The following story is another example of a situation that you might expect to read about in a novel of dystopian fiction, rather than a real life situation happening on the island that brought the world the Magna Carta.
Garry Johnson simply sent his son Sam a happy birthday message on his 21st via Facebook and for this crime was sentenced to jail by Britain’s secret family court system. The most amazing part of this story is that after the divorce from his wife, both of their children choose to live with Garry rather than their mother. Seemingly out of spite, his ex-wife started to make accusations against Garry, all of which were investigated and shown to be untrue. Not that this mattered, as Garry was still punished with a gag order that forbid him to ever mention his children publicly for the rest of his life. I think it’s safe to say secret courts should never, ever be permitted. From the Daily Mail:
A father has been jailed at a secret court hearing for sending a Facebook message to his grown-up son on his 21st birthday.
Garry Johnson, 46, breached a draconian gagging order which stops him publicly naming his son, Sam, whom he has brought up and who still lives with him.
The order silencing Mr Johnson – which follows an acrimonious divorce eight years ago – means he cannot mention either of his boys, 21-year-old Sam and Adam, 18, in public, even by congratulating them in a local newspaper announcement when they get engaged, married or have children in the future.
The extraordinary gag is set to last until the end of his life, although his boys are now adults. Last night they condemned their father’s jailing as ‘cruel and ludicrous’.
After their parents’ divorce, the two boys chose to live with their father, following a series of rows with their mother over her new boyfriend.
But within a year of the divorce, Mr Johnson’s ex-wife made allegations to Essex social workers that he was neglecting the children and not feeding them properly at his smart family home.
An investigation by social workers cleared him of any wrongdoing and said the boys were fine.