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UK legal system refusing internation legal aid

This is a short audio captured in conversation with the famous “Anne Marie Hutchinson O.B.E” She is out-right refusing to assist in the lawful return of my daughter. — in London.


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R.G. : 11/3804/A   We, Albert II, King of Belgium, To all, present and future, let hereby known :

Mrs Benedetti Sylvia Solicitor  Rue Sainte-Victoire, 25  7301 Hornu


1322 DECIES § 7


1 Central Authority

2 Parties

1 PR PRESIDENTIAL CHAMBER   Directory number 12/2869   Year Two Thousand and Twelve, on March Fourteenth;

Following his deliberation, Xavier HIERNAUX, Single Judge of the County Court of Mons, Hainaut Province, assisted by Christine VACHAUDEZ, Registrar in this jurisdiction, has handed down in summary proceedings the following verdict in open court :

R.G. N°11/3804/A  IN THE CASE OF : Mister Nigel Cooper, Domiciled in 7020 MONS (Belgique), Rue Grande, 205/2.2 ;

The Applicant ; Attending the hearing, assisted by his Counsel Mrs Sylvia BENEDETTI, Solicitor, whose Law Firm is registered in 7031 HORNU (Belgique), rue Sainte-Victoire, 25 ;


Mrs Gail COOPER, Domiciled in 41, Ennerdale, Albany, Washington, NE37 1 BW (United Kingdom) ;

The Defendant ; Neither attending nor represented at the hearing ;

IN THE PRESENCE OF : Mister Henri RENARD, Substitute for the Royal Prosecutor of the Public Prosecuting Office of the Mons County Court, 7000 Mons, and whose offices are registered in 7000 MONS, rue de Nimy, 28 ;

Representing at the hearing, THE FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE OF JUSTICE, Central Authority of Judicial Cooperation in civil matters, Legislation Bureau of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms  File WL 16/LH/2011/1213/VA  Offices registered at 1000 BRUXELLES, boulevard de Waterloo, 115 ;

Upon the decision filed in the registry of this Court on 21 December 2011, and rendered on 25 November 2011 by the High Court of Justice of London denying the return to Belgium of the child Bailie Kate COOPER, born on 1 August 2003, and the related documents, forwarded by the Belgian Central Authority under article 1322 decies § 1 of the judicial Code, pursuant to article 11.6 of the Regulations (EC) following the consultation of the British Central Authority on an application for obtaining the immediate return of a child, initiated by the Belgian Central Authority on 14 October 2011, under the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the civil aspects of child abduction and articles 1322 bis to 1322 quaterdecies of the judicial Code ; Upon the notification given on 23 December 2011 to Gail COOPER, Nigel COOPER, the Office of the Mons Public Prosecutor, on 4 January 2012 to Mrs Stephanie ADAMS, Solicitor, and Mr Graeme Langlands, Solicitor (Millsdonkin&co, Solicitors) ;

Upon the conclusions submitted and based on article 11 of Brussels II bis and article 1322 bis of the judicial Code for Nigel COOPER, initialed by the Registry of the Court on 31 January 2012 as well as the attached file of documents ;

Upon the notices 1322 decies of the judicial Code, sent on 1 February to the Office of the Mons Public Prosecutor, Nigel COOPER, his counsel, Gail COOPER, Mrs Stephanie ADAMS, Solicitor, Mr Graeme Langlands, Solicitor (Millsdonkin&co, Solicitors), regarding the hearing set on 22 February 2012 ;

Upon the correspondence from Millsdonkin&co, Solicitors (Mrs Gail COOPER’s counsel in England), addressed to the Registry of the Court on 10 February 2012 ;

Upon the correspondence received by fax from Williscroft & co, Solicitors (Mr Nigel COOPER’s counsel in England), and initialed by the Registry of the Court on 13 February 2012 ;

Upon the transcript of the 24 November 2011 hearing held under British Jurisdiction, sent by fax in its English version and initialed by the Registry of the Court on 21 and 22 February (fax and correspondence), and its corresponding English translation ;

Upon the correspondence from the Sunderland City Council, sent by fax to the Registry of the Court on 22 February 2012 ;

Heard at the hearing on 22 February 2012 : Mister Henri RENARD, substitute for the Mons Public Prosecutor, Mister Nigel COOPER, assisted by his counsel Mrs BENEDETTI, Solicitor, and an English language interpreter, Mrs Catherine REYNELBERGE, The trial debates have been declared closed and the cause has been taken under advisement, Upon, provided at such hearing : the files for Nigel COOPER ;

Upon the fact that, although regularly convened by the Registry of the Court, the Defendant Gail COOPER did not attend nor was she represented at Our 22 February 2012 Hearing ;

That as far as she is concerned the Court shall rule by default and without further examination, on the basis of the means, files, and conclusions presented and provided by the attending parties ;   I. OBJECT AND ADMISSIBILITY OF THE REQUEST

Given the request, formulated by the conclusions provided to the Registry of the Court on 31 January 2012 for Nigel COOPER, on the basis of article 11 of the European Regulations No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003, also known as “Brussels II bis” and article 1322 bis of the judicial Code, is disposed to grant to Nigel COOPER primary custody of his daughter Bailie Kate COOPER, born on 1 August 2003 in Coventry (united Kingdom) from his union with Gail COOPER, and therefore order immediate return of the child to the Kingdom of Belgium, in this case to the domicile of her father, registered in 7020 MONS (Belgium), rue Grande, 205/2.2 and in this respect, on forfeiture of a penalty of 500 euros per day of delay, Our decision being additionally supplemented by the passport certificate in accordance with the “BRUSSELS II bis” Regulation, under the conditions, modalities and authorizations better outlined in the arrangement scheme of the initiating proceedings ; that subsequently the request is pursuing the right for secondary custody in favor of Nigel COOPER regarding his daughter Bailie Kate COOPER, the modalities being better detailed in the operative part of the conclusions ;

That this request, justified in its means and submitted within the legal deadline, shall be receivable ;

II. CAUSE FOR THE REQUEST   Brief background facts   Considering that the applicant Nigel COOPER settled in Belgium in January 2006 as he was hired as Principal Consultant for Network Security at SHAPE ;

Considering that he was later joined by his daughter on 12 October 2006 as attested by the residence certificate written and signed by the Civil Registrar of the City of Mons on 30 September 2011, based on a private power of attorney provided by the defendant Gail COOPER on 5 August 2006, which reads as follows : “I, Gail COOPER, mother of Bailie Kate COOPER, authorize Bailie Kate COOPER to live with her father Nigel COOPER” ;

That the defendant later joined the applicant and his daughter on 20 January 2007 to live with him, first in Mons, than later in Lessines ;

Considering that during the period of the time they lived together, the applicant obviously catered to the well-being of his daughter, mainly by himself and because of the clear addiction to drugs and alcohol which already afflicted the defendant at the time ;

That, no less than twenty-five independent testimonies were written and provided to the file of the applicant in order to attest of the true attentive care he was providing his daughter, as well as the quality of the level of education he was offering her ;   Considering that on 3 March 2011, the defendant committed a felony by taking the child Bailie Kate to the United Kingdom, and did so after having willingly misled to local authorities of the City of Lessines, in playing on the existing similarity of names between the applicant, herself, and a someone named Paul COOPER, who was her first husband, and father of a daughter named Keeva-Rae, the so-called Paul COOPER granting the defendant, after signing a private power of attorney on 7 December 2007, full authority to leave the Kingdom of Belgium with his daughter Keeva-Rae COOPER ;

That on 5 November 2011, the Mayor of the City of Lessines acknowledged that he had indeed been completely misled and as a result stated so in writing, explaining that in fact the applicant Nigel COOPER had never given to the defendant Gail COOPER the written authorization to leave the Belgian territory accompanied by their daughter Bailie COOPER;

That in accordance to the provisions of the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the civil aspects of international child abduction, the applicant COOPER contacted on 21 September 2011 the Belgian Central Authority, i.e. the Federal Public Service of Justice to notify them of the parental abduction and thus asked for the immediate return of the child to Belgium ;

That, in addition, the child contacted her father again as early as 13 November 2011 to let him know that she felt unsafe with her mother and her new partner, this once again proving the alcoholism and drug abuse of the defendant, Gail COOPER ;

That the British High Court of Justice ordered against the return of the child on 25 November 2011 ;

And that following a decision that can be criticized on many grounds, which were clearly taken out of context or subject to a utterly subjective and inadequate interpretation, Our British counterpart considered that the applicant Nigel COOPER had simply, through his mere acts, given his consent to the mother to take the child, under article 13 of the Hague Convention ;


Considering that We do not wish to remind of the legal, international, and internal provisions applicable in this case, since “no one is supposed to ignore the Law” ;

That the request of Nigel COOPER, which aims to grant him custody of his daughter, is fundamentally based on article 11.7 of the Brussels II Regulations ;

That there is no doubt whatsoever that the whole family was residing in Belgium until the defendant Gail COOPER committed a felony ;

That the child Bailie Kate was therefore indeed a legal resident in Belgium ;

Considering that the applicant never gave his consent for his daughter to depart to the United Kingdom ;

That it has been clearly established that the defendant COOPER misled the authorities of the City of Lessines in order to get hold of the authorizations she needed ;

That the letter written on 1 March 2011 by the applicant to the defendant, reference C38 of the file of British Court, relates exclusively to the applicant’s consent to the departure of his wife, and not the departure of his daughter ;

That indeed, this document clearly bears the following reference “the departure and return of Mrs Gail COOPER to the United Kingdom” ;

That the interpretation of the British Judge regarding the email that Gail COOPER addresses to the applicant on 15 August 2011, is in fact exactly the opposite of its actual meaning ;

That this email does not, in any case, lead to the conclusion that there was no illegal departure of the child ;

Considering also that the financial support offered by Nigel COOPER to his spouse does not demonstrate his will to offer child support contributions to his spouse in the maintenance and educational costs of his daughter, hence does not either automatically imply that Gail COOPER does in effect and lawfully benefit from the prerogatives of custody rights, but rather show that he is strictly complying with his duty of supporting his spouse while in marriage, as described in article 203 in the Belgian Civil Code;

Considering that at every single contact between the applicant and his daughter by videoconference, the child strongly expressed her wishes to go back to Belgium, and that this clearly indicates that she was not properly cared for by her mother and the partner of her mother ;   That the British Social Services, warned by the applicant’s letter, took over the case while the Children Social Welfare Services of Sunderland presented a written agreement to the parties on 12 January 2012, which aim was to minimize (sic!) all risks for Bailie and promote her emotional, social, and physical well-being – agreement made between Mrs Gail Cooper, her current partner Derek JOHNSON and the Sunderland Local Authority ;

That, in accordance to the above-mentioned agreement, Mr Derek JOHNSON was no longer authorized to stay overnight at the residence of the defendant whenever the child was present, going as far as pointing out that when the child was staying at the residence, Mr JOHNSON and the defendant COOPER should refrain from consuming alcohol or any illicit drugs “resic!” ;

That the above-mentioned agreement also suggested that the defendant should report to a service called “Riverside Women in Need”, which is sponsored by the University of Sunderland and meant to help victims of domestic abuse, this very invitation clearly indicating the level of “quality” of the relation between the defendant and her partner Derek JOHNSON ;

That the later was supposed to report to a service called “The Head Project”, sponsored by the same university and meant to help abusive and violent individuals, this invitation obviously being a consequence of the similar invitation made to the defendant COOPER… ;

Considering that in planning the hearings of the British High Court of Justice scheduled on 24 and 25 November 2011, an independent consulting organization called “CAFCASS” as per the translation “Service of counsel and support to the family court” provided a child abduction report, which made us believe beyond any reasonable doubt that what Bailie Kate COOPER genuinely wished for was to go back and live under the roof of her father, as Mrs Liliane ODZE reports ;

That this report indeed shows that even if the child remains, and it is by far understandable, torn apart by the inevitable conflict of loyalty between parents, she does not however shows any clear preference in her wishes in remaining in England but rather she insists on going back to her father’s home, while expressing her wish to meet regularly with her maternal grandfather, and, of course, her mother ;

That the British Judge should have, in view of all the elements which were given to his appreciation, ordered the evident return of the child in the country of her choice, i.e. the Kingdom of Belgium ; That We shall order this course of action, which also obviously meets the greater and objective interests of the child ;

That no guarantee can be obtained in this regard within the home of her mother, knowing that the removal and/or control precautions of the mother and her partner as described in the agreement made on 12 January 2012 do not strictly constitute a binding constraint or even an obligation ;

Considering finally that Our decision will be supplemented with the passport certificate as referred to in article 42 of the Brussels II bis Regulation; passport certificate which is to be handed to the applicant Nigel COOPER, along with this decision ;

That based on the Rule of Law, the home of the parent who is honorable and capable to respect the prerogatives of the custody of his child must be preferred to any other care structure or any other home of replacement, as respectable as these may be ;

That Nigel COOPER effectively complies with these conditions and requirements in this case ;


We, Xavier HIERNAUX, Single Judge, assisted by Christine VACHAUDEZ, Registrar ;

Upon the provisions of the law of 15 June 1935 applied in this case, and article 107 of the law of 22 December 1998 ;

Upon article 11 of the European Regulations Nr. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003, also known as “Brussels II bis” and article 1322 bis of the judicial Code ; Hereby record the claim, denials and reservations of the appearing party, and deem all further or contrary conclusions unsubstantiated;

Having heard Mister Henri RENARD, Substitute for the Royal Prosecutor, who gave his assent at the hearing of 22 February 2012 ;

Rule by default against the defendant Gail COOPER, and upon hearing the other parties in summary proceedings ;

Declare the request of Nigel COOPER admissible, And pronounce his request well-founded for the specific purpose stated below ;

As a result :

Grant custody rights for the child Bailie Kate COOPER, born in Coventry (United Kingdom) on 1 August 2003, to Nigel COOPER, her father, with whom the child will have her official residence ;

Order the immediate return of Bailie Kate COOPER, born on 1 August 2003, to the Kingdom of Belgium, and in this case within the official residence of her father Nigel COOPER, as registered rue Grande, 205/2.2 in 7020 MONS, and in the absence of complying with the obligation of return of the child by the defendant Gail COOPER , we condemn her to a daily fine amounting to FIVE HUNDRED EUROS (500€) for the delay in the return of the child, to be enforced and paid starting on the day following the service of this decision ;

Declare that this decision is supplemented by the passport certificate referred to in article 42 of the Brussels II bis Regulation, which is delivered to Nigel COOPER upon sending it to him ;

Authorize, as needed, Nigel COOPER to take back or arrange the removal of his daughter Bailie COOPER as soon as this decision is rendered ;

Empower the Police Forces to retrieve this child wherever she may be located, whether a bailiff is present or not as per his mission of executing the present judgment ;

Expressly authorize the Police Forces as well as the bailiff to force any entrance, even private and even if it is somewhere else than the school she attends or the domicile of Gail COOPER, this for the sole purpose of retrieving Bailie, if necessary with the assistance of a locksmith in order to open and even break open doors, may these be private entrances ;

Declare that the entire fees and disbursements generated by the execution of this decision will have to be paid exclusively by the defendant Gail COOPER, and condemn her to pay back to Nigel COOPER all fees he may have given up front, upon a simple justification of payment ;

Condemn Gail COOPER to pay the costs and expenses of these proceedings, as they are not to be settled by Nigel COOPER and deemed to be lawfully reserved in accordance to article 21 of the judicial Code ;

Declare the present judgment to be provisionally enforceable aside from any appeal and without any security nor special cantonment offer ;

This is our judgment and it is pronounced in French, at the public hearing of the Presidential Chamber, at the Mons Court of Justice, on the day, month, and year mentioned on top, where sat : Mister Xavier HIERNAUX, single Judge, Madam Christine VACHAUDEZ, Registrar.


Presented on 15 March 2012  not registrable Chief Inspector a.I.  Ch. FRETIN

R.G. 11/3804/A  Summon and hereby order all Judicial Officers to enforce the existing judgment to this end ; To all our Public Prosecutors and Royal Prosecutors at the County Courts to assist them and to the Commanders and Officers of the Public Force to support when they are legally required to do so. In witness whereof, the present order has been legally signed and sealed by the Court. For certified execution delivered to Mister Nigel Cooper.   (seal of the County Court of Mons) The Chief Registrar M-J SAUCEZ

Registrar’s Office of the County Court of Mons

Date : 16/03/2012 Der : 2843  8 pages at 2,85 euros

Duties paid : 22,80 euros

The Chief Registrar M-J SAUCEZ “

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