The Sunday Times 24.11.2013

The Sunday Times 24th Nov 2013

The Sunday Times 24th Nov 2013

Suffering the same heartache

Beth Alexander, a 29-year-old lecturer from Manchester, met Michael Schlesinger, a 33-year-old trainee doctor, in Paris in March 2006. They married that November and moved to Vienna. In 2009 their twin boys, Samuel and Benjamin, now four, were born.

In 2010 the couple split and, after she reported him to the police, her husband was evicted from the family home in Vienna.

He accused her of being mentally unstable and won sole custody of the children.

Since the first custody battle, not only has she proved she has no mental illness, she has also claimed her children have suffered severe problems in their social and physical development.

The courts ruled in Schlesinger’s favour in an appeal earlier this month, citing “continuity” as the reason for his keeping custody.

Alexander claims that Rachael Neustadt’s case has given her hope: “We’ve been supporting each other through our cases.

“I was so delighted when I found out Rachael’s verdict. I know the heartache she is going through, because I have been through the same thing.

“Thank God that you see when the law is applied properly, that the children are protected.”

Her case is under deliberation in Austria’s supreme court

Luke Garrat



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