.
Eventually a doctor came - he performed a nerve test my tickling my feet with a pencil - my right foot jerked but my left foot was dead as a door nail - he observed I had neurological damage and moved me to a medical observation cell (aka solitary in a windowless room) and gave me pain relief....thank you God for ibuprofen !
I stayed in that cell for 4 days - no books, no radio, no TV and no company - I staged a mini protest ripping my identification bracelet off and flushing it down the toilet because they wouldn't let me shower....I stank of piss and body odour ! Immediately 4 guards arrived at this "rebellion" - one told me that I could be punished for destroying government property (i.e. my bracelet) to which I replied what are you going to do, give me extra jail !
I got my shower and a change of bedding and a fresh prison issue jumpsuit.
While at Bradenton, I was in a general holding cell - about 30 guys half Haitian half Hispanic - English was spoken by a minority and the Haitians scared even the guards - one night they ganged up on an Egyptian and kicked the proverbial out of him, dragging him to the telephone so they could beat him with the receiver. I wanted out of there in the worst way !
Chris Keizer was a Canadian being held in the same cell - he'd served several years in a federal prison for some misbehaviour and had been arrested by immigration for deportation on his release. He just wanted to get home too and we played chess all the time - being the only two white guys in this zoo it was natural we would gravitate to each other, not least as him being a bodybuilder it served to keep the Haitians at arms length. He got the idea we could be trustees, so we put in the request form and two days later we were in the trustees cell - fewer people, cleaner kit and more food for not doing very much but at least you were doing something aside from rotting and protecting your arse in the open plan showers and toilets.
Finally, after a month in prison, I took voluntary deportation and returned to the UK - being in prison, I had little contact with the outside world - only being able to contact my lawyer but the experience had a positive side...it showed the hand of Sheila and the people who were helping her......
Why was I arrested ?
Barbara Greig at the State Department gave Sheila and her lawyer, Teresa Anderson my visa information - this allowed them to entrap me in a technical violation of my visa by using access with Emily at the eleventh hour...I was one working day late in filing the extension...and once that happened Barbara Greig went to immigration with a mass of police reports filed by Sheila....but didn't let on that Judge Doyle had dismissed them in April 2004, nor that the British police had found Sheila's allegations were false....hmmmmm !
A fax was sent from Greig to Agent Buehre, who had also made statements to my lawyers, notably David Vedder, a board certified immigration attorney in Ormond Beach....all of this showed that Greig was making out that I was a major threat that needed to be taken care of.....but when David Ferguson contacted her about why I had been arrested, Greig denied any knowledge or involvement....double hmmmm !
The paper trail that has been uncovered indicates Greig, Sheila, Teresa Anderson and a local police officer, Captain Osowski, worked together to rid themselves of big bad me.....they variously lied, misrepresented and acted in a thoroughly unlawful manner including in the case of Captain Osowski, falsifying his police reports (but more of that later).
It turns out that my arrest is unique - no one has been arrested in these circumstances before according to David Vedder and the government attorney, James Grimm - while the State Department has continued to deny any involvement in arranging, instigating or orchestrating my arrest....John Ballif, former director of Office of Childrens Issues wrote to me on this twice categorically denying involvement, while Assistant Secretary of State Harty advised the British Government of no involvement.....yet the immigration arrest report tells a different story....the immigration investigation was predicated on information received from Barabara Greig, Office of Children's Issues, Department of State.
Now this was nothing in itself, this condition is seen in many children but it is a warning flag for a doctor to make further examinations and this is exactly what happened - we were referred to Dr Bell, the senior opthamologist at the county hospital in Essex UK.
After several weeks of testing, examinations and consultation by a team of medical eye specialists the diagnosis was produced when Emily was 6 months old. The news shocked both Sheila and myself - Emily was severely vision impaired in her right eye and in all likelihood was blind but we couldn't be sure as she was so young. The good news was that we had caught the condition very early and the prognosis for recovery was good.
I carried Emily out of the hospital in her carry chair with one hand, and her mother, Sheila, with the other - both of us were in tears.
Emily was diagnosed with an "amblyopia" as the cause of her vision problems and we embarked on a regimen of "patching therapy" to treat Emily's blind eye which entailed weekly visits to Broomfield Hospital where Emily was treated by the team of eye specialists tasked with her care - these included Dr McCabe, Dr Jackson, Dr Omi and Dr Bell among others.
Surgery was considered to correct the alignment of her eye but this in itself will do nothing for her poor vision - left to itself the eye will not improve and it will degenerate until Emily is blind in the eye completely.
We treated Emily for 5 months in England until Sheila took Emily to the United States in February 2003. As soon as Emily was in the US, Sheila claimed that the eye problem was "no big deal" it was just a lazy eye and nothing serious was wrong. At other times Sheila has claimed she was getting Emily medical treatment, that Emily had been cured and that she had no money for medical treatment.
Leslie Merriam is the father of Dale Merriam who in turn is married to Shannon Bodin, the couple who were "adopting" Emily without any papers or legal process in Wisconsin in April 2003.
Merriam was convicted in 1992 of several counts of sexually assaulting children and was incarcerated, served 5 years on probation and is a lifetime registrant on the Wisconsin Sex Offenders Register.
I spoke with Merriam myself in 2003 and he confirmed that he was looking after Emily and his son and daughter-in-law were adopting her - I reported this to the WI police but they simply told me that I was harassing Emily's mother and her family and they warned me to cease calling her family - they never interviewed Merriam or checked what was happening.
I then hired a private detective, Paul Holden of Dragon Management to interview Merriam and this confirmed the "babyswitch" adoption arrangement together with the fact that Merriam had been looking after Emily a scant two months after she had been taken from the UK.
The police reports from Wisconsin indicate that the mother, Sheila Kay Fuith, was claiming that the State Department and the US Embassy London had helped her to remove Emily from the UK because I was abusive - a condition was made by the State Department that I was not to know where Emily was in the United States.
When this was subsequently investigated by Florida Department of Children & Families, Investigator Roberta Miranda claimed Emily being placed with Merriam was "protective custody arrangement" - presumably to protect Emily from me, by giving her to a child sex offender !
Follow the link here to the radio slot on Annie Armen broadcast in January 2006
Well, I'm sitting here in my living room looking out over the green fields that surround my home on the country estate of Lord Rayleigh about 35 miles east of London, England while Emily is thousands of miles away somewhere in Florida.
Emily was born a few miles away in Maldon, the home of George Washington's grandfather and many of the pilgrim fathers originate from this area of England.
I'm waiting on a hearing taking place on 28th June for a motion by Emily's mother, Sheila Kay Fuith, who wants to move to the other side of the state to her sisters, Debbie Martin, in Panama City.
This yet another move for Emily who has been hidden all over the US over the last few years as Sheila tries to evade the legal process - to date Emily has been hidden in Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Carolinas, Virginia, Florida, Missouri and Kansas and has been moved over 35 times in 3 years.
We found Emily in January 2006 in Kansas, where Sheila had been hiding out at a friend of friends, Teri Jacobson of Lawrence KS - while Emily was missing she was classified as ENDANGERED by FDLE and listed as MISSING by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington DC.
So why was Emily classified as endangered ?
Firstly, Emily has an eye condition which is leaving her blind in one of her eyes - it is known as AMBLYOPIA - the most common form of blindness in children in both the UK and the US - and it is TREATABLE !
Secondly, when Emily was first taken to the US her mother, two months after arriving in the US, Sheila placed Emily up for an unlawful adoption known as a "babyswitch" - this is where a child is simply given away with no legal paperwork.
Thrdly, as a result of the attempt at a babyswitch, Emily was placed into the care of a convicted paedophile, Leslie Merriam. Merriam was convicted in 1992 on three counts of second degree sexual assault on children for which he received jail time, probation and lifetime registration on the Wisconsin Sex Offenders Register - click to follow the link to the search page and enter Merriam's name.
Reunited with Emily after nearly 18 months - Daytona Florida January 2006
The first thing I asked Emily was "Do you know who I am ?" - Emily looked up at me looming over her and smiled and said "You're Dad !"
I could feel a tear in my eye and the love I feel for Emily welled up inside....Emily remembered who I was.