Emily Rose Proceedings
The 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona, FL has the first appeal before it and has done so since November 2008 - more than a year ago.
The mother has admitted FL did not have jurisdiction over Emily but is now claiming that as Emily Rose has been retained in Florida for so long, she should now stay.
In September, 2009 the mother's husband, Paul Swindell, a Corrections Officer filed charges claiming I was continuously following him and had his home under observation.
These are false complaints as I was in Virginia, a thousand miles away when he made these claims.
Nevertheless, the court in Panama City, Bay County has issued a warrant for my arrest despite still NOT being served with any court papers or charging document.
If I return to the US, I will be arrested and incarcerated for several weeks, and probably several months, awaiting transportation to Florida.
My position is this warrant is designed to stop me from continuing the appeal by scaring me into not attending the oral argument as and when it is scheduled.
The principal issues are:
- Abduction of Emily Rose from UK to US with assistance of U.S. Department of State officials, notably Barbara Greig of the Office of Children's Issues and hiding and concealing Emily Rose across the U.S. including when I had legal custody of her;
- Allowing Emily Rose to go without medical treatment for her eye condition which has now rendered her permanently blinded in her right eye - 9 American and British eye specialists recommended treatment to save her sight (which needed to be completed before she turned 3/4 years old) and it was ordered under a Hague Convention order by a Supreme Court Justice in London, U.K. but completely ignored by the U.S. court and authorities;
- The sale and adoption efforts of Emily Rose's mother which also placed Emily Rose into the care and contact of a convicted pedophile, Leslie Merriam in Wisconsin;
- The conduct of Barbara Greig and the U.S. Department of State to block my efforts to litigate in the U.S. by orchestrating my arrest, incarceration and deportation to stop court proceedings and thwart court orders;
- The continued abuse of Emily Rose by her mother and step-father, including coaching Emily Rose in the making of sexual abuse allegations while the Floridian authorities do nothing - the response of DCF has been to threaten me with criminal proceedings for making false neglect reports when I complained of Emily Rose's eye neglect, for instance; and
- The filing of over 300 police complaints by the mother, her husband and some of her friends claiming stalking, harassment, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault on the child and much more - only to be found to be false by numerous police investigations and court rulings - and yet no sanction against the mother, except to find her guilty of criminal contempt on one occasion has been applied - at a cost of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars, the US government and FL authorities refuse to protect Emily and continue to try to paint me as a bad man no matter how many times the courts say she's misbehaving.
Upon returning to the UK I applied on numerous occasions to get a visa to travel back to the US for court ordered visitation, but more importantly to conclude the legal proceedings.
Multiple visa requests were denied - officially the US Embassy claimed I was attempting to emigrate to the US, unofficially and as recorded during visa interviews in the Embassy, the reason they were using was the harassment of the American mother and they were ignoring the findings of the Hague Convention and the US court ordering visitation and finding the mother in criminal contempt for her conduct in making false allegations and abducting Emily from Florida.
With the assistance of several attorneys, Congressman Mica's offices and the British Government a visa was procured for trial in May 2008 - some 5 years after Emily was sent for "prompt and effective" hearings in the US.
We had request three days for presentation of evidence including the evidence of the fraud on the British High Court with the mother's and State Department's claims that Florida held jurisdiction, Emily's blindness and medical neglect, the sexual abuse coaching, the sale/adoption of Emily and being given into the care and contact of a convicted pedophile.
Judge Doyle threatened to jail me to "straighten me out" and that we would only have the day to present evidence and if we did not leave enough time for the mother to respond he would automatically award custody to the mother.
Judge Doyle refused to allow depositions to be read into the record - depositions of the pedophile, Leslie Merriam; members of her family who testified she was not fit to look after Emily; the medical evidence; the sexual abuse evidence and more - all were ruled not admissible.
Judge Doyle did not keep out the evidence of the mother and Barbara Greig at OCI arrangin for my arrest in 2004 - upon reading the correspondence Judge Doyle exclaimed:
When the jurisdiction issue was raised, Judge Doyle dismissed the lack of jurisdiction stating:
I returned to the UK shortly after trial because my visa was once more restricted by the State Department - Emily's mother would not allow me to see her during my visit.
Finally, in October 2008, Judge Doyle issued a final order - Emily was to be kept in Florida with her mother with visitation given to me and a $30,000 back child support bill which took no account of child support already paid.
In November 2008, I tried to see Emily for court ordered visitation - I flew to the US and then drove with my fiance from Richmond VA to Panama City FL - we ran into Sheila at the local police station where a police officer read the order to Sheila (Emily's mom)and told her she had been ordered to give me Thanksgiving visitation.
She flat out refused.
She then offered visitation a few days after Thanksgiving and set a date, time and pick up in Panama City.
We drove back to Richmond VA (990 miles one way)because of work and made the trip back a few days later for visitation.
Emily and her mother did not show.
I did get a summons from the court in Volusia - I was being held in criminal contempt for failing to pay child support and harssing the mother. My child support was current and the mother was claiming me calling or trying to contact her about Emily was harassment.
It was thrown out but Emily and I didn't get to see her for court ordered visitation for Christmas, in January, in February and nor for her birthday.
I filed for criminal contempt of the mother for her behavior - I was then allowed to see Emily for Spring Break in 2009.
With trepidation and submerged hope, we traveled to Panama City FL a third time - to be confronted by a man who threatened first me, and then my fiance - a five foot nothing, not quite 100 pound, kindergarten schoolteacher - in front of Emily and two Panama City PD police officers called to protect the mother who stood not ten feet away and did nothing.
Nevertheless, we came away with Emily - all of us scared.
Patsy (my fiance) and I complained to the police - but we didn't know who the man was except he was called Paul.
We enjoyed a week with Emily - the first time in 3 years we'd seen each other and it was wonderful but Patsy was so scared, she was frightened to be alone (and I admit, so was I).
We had a further hearing in May 2009 on the mother's conduct - the judge refused to act because the matter was before the Appeal court. He asked if I would try visitation again and I refused - I was and continue to be too frightened to do that again - I was right to refuse.
In September 2009, I was advised to leave the US by US Immigration even though we were still waiting for the Appeal to finish.
Paul Swindle claims I have followed him continuously since April 2009 and have been watching his home, a trailer on a trailer park in Panama City. With the exception of the Spring Break visitation I have not been within 500 miles of Panama City in 2009 - coming to Florida for a one day visit in May for a court hearing at which Judge Rowe refused to act, and again in August, with Patsy, to file the final appellate brief and catch up with my fellow LBP's and friends, Ariel Ayubo and Robert Skelton in New Smyrna Beach on the east coast.
I faxed the court in Panama City explaining I had not been served and was in the UK and asking for representation to be provided. Instead, Judge Shane Vann issued a warrant for my arrest because I had failed to appear before him.
Today, I cannot return to the US as, as a foreigner, I will be arrested and detained by Immigration until transported to Florida for the stalking charge. Unless this is resolved, the Appeal will not proceed as I must attend the oral argument hearing before the Appeal Court - if I do I will be arrested and jailed, if I don't the case will end.
After experiencing the pain and fear which goes with losing a child to abduction, I have learned a signal lesson - the fear you may feel for yourself is nothing compared to the fear you feel for those you love. Your wife, your husband, your children - I would rather be shot at every day than go through the fear I feel for Emily.
The fear I felt when I found out about the sale/adoption of Emily and especially, when I found the pedophile's involvement - I have never felt fear to such an extent in my life.
To have to stand by and wait for your child to go blind is horrific - a 50 cent eye patch was all that was required, but less than 40 miles from where man was sent to the moon, this did not seem important to the American judge and officials, and least of all to Emily's mother, Sheila Swindell.
One final life lesson for me is that if you are going to succeed in recovering any semblance of a relationship with your child, perhaps even to be fortunate enough to recover your child, you must act from the love you feel for them and not the anger you feel against those who have taken them.
Love is true and will keep you going, but anger and hate will twist and warp you into a creature which you and your child will never recognize. When Emily Rose and I are reunited, she is going to see her daddy and she will see how much I love you - she will never see an angry man.