Jewish Chronicle, August 1st 2013

Mother loses custody battle but will fight on

By Anna Sheinman, August 1, 2013

Beth Alexander with her sons, Samuel and Benji

Beth Alexander with her sons, Samuel and Benji

Beth Alexander, a British mother of four-year-old twins, is to appeal against the Viennese court decision which has given final custody to their father.

She said the decision had left her feeling as if she had been “convicted of a crime, although I know I am innocent”. She vowed to fight on in her long-running battle to gain care of the boys, Samuel and Benji.

The legal battle with their father, Austrian Dr Michael Schlesinger, began in 2011 when the couple split up.

Over the past two years, Ms Alexander has sought support from the Jewish community in her bid to overturn the Austrian court’s original decision to award custody to Dr Schlesinger.

Over 4,000 people have signed a petition backing her.

She said this week that the dispute had left her sons traumatised.

“They’re still not talking and they’re still in nappies. It’s very humiliating for them. When they were taken away it was because they didn’t speak 200 words, now they can’t speak 50 words — they can’t use sentences,” she said.

Ms Alexander has hired a new lawyer, Dr Alfred Kriegler, to conduct her appeal.

She said: “My last lawyer gave up the case. I just hope now there will be an independent assessment of the boys, That’s all I want.”

Dr Kriegler said: “There are some points in the case that seem bizarre. The grounds of the appeal will be lack of impartiality of the judge and procedural mistakes.”

He added: “My client is really suffering. We will try our hardest to bring the twins back to her.”


JewishChronicle 02.08.2013

JewishChronicle 02.08.2013



Jewish Chronicle, August 1st 2013 — 1 Comment

  1. Absolutely dreadful that the last lawyer gave up, was pressure put on him by Michael and his family, was he perhaps paid a monetary sum to give up, who knows because the whole case stinks, it beggars belief that this happened in the first case. At last I hope this lawyer can do what is expected of him. At least he sees that the impartiality of the judge and procedural mistakes were made and this cannot be allowed to happen again so that nobody else can suffer like Beth has. There is still the problem that it was allowed to happen in the first place something must be done about the conduct of the judge, she must be reported to the Law Society as being unfit to practice due to her lack of impartiality. Also if the Social Services are involved they must be held responsible for allowing this scenario to happen. They should have intervened and removed the children and handed them to Beth where they would be safe instead they are at risk whilst they’re in the custody of the father. The evidence is all there that he has and is putting the kids at risk ie removal of teeth, arrested development etc. These poor kids who really should be with their mum attending school, playing with their friends, visiting their grandparents etc. and just enjoying their young lives.

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