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Lesbian mum disappears with gay dad’s son

Filed under: General — Vman @ 5:42 pm Fri 19th December 2008

Click here for original source.

Ashley Skinner, seven, hasn’t been seen for four years by his father Michael Turberville.

He is believed to have been taken to Australia last year by his mother Joanne Skinner, a trade union worker.

The President of the High Court’s Family Division has taken the unusual step of lifting the reporting restrictions that apply in children’s cases in the hope that publicity will help trace the boy.

Sir Mark Potter said: “This is a boy who has been snatched by his mother during court proceedings intended to decide how much contact he should have with his father.

“This mother’s behaviour is to be deplored. She has gone to extreme lengths to go to ground with Ashley and to cover her trail so as to avoid detection. It seems she has taken, and will continue to take, every opportunity to defeat the court process.

“As a result, Ashley is being deprived of a relationship with his father.”

Mr Turberville has spoken of his despair at missing vital years of his son’s life.

The 41-year- old, who lives in Reading, Berkshire, advertised in the Pink Paper for a woman with whom he could have a child.

Both were in relationships with same-sex partners when they decided to embark on parenthood. They tried home insemination nine times before they succeeded.

Mr Turberville said the arrangement has worked well for three years following Ashley’s birth, although he had been puzzled that Miss Skinner refused to put his name on the birth certificate.

“I saw him about every other weekend or when she needed me to babysit,” he said.

He said Miss Skinner has asked for a break in contact as she dealt with a difficult break-up with her partner but that subsequent attempts to re-establish a link with his son were rejected.

Miss Skinner responded by making criminal allegations against Mr Turberville — unconnected with Ashley — of which he was acquitted by a jury and exonerated by the family court in September last year.

He said: “The last time I saw him we had a little birthday celebration in a local park and we were happy. Then just after his third birthday Joanne and I were talking and she suddenly said ‘I don’t know what you are concerned about, you have no say in the matter’.”

A series of court orders aimed at tracing Miss Skinner has met with no success and there is evidence that she fled abroad without returning to the UK.

Mr Turberville added: “I’ve missed so much, his fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh birthdays, riding his first bicycle, his first day at school. I’m devastated to have missed these things.”


  1. Legislation can only work in the real world, if those who have the responsibility of prosecuting it, carry through with the actions required.

    If the Government does not want women prosecuted for abduction, then they should change the law, so that citizens can see that fathers will be prosecuted, but not mothers.

    Either way, there should be a clear parallel between prosecutions and the legislation, both ways.

    Child abductions by mothers or their proxies, not only are not prosecuted, but are actually assisted by NZ “judges” and sometimes by deluded police officers.

    One such NZ example is given in a published judgement.

    I wonder if the Australian police and “judges” are assisting the mother, in the story above, in a similar way to the NZ example in K v K?

    To make it easier for you to access K v K, see the link below:

    If the familycaught dreamworld “judges” cannot or will not follow the legislation, then why do we pay them at all?

    I cannot see that abduction by “mothers” is any less damaging than abduction by fathers. Any relationship vandalism should be prosecuted, to deter people from damaging children. This is an essential part of protecting our children.

    These attitudes of the “judges” reflect their inability to measure the parenting skills of parents. If they had this skill, let alone to a professional level of skill, they would realise that children are better parented by the parent who is willing and happy to share the child with their family on both sides.

    To me, it just looks like the “judges” are milking parents, for personal financial gain, featherbedding hearings to go on for as long as possible. Good old fashioned Conflict-of-Interest!

    Cheers, MurrayBacon

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 19th December 2008 @ 9:29 pm

  2. I know this case. The father advertised as a sperm donor and was paid £1000 by the mother. (admitted in criminal proceedings) He kept in touch with the mother after the birth but did not pay for or see his son until the boy was over a year old (see articles) It was the mother who invited him to have contact so that the child could know his routes and have his father as a male role model. Over the following year or two, there were compliants from the boys step brothers of ‘innaproproate behaviour’ After many attempts to negotiate with the father, the mother felt that her son was at risk and stopped contact.
    The father left matters a year before starting family proceedings. As with my sister’s case, the older children disclosed abuse during family proceedings. This often happens as children feel more likely to be believed.
    Michael was found not guilty but the mother obviously feels that she can’t take the risk. Would you?
    I think the British Judge should be sacked for ignoring the facts of this case and putting this child at risk.

    Comment by Nick — Mon 22nd December 2008 @ 1:27 am

  3. Poster #2:
    a) So you believe that it’s ok for a mother to deprive a child of a relationship with his father on the basis of allegations seen by a Court to be unfounded, those allegations only arising after he commences legal proceedings to be able to have contact with his son…

    b) So you see paying for a child as somehow relevant to whether the child is allowed a relationship with his father…

    c) You state the father “left matters a year before starting family proceedings”, and this wording implies that he did so because he wasn’t really interested in the child. However, the news article stated that the mother asked him for a time of no-contact as she dealt with her separation from her lesbian partner. The father was in fact being co-operative here. Also, the article suggested that he tried to resume contact before realising that he would have to resort to Court action, a fairly normal course of events.

    d) You imply that the father’s lack of contact with the child in the first year was due to his lack of interest in the child. Equally, it could have been due to several other reasons; e.g. his wanting to leave the mother and partner to establish themselves with the child, or the mother’s early obstruction or lack of invitation concerning contact.

    e) It is not uncommon for women to seek sperm donors with the expectation that they won’t have to bother with any relationship between them or the resulting child with the father.

    f) This is another tragedy resulting from an adult bringing a child into the world in the absence of a solid family environment and /or without the commitment to maintain that family environment.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Mon 22nd December 2008 @ 10:17 am

  4. Hi
    As a result of my neices case, I looked into a number of similar cases, this one included.
    The facts as I have seen from criminal proceedings are – This man advertised as a sperm donor and was paid as such. He demanded that no fnancial claim be placed on him for the child and none was (I question this as I would give my last penny to my children). The mother requested they stay in contact for the child’s sake, which they did. The mother then requested visitation between the father and son. The step brothers began to complain of ‘inappropriate behaivour’ from the father, when he visited, which the father was questioned about (emails of this were submitted to court). The reasons the father has stated for the contact ceasing dont appear in any of the criminal evidence, evidence was submitted by the mother as to her complaints and reasons for contact ceasing.
    My sisters case was similar. My neices complained of more minor issues with their father, which my sister took up. The matter was forced into family court as he refused to negotiate. It was when the courts became involved that my neices disclosed abuse by their father. My sister was accused of making it up and forcing my neices to tell lies to stop contact. For this reason the police took no action and the family courts were going to award custody to the father.
    Then… physical evidence was found and he was convicted.
    What I am trying to tell you is if you look into this in more detail, you would be as horrified as me by the courts decision to hunt this child so publically.
    The statistics in Britain are – of 100 cases of abuse reported to the police, only 10 get into court. Of those 10 cases only 5 get a conviction.
    False allegations account for less than 0.02% of the reported cases. Men commit 96% of sexual abuse. The most common form of defense from abusive fathers is ‘the mother is trying to stop contact’.
    Be very very careful to judge too quickly in cases like these. Good luck with yours

    Comment by Nick — Tue 23rd December 2008 @ 7:11 am

  5. Hi Poster #4:
    What is the source of “the statistics in Britain” that you provide? They sound like feminist propaganda and may well be totally fabricated. How can they determine that only 0.02% of reported cases are false allegations? It all depends on the criteria for measuring this. Surely though, it strains credibility to believe that although 90% of allegations did not have enough merit or evidence to proceed with, only one in ten thousand were false allegations. The fact is that most of these allegations are never tested for falsehoods.

    Other research suggests false allegations are much more frequent, though of course there is no way to be sure. The frequency with which such allegations arise during the course of Family Court proceedings, especially when cases are not going entirely the mother’s way, suggests they can be used as dishonest weapons against fathers. Your insinuation that pointing to such ploys is almost always simply “defence” from “abusive fathers” is conjecture of the most male-bashing kind.

    Your term “abusive fathers” is further misleading and careless, consistent with feminist propaganda. Biological fathers have a very low rate of sexual abuse towards their children, whereas step fathers are many times more likely to be abusive.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Tue 23rd December 2008 @ 9:37 am

  6. Hi again

    Here are my sources – (go to crime stats)
    The British Journal of Psychaitry
    The Psychology of sex offenders – ‘Predators’
    How to help children overcome abuse (whole sections on children reporting abuse during family proceedings) This is an official publication recommended by government child protection teams.

    The onus of evidence in this type of case is that there must be over 86% chance of conviction. (home office guidance to CPS available at

    Sexual offending by natural fathers accounts for between 25 – 50% of reported cases. (Research commissioned by the government and compiled by the NSPCC using government and NSPCC statistics.

    Where is your research to back your militancy?

    I’m not a feminist supporter, just a very distraught Uncle. I was horrified at the militancy my nieces faced by exactly the bigotry you have displayed. The rights of fathers are important but the rights of children shouldn’t be ignored to cater for it.

    At least we have held some form of a discussion, for which I am glad.

    Comment by Nick — Wed 24th December 2008 @ 9:04 am

  7. P.S. the stats on false allegations are taken from Police records (where investigation has found the allegation was false and from American research which subjected both the accused and the accusee to lie detector tests on the condition that the evidence couldnt be used in court was given to the accused)

    Abuse of children has the lowest conviction rate of any violent crime. (This stat can be found at It is not false allegations that are the problem here. Did you know that even if there is evidence that a child has been ‘damaged’, even if the child can say who did it, depending on the age of the child, it may not be enough to prosecute? Or perhaps the child may talk during family proceedings.. God forbid.. This is what I had to learn first hand from my neices case.

    Comment by Nick — Wed 24th December 2008 @ 9:18 am

  8. Poster # 6&7: I have visited the sites you said were your sources. I spent about 30 minutes trawling through them. I could find no information to support your claims about false allegations, criteria for proceeding to Court, conviction rates or about rates of sex offending by biological fathers. Could you provide actual references or web page addresses actually showing the information you refer to?

    Comment by Hans Laven — Wed 24th December 2008 @ 12:56 pm

  9. Hi

    Here is a very small sample of material that I began with. My most useful source of data however has been asking for specific research stats from the charities and applying for information from the Home Office under the freedom of information act. You have these URL’s so you can apply as well. I have also obtained transcripts from Crown Court cases as these are public domains (but with reporting restrictions identifying children.

    L.J. Hlady & E.J. Gunter, “Alleged Child Abuse in Custody Access Disputes,” 14 Child Abuse & Neglect 591, 592 (1990).

    Less than 1% Section D-9, adapted from Tables 3.1 and 3.2.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. (1999). Child Maltreatment 1997: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
    Sjoberg, R. L., & Lindblad, F. Limited disclosure of sexual abuse in children whose experiences were filmed & documented by videotape with the offender. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159(2), 312-4, 2002.

    Lawson, L., & Chaffin, M. False negatives in sexual abuse disclosure interviews. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7(4), 532-42, 1992.

    I hope everyone has as good a Christmas as possible.

    Comment by Nick — Thu 25th December 2008 @ 9:37 am

  10. @Nick…

    “False allegations account for less than 0.02% of the reported cases. Men commit 96% of sexual abuse.”

    Your claims regarding fathers’ commission of what is child sexual abuse are inaccurate.

    The LOWEST claim about I’ve seen for false allegations is 2% and the origin of that cite is clouded.

    In most western countries males overall – not just fathers – account for about three quarters of child sex offences. Among male offenders against girls natural fathers are among the least likely. Step fathers and step brothers are at the top end.

    Use of police or court statistics isn’t of much value due to the extremely high rates of non-reporting(both genders) and the huge discrepancy in the reporting rates of the respective genders. Female committed offences – about one quarter overall – rarely come to public notice as reporting rates for boys(95% of victims of female offenders) are only one twentieth those of girls.

    Furthermore UK sexual assault laws are predominantly gender specific so sexual abuse committed by women is not even viewed as a crime in many instances.

    With regard to child abuse more generally, even if you include sexual abuse, the majority – at least two thirds – of it is committed by mothers rather than fathers. That the majority of the adult survivors of child abuse are victims of female abusers is something stated by the likes of ASCA in Australia and similar organisations elsewhere. It is inadequately heard amidst the cacophany of those who have a political need to obscure certain offenders.

    re your links…

    As I’ve pointed out crime reports are statistically useless for any form of sex related crimes particularly when sourced from the UK. Your Home Office link is inappropriate to any discussion of sexual abuse regardless of gender.

    The Bernados link is defunct(for me anyway).

    The NSPCC site appears to have no statistical information at all.

    I’d also be interested how you “know” anything about who commits child sexual abuse. My knowledge comes from research and survey work done directly with victims rather than stats out of cases reported to authorities.

    Others here have assumed that you were promoting a feminist line because you cite the standard feminist factoids. I do not. As with the vast majority of folk, I suspect you have heard nothing but feminist based advocacy because nothing else is permitted to permeate the larger discourse. Unfortunately feminists have a habit of both exaggerating levels of male committed abuse and obscuring that of female committed abuse. Feminism has, unfortunately, so politicised issues surrounding all abuse that the truth has long been lost. Your incorrect comments about child sexual abuse stand as an indictment of that advocacy rather than of yourself however.

    I will go further and state that if feminists were to pack up and leave those issues alone it would be two decades too late. The introduction of political ideology into our dealings with abuse results in tainted treatments for female victims, almost complete marginalisation of male victims and gross distortions in the ways we deal with the crimes and the offenders themselves.

    It is counterproductive to the extent of creating offences…
    From The Invisible Boy…
    “Finally, there is an alarmingly high rate of sexual abuse by females in the backgrounds of rapists, sex offenders, and sexually aggressive men, 59% (Petrovich and Templer, 1984), 66% (Groth, 1979), and 80% (Briere and Smiljanich, 1993)…Male adolescent sex offenders abused by “females only” chose female victims almost exclusively.”
    As a psychologist once asked me “where do you think their anger comes from”? If those male victims were not so marginalised that help never came many of those subsequent offences may simply never have happened.

    When we ignore the perpetrators we also ignore their victims. I find your effective marginalisation of those male victims of heterosexual child sexual abuse to be most regrettable. In one foul swoop it renders a quarter of the victims invisible. And this is permissive to an obvious cycle of abuse. It becomes irresponsible at that point.

    Comment by gwallan — Fri 26th December 2008 @ 2:45 am

  11. Strangely, enough I was responding to what I see as a permissive militancy. It is wonderful that you agree that bigotry can harm the safety of children. My point exactly and I return to my original warning to be careful in such cases.

    I find it odd that I was asked for evidence and it has been completely ignored. Indeed, you have belittled the first and internationally respected children’s charities. These were both founded by men, just incase you think they were feminist institutions brainwashing the world with their propaganda…

    If you had looked at the research, you would have seen evidence showing false allegations at less than 1%. You will never see anything at all if you dont look.

    Comment by Nick — Tue 30th December 2008 @ 6:40 am

  12. Poster #9 (Nick):

    I looked up all of the references that you put forward as providing evidence of your claims. None of those references provided any such evidence, but some directly contradicted your claims. Although there was some worthwhile information in some of those references (that I have included in the analysis that follows), I regret wasting several hours of my valuable time on following up your references and will not do so again.

    You provided 8 references. The first ( gave many pages of statistics but none supported your claims. It did however state that a criterion for placing children on child protection registers was deliberately reduced from “grave concern” to simply “at risk”. Of course, every child is at risk to some degree, so this conveniently allows social service agencies to place any child it wants on the register based on any manner of complaint or innuendo. Statistics on the site to which you referred pertaining to child sexual abuse involved adults being asked whether they experienced abuse as children, then who the perpetrator was. I would challenge the validity of the measure; many adults if asked anonymously whether they were abused as children might interpret innocent experiences as abuse, or might simply make it up in order to support feminist ideology. Without corroboration or reliability data, such statistics are of little value. Nevertheless, the statistics were that 1% of girls and 1% of boys reported sexual abuse from “parents/carers”, while 4% of girls and 2% of boys reported abuse from “other relatives”. That is, about one third of those children reporting abuse said it was by “parents/carers”. Given that a good proportion of such carers will be step parents, mothers, foster parents etc, this statistic in no way supports your claim that up to 50% of such abuse is committed by natural fathers. The study was interesting though in estimating the rate of child sexual abuse at about 4% of children, contradicting outlandish though common claims by feminist researchers that more than 25% of children are molested.

    Your next reference (L.J. Hlady & E.J. Gunter, “Alleged Child Abuse in Custody Access Disputes,” 14 Child Abuse & Neglect 591, 592 (1990) sought to deny that allegations occur significantly at all during Family Court proceedings. From the sample used in one study, 2% of all Family Court cases involved sexual abuse allegations, with mothers accusing biological fathers in 48% of those cases, mothers accusing stepfathers in 6%, fathers accusing “mothers or mother’s new partner” in 16% of them, and fathers accusing 3rd parties in 6% of them. Half of all allegations were “considered” founded (by the Court?), in 17% of the allegations no determination could be reached, while in 33% of the allegations it was concluded that no abuse had occurred. The article stated “These figures are about the same as validation rates for cases reported to child protective agencies. This is completely inconsistent with your claim that only 0.02% of allegations are false.

    Another study in the same article involved social worker investigation of sexual abuse allegations. Those social workers concluded that 53% of the allegations were well founded, 24% did not produce enough information to substantiate the allegations, 17% were unfounded but had been made “in good faith”, and 6% were probably false. Other studies had found rates of false allegations between 2% and 8%. That is between 100 and 400 times as high as your claim of 0.02%. And given the preference of most of those entrusted to investigate to believe the allegations, one can safely assume these official estimates of false accusations are low. (For example, the 17% considered to be made in good faith were nevertheless false, and who knows how many were deliberately so?).

    Your third reference ( directly contradicted your claim that prosecutors require an “86% chance of conviction before they proceed to Court. This reference stated that the normal criterion is used, i.e. “a realistic prospect of prosecution”, nothing else.

    Your fourth mention (“Less than 1% Section D-9, adapted from Tables 3.1 and 3.2”) doesn’t seem to refer to either the preceding or following references.

    Your fifth reference (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. (1999). Child Maltreatment 1997: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office) concerned allegations of “abuse or neglect”. 28.7% were substantiated, 5.1% “indicated”, 56.2% unsubstantiated, 1.9% “no finding” and 8.1% “other”. The authors seemed to find mentioning the words “false allegation” too blasphemous. However, the data in no way supported your claim of the rate of false allegations, suggesting about 800 times the rate that you claimed.

    Your sixth reference was an invalid link: (

    Your seventh reference (Sjoberg, R. L., & Lindblad, F. Limited disclosure of sexual abuse in children whose experiences were filmed & documented by videotape with the offender. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159(2), 312-4, 2002) compared the accounts of 10 victims of the same paedophile offender with what was actually shown on videotapes that he made of the abuse. Conclusions: (i) Four of the children did not initially want to disclose anything. (ii) Some of them failed to disclose some events. (iii) The children’s ratings of the abuse were on average significantly lower than ratings made by professionals who viewed the videotapes. (iv) Three of the children reported maltreatment events that did not exist on the videotapes. The findings, though somewhat interesting, are unsurprising. And there are various explanations for them. And one wonders whether the adults who watched the videotapes were thereby corrupted and became sadistic offenders.

    Your eighth and final reference (Lawson, L., & Chaffin, M. False negatives in sexual abuse disclosure interviews. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7(4), 532-42, 1992) described a study in which 28 children with STD’s were interviewed. Only 43% verbally “confirmed” sexual contact, while 57% did not. The likelihood of children disclosing abuse increased 3.5-fold when caretaker adults accepted the possibility the child may have been sexually abused compared with those whose caretaker adults denied any possibility of abuse. There was an assumption that having STD’s automatically meant the children had been sexually abused, and I wondered whether other explanations might exist.

    I invited you to provide specific references providing evidence for your claims. None of them did so. Your claims stand contradicted by your own references. Unfortunately, this is the very method by which false feminist propaganda is perpetrated throughout our society. I urge others to disregard your claims concerning the research.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Mon 5th January 2009 @ 2:21 pm

  13. Hi Johnny
    Oh you go by the name Nick on these postings. It is noted that you state the following: (posting number 2 and others that follow on)
    “I know this case. The father advertised as a sperm donor and was paid £1000 by the mother. (admitted in criminal proceedings)”

    That case was involving minors from what I have read. I have also not read any news/media release of said criminal court hearings. You making slanderous statements about a sealed court case that has not had a media release by a high court judge is extremely illegal. I would hope that the IP address and ISP that you used to post your slanderous article has been recorded and handed over to the police as I would imagine the High Court of England are looking for any excuse to throw a member of your family in jail as it would immediately bring your sinister sister out of the woodwork.

    Comment by Johnnytwometres — Tue 6th January 2009 @ 4:11 am

  14. Hi ‘Johnny’

    You seem to think you know me. You don’t. Criminal proceedings are public domain. The only restrictions relate to minors not an adult. It is only slander if it is not true.

    Get your facts straight and dont think you can threaten me.

    Comment by Nick — Fri 16th January 2009 @ 4:03 am

  15. to Nick in postings 2 and 14,
    If there were any other court proceedings against the father, the mother, or any other party, if there is a minor involved in any way, absolutely nothing can be discussed about the case unless there is a media release. If there are 100 adults and 1 minor, you can not comment that there was even a hearing in any court because there was a minor involved. That is the law of court proceedings in England. There is a group which I am a long term member of due to the situation with my children, the organisation is called fathers4justice, the reason we exist is because if any adult or minor who becomes an adult discusses a hearing that occurred when there was a minor involved without a media release there is an automatic minimum sentencing. I can not say if I have or have not had court hearings with my four children because if I said there were hearing, I would personally go to jail. You stating that you know of a case and you blatantly ramble on about a one side of the case, implies that you are a family or friend of the parties involved in the case. You can get 15 years for even mentioning any court hearing or hearings if there was a minor involved unless you have a media release. Do you have a media release? Because calling a father a child abuser almost two years after the mother broke contact according to the news articles sounds to me a mother throwing mud at the father and that is the only thing she could progress in the judicial system to delay her case to give her time to prepare to depart the country.

    Comment by johnnytwometres — Sun 17th July 2011 @ 9:21 am

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