This is the video to accompany our news release:
Police Drop Charges against Portuguese Parents Fighting for the Return of their Children
This is the title of an article in the Algarve Resident. It encapsulates the day’s achievements and challenges in Grantham: two bail hearings of Jose and Carla Pedro were replaced by a “Released without Charge” form with a ticked box: “There is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.”
This admission by Lincoln Police is the result of a ‘Letter before Claim’ that the Pedros issued with the assistance of McKenzie Friends. However, the Police lawyer pointed out that the ‘children issue’ concerns Lincoln Council rather than the Police – even though they were the ones who removed the five children from their home and against their will on 23 April 2013.
Hence the Council’s response to the Letter before Claim is of great concern, as it says “Further work and discussions are required before the Council will be able to confirm their position in this regard. It is also important to understand that should a decision be made that the children should be returned to Portugal under an agreed plan, the Portuguese Government have confirmed that they have no intention to return the children to your care or that of your extended family.”
However, McKenzie Friends received an email from the Council’s Chief Executive Tony McArdle that he sent to Labour MEP Glenis Willmott: “I can also confirm that Lincolnshire Children’s Services is currently in liaison with the Portuguese Embassy on possible alternative plans, but no decisions have yet been reached.”
After the victory at the Police Station, a visit to Grantham’s Children’s Services was not only another waste of time, but also a great disappointment. The Pedros saw their children last at the end of January and their judgement says they should have contact every 8 weeks. However, instead of getting a contact session at the end of March, it was scheduled for 03 April and cancelled due to the bail conditions imposed by Police.
Instead of getting contact sessions scheduled today, the Pedros were told that “the case was closed” and a meeting with their Social Worker will take place next Tuesday to organise contact. This is particularly critical, since the oldest son told the parents via Facebook that his two youngest siblings have been put into ‘police protective custody’ and separated from their sister.
The priorities are clear: scheduling contact sessions with their children, having them returned to Portugal and claiming compensation for the irreparable damages done since 23 April 2014. This includes the loss of earnings for the father, besides the traumas caused by the Police arrests on 23/04/13 and 21/03/14.
Ironically, Carla discovered tonight Jose’s documentation that went missing in March: his birth certificate and other documents that he kept in his bedtime cupboard surprised her in a large pan that she has not used since – in the kitchen a floor below. One has to question the logic of carrying out the search warrant, the rationale for the arrests and the hyprocrisy of claiming that taking five children is in their ‘best interest’…
For further information, please contact Sabine K McNeill on 07968 039 141.