Statement of Truth

“I am not Irish Marilyn Carver, but American Melissa Laird. I left the UK with my son on 15 May 2011 to relocate to Spain.”

Barnet County Council has fraudulently criminalised me, with only one intention: to adopt my son against his will and without my consent. I was an overstayer and I have used other names. I never liked ‘Melissa’. This could possibly have resulted in ‘contempt of court’, but not ‘abduction of a child’ and imprisonment since Dec 2011.

The European Arrest Warrant was as much an abuse of power and process by Barnet Council as our extradition by the Spanish authorities and the ‘arbitrary hold’ by UKBA since 30th June 2012. It appears that the Spanish authorities were told about an ‘abduction’. For I was treated brutally, not helped by the US Embassy in Madrid and told in Spanish prison to stop talking about my son.

Barnet’s Social Services prevented my then 4-year-old boy from having contact with me since our separation. HHJ Mayer refused legal representation, but Barnet’s Director of Children’s Services claimed in a letter to my MP that I was legally represented throughout.

HMP Holloway has seriously hindered me from advancing my legal proceedings as Litigant in Person, mainly by mail getting lost or delayed up to over a month. The Association of McKenzie Friends was prevented from assisting me by not being granted legal visits and making booking mistakes.

UKBA have relied heavily on HHJ Mayer’s judgement of 08 March 2012. It could never be challenged in a fair trial: although ordered and requested seven times, transcripts for the FULL HEARING could not be obtained. UKBA seem to ignore that I have derived rights of residence, because my son was born in Ireland. With the exception of a recent pro bono barrister, I was not made aware of this.

In the High Court, Lord McFarlane refused my appeal without a hearing, when, in similar circumstances, he granted permission to appeal.

On 20 July 2013 I was assaulted by six prison staff, after my deportation was stayed. On 08 Aug 2013 all my legal documents were stolen in Holloway from a box that was picked up by McKenzie Friends.


1.                 Barnet County Court: lack of disclosure

i.          16 May 2011: Order by Mrs Justice Hogg: Made ex parte while settling in Spain. Direction: not to be disclosed to the mother, as used for her localisation.

2.                 Barnet Social Services

i.          No contact since December 2011 is against the Children’s Act, Article 8 and the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child.

  1. ‘Discretion’ for contact was ordered on 08 March 2012.

3.                 Crown Court at Wood Green: from Family Court to Criminal Court for another identity

i.          10 April 2012: Indictment: Crossing one name and putting the other: Marilyn Carver [crossed out] Melissa Cecilia Laird on the 16th day of May 2011 a person connected with xxx, a child under the age of 16 years, took the said child out of the United Kingdom without the appropriate consent.

ii.          Badly advised, whilst under duress due to medication after a fall: change of plea from not guilty to guilty.

4.                 Shoreditch and Clerkenwell Court – the local Court for HMP Holloway

i.          First Application for Contact of 15 Sep 2012 I was told was lost by the Court.

ii.          Second Application for Contact sent on 22 Oct 2012 stamped received on 22 Jan 2013 – returned in March to say that the Principal Registry for the Family Division is responsible.

5.                 Principal Registry for the Family Division (PRFD)

i.          Third Application for Contact sent on 10 June 2013 was signed for on 17 July 2013.

ii.          PRFD are investigating. Apparently Barnet Court is responsible for ordering Contact.


19 Aug 2010:      Barnet County Council: Application for Interim Supervision Order, Directions, Interim Care Order, Public Law Outline, Schedule, Standard Directions. Docs 1 – 7

15 May 2011:     Left the country for Spain.

16 May 2011:     Para 28 in transcript of Judgement of 08 March 2012, ‘Final Hearing’ scheduled. Order made ex parte and while not resident. County Court says it has the ‘Direction’: “not to be disclosed to the mother, as it was used to locate her.”  Doc 10

13 Dec 2011:       Arrested by Spanish Police thanks to European Arrest Warrant.

15 Dec 2011:       Taken to De Soto prison near Madrid; pressured to agree going to the UK with the promise of seeing her son again; requests for contact with US Embassy agreed, but never materialised. This included telephone contact with my son.

21 Dec 2011:       Spanish prison staff informed her that her son was in the UK and that she should stop saying he was her son.

29 Dec 2011:       Heathrow Airport: “I am not Irish Marilyn Carver, but American Melissa Laird”.

30 Dec 2011:       Remanded to HMP Holloway by Brent Magistrates Court; visit by US Embassy who promised contact with son, which didn’t materialise.

Jan 2012:             Introduction to Des Johnson of CLP Solicitors and Lisa Bose of Noble Solicitors to arrange contact with son.

27 Jan 2012:        Committal for Trial. Doc 8

07 Feb 2012:       7th visit by Barnet Social Services; Tony Carroll & Ron Ludtke as well as Des Johnson.

4 March 2012:    Statement by Social Workers for court next day.

5 March 2012:    Barnet County Court: Des Johnson and Lisa Bose had flu and couldn’t attend; adjournment due to absence of legal representation refused; Official Solicitor also refused.

6 March 2012: Had food poisoning and was unable to attend. Prison stated ‘refused’.

7 March 2012:    Court adjourned until the next day.

8 March 2012:    Partial judgement; Solicitors for Social Services said a Final Care Plan was posted on 5 March 2012; adjournment until 16 March 2012 so that I could read this Care Plan; never received.

dto                         Order made with 5 points, incl. Contact and Transcript. Docs 9 – 11

16 March 2012: Prison didn’t take me to court; I informed solicitor Des Johnson who faxed a letter asking for an adjournment. This was denied, as it went ahead in my absence.

dto                         Placement Order, Notice of Placement Order, Adoption Order. Docs 12 – 14

3 April 2012:       Telephone call to Barnet County Court to ask for new date; found out that judge had proceeded in her absence; was faxed forms to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

5 April 2012:       Appeal documents to challenge 08 March 2012 judgment faxed and posted 1st class.

10 April 2012:     Indictment: Statement of Offence: Abducting a Child, contrary to section 1(1) of the Child Abduction Act 1984. Particulars of Offence: Marilyn Carver Melissa Cecilia Laird on the 16th day of May 2011 being a person connected with xxx, a child under the age of 16 years, took the said child out of the United Kingdom without the appropriate consent. Handwritten: 10-04-12: not guilty plea. 09-05-12 change of plea to guilty. Sentence 12 months imprisonment, 130 days spent in custody to count towards sentence imposed today. Indictment amended by leave of the Court on 10th April 2012 to show the defendant’s name as “Melissa Cecilia Laird” throughout. HHJ S. Carr. Doc 15

Indictment Charges: Taking child out of United Kingdom without appropriate consent (on 16 May 2011). Change of Plea: Not guilty to guilty (no jury sworn). Doc 16

9 May 2012:        Scheduled to appear in Criminal Court; prison refused to produce her; first claiming that she refused and then got contacted by CLP Solicitors and was taken from Wood Green Crown Court to Whittingdon Hospital with secondary hip trauma due to fall; legally advised to plead guilty to charges of abducting a child.

Repeated phone conversations about lack of acknowledgement or response by Court of Appeal with Rehana Khanum of CLP Solicitors–told ‘not to worry’.

10 May 2012:     `Order of Imprisonment. Doc 17 Sentence. Doc 18

17 Oct 2012:       Court of Appeal said they had not had fax or post.

22 Oct 2012:       sent another copy including copy of fax cover sheet with transmission report showing date of fax to Royal Courts of Justice via Hibiscus.

29 Nov 2012:      Date of Deportation Order – but only received on 12/12/12.

10 Dec 2012:       Asylum refused.

20 Dec 2012:       received letter to file an appeal bundle by 2nd January 2013; phoned, faxed and posted a request for adjournment; extension granted until 10th January 2013.

8 or 9 Jan 2013: Visit by Aneesha Bunjun, Prison Lawyer from Wainwright & Cummins who hand delivered appeal documents; a covering letter asked for transcripts of Court Hearings; but key documents were still waiting to be supplied.

21 Jan 2013:        Appeal refused by Lord McFarlane “totally without merit”. Doc 19 – irrespective of constraints imposed by Holloway, lack of transcript of hearing, i.e. no fair trial at all.

Between 5 April 2012 and 20 March 2013:             Seven requests for transcripts of hearing of 05 through to 08 March 2012, the unchallenged judgement that forms the basis for imprisonment, deportation, removal and JR.

Between Oct 2012 and June 2013: 3 Applications for Contact: first to Clerkenwell & Shoreditch and finally to Principal Registry of the Family Division.

01 March 2013: Letter by Dionne Thomas, Director of Children Services of Barnet County Council, to Theresa Villiers MP that “Ms Carver / Laird was legally represented throughout the proceedings.” A blatant untruth or false statement. Doc 20

19 July 2013:       Stay of Deportation.

20 July 2013:       Assaulted by six prison staff while two Senior Officers, a Governor and a nurse were watching. Reported to Metropolitan Police who reported to Islington Police. Ref. No. CRIS 2716817/13

08 Aug 2013:      Realisation that all legal documents were stolen by Holloway staff. In anticipation of deportation, my belongings were collected by Belinda McKenzie, Chairperson of the Association of McKenzie Friends. Reported to Islington Police.

August 2013:      Familiarisation with Orders by Lord McFarlane and Supreme Court. Docs 22-23.


i.      Barnet County Council need to establish Skype contact with my son and return him. They need to be prosecuted for having exposed my son to serious psychological and emotional harm and for having criminalised me falsely.

ii.      HMP Holloway needs to be prosecuted for torture on numerous occasions and failing to provide duty of care in terms of support for legal proceedings, besides simply following Prison rules and Service Orders.

iii.     UKBA needs to be sued for damages and compensation for illegal deprivation of liberty and infringing on the rights to family life.

  1. Legal Proceedings
  1. My Son

i.      My son has been traumatised irreparably due to seriously prolonged separation from his mother. In Spain he had settled in school and was diagnosed as being mildly autistic.

ii.      All allegations against me and my parenting skills were maliciously fabricated.

iii.      All positive reports from Social Workers and Health Visitors were suppressed.

iv.      Subject Access requests from Barnet and Enfield will illustrate the ill intent.

  1. Myself

i.      While imprisoned since 13th December 2011, my property (house and car) and various belongings (computers, caravan, animals: chicken, goats, dogs) have been put at risk.

ii.      A criminal record was created when the use of another identity should only have been ‘contempt of court’, but I was outside jurisdiction anyway!

iii.      Since having served a fraudulent sentence by 30th June 2012, UKBA have colluded with Barnet Social Services by not allowing bail and not facilitating contact with my son.

iv.      14 to 20 months, in total 21 months spent in some sort of confinement is unproportional and illegal.

v.      My health has deteriorated without proper medical care, medication and adequate post-op physiotherapy and medication.

vi.      Holloway staff have treated me what amounts to torture, besides committing the cited blatant crimes.

vii.      Alarm, stress and duress have exacerbated my experience of imprisonment due to serious harassment, bullying and lack of duty of care, i.e. lack of food, emotional deprivation and psychological damage.

D.      List of Documents

  1. US Birth Certificate
  2. Application for Interim Supervision Order   19 August 2010
  3. Interim Care Order                                                   19 August 2010
  4. Directions handwritten                                           19 August 2010
  5. Schedule handwritten                                             19 August 2010
  6. Public Law Outline                                                    19 August 2010
  7. Standard Directions                                                 19 August 2010
  8. Trial Record Sheet                                                    27 July 2012
  9. Order                                                                               08 March 2012
  10. Transcript of Judgement                                        08 March 2012
  11. Care Order Warning                                                 08 March 2012
  12. Notice of Placement Order                                   16 March 2012
  13. Placement Order                                                        16 March 2012
  14. Adoption Order                                                           16 March 2012
  15. Indictment                                                                    10 April 2012
  16. Indictment Charges                                                   16 May 2012
  17. Order of Imprisonment                                           09 May 2012
  18. Sentence                                                                         09 May 2012
  19. McFarlane Order                                                         22 January 2013
  20. Carver – MP letter                                                      01 March 2013
  21. DNA proof with photos of a happy child who is turning into a miserable, insecure child whilst in ‘care’.
  22. Lord McFarlane Judgement re permission to appeal
  23. Supreme Court Order re adoption

Compiled by Sabine K McNeill
Web publisher, Association of McKenzie Friends
21a Goldhurst Terrace
London NW6 3HB

Edited by Melissa Laird over the phone.

6 thoughts on “Statement of Truth”

  1. To any normal human being, this is shocking, horrific, diabolical conduct by those drunk with power & their apparatchik zombies. The tragedy is that the British people allow it to continue, protest coming from only a tiny few..

    • Thank You, dear Norman!

      It takes one to know one.. and it takes your experiences to respect / appreciate / acknowledge Melissa’s story.

      This morning she called to say that her legs were black and that she needs to go to hospital…

  2. Anonymous said:

    I met Melisa in Holloway and spoke to her on numerous occasions. For long time after she was deported I have been wondering how she was. Hope the justice will be found. All the best

  3. Anonymous said:

    Thank you, Sabine, for this news!
    Sincere regards from the girl who was with her in the cell until the minute she was taken away.

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