Barnet Today Newspaper 04.07.2013

Hendon man in battle for the return of his sister’s twin sons

Barnet Today Online

By Koos Couvée

Fighting for his sister: Adrian Alexander

Fighting for his sister: Adrian Alexander

A MAN from Hendon is seeking political support to help his Vienna-based sister win custody of her two sons.

For two years Adrian Alexander, 34, of Sunningfields Road, has been running a campaign for his sister, Beth Schlesinger, who has been mired in a custody battle over her twin sons with her estranged Austrian husband Michael.

Mr Alexander said that on July 25, 2011, his four-year-old nephews Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger, were taken away by their father, who had won sole custody of the children.

According to Mr Alexander, Mr Schlesinger, a trainee doctor, had alleged in court that his Cambridge-educated wife Beth was mentally ill and won the case based on what Mr Alexander said was a flawed mental health assessment.

The ruling was reduced to temporary custody on appeal, pending further evidence – but Mr Alexander said that the only thing the judge did was to order that Mrs Schlesinger was mentally assessed.

Despite a new assessment, which found that his sister had never suffered from mental health issues, the legal process has stalled as Mrs Schlesinger asked for a new court and judge to hear the case.

The 29-year-old is now only able to see her sons on Tuesdays and every other Sunday, Mr Alexander said.

He told The Press: “We want our politicians to acknowledge that a grave injustice has been done and to find a way to highlight our case at government level.

“My sister is tired from fighting this case in the courts and it is very depressing for everyone, particularly as it is affecting the life and welfare of two innocent children.”

Emil Brix, Austrian ambassador in London, said: “The custody case of the twins is still with the Austrian courts, which are independent and free from government interference.

“Regarding the substance of the case it is for the court to decide what is best for the two children after taking into consideration all arguments brought forward by the two parties involved and their lawyers.

“Personally, I understand how stressful this unresolved situation must be, especially for the mother who has to wait for a decision about her children from a court in a foreign country.”

Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon, said: “I am limited in what I can do but I have lobbied colleagues at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to make deputations to their counterparts in Austria. We hope that the Austrian legal system sorts out the judicial process so that the mother can get access to justice.

Please sign this PETITION and urge others to sign.


Barnet Today Newspaper 04.07.2013 — 1 Comment

  1. I too have met Beth Alexander and know she has been framed by the Austrian court. Statements made by the judge are partially ludicrous and could be proved wrong by virtually any British mother. Some have in fact been shown to be blatantly untrue, eg Beth’s psychological assessment. Two renowned Austrian psychiatrists – Dr Werner Leixnering and Dr Gabriele Wörgötter – have concluded after testing Beth that she is and has always been completely sane. It would be extremely important for the twins to be evaluated as soon as possible by a hospital department that specializes in the diagnosis and therapy of developmental disorders. If they do not receive proper therapy for the problems that have been noticed and reported to the court by interested observers, these hapless children will never catch up developmentally and will become tragic cases to add to the thousands of victims of the Austrian state whose names have become known to the authorities in recent years. To use Bettelheim’s words, they have a “good enough mother” whose excellent reputation has been trampled upon by the Austrian judiciary. She should be given the right – as soon as possible – to retrieve the children who were so seized from her in such a heartless and unjustified manner.

Leave a Reply