Sunday, December 03, 2006

The future President of France?

Britain is all-of-a-bother over the Misbah Rana abduction return order -- for once, I like the Times' point of view put forward by Gillian Bowditch - the case is messy, but the father unilaterally took the child away from her mother without bothering the courts. It should play out in Scotland, not Pakistan.

But Canada is a-buzz over two more kids returned from an international abduction to the rather less controversial France. Indeed, the mother, Nathalie Gettliffe, future President of France, may be about to go to jail for taking her two children now 11 and 12 to France five years ago.

Once in France, Nathalie went public, accusing the father of being an abusive brute who belonged to a religious cult and that she would abduct her children again if they were returned. Now Scott Grant is indeed an evangelical Christian and some might prefer to think of that as a cult, but it's not exactly the Moonies nor the Krishnas, is it? There's also no evidence of anything but a close and loving relationship with the children before abduction.

Nevertheless, as the French courts side with Grant, Gettliffe gets meaner. Grant, apparently, is "mean and dangerous", he's a "despot", and he makes "unreasonable sexual demands". Oooooh. Everyone run and hide.

But this isn't enough, she accumulates 3,000 signatures on a petition, doubtless from people with immense and intimate personal knowledge of the case and all its ins and outs, all of whom think she shouldn't be forced to return the kids.

Grant saw his kids four times in 5 years, the last one in the face of threats of a lynching.

How was this resolved? I bet you can't guess. Gettliffe returned to Canada to defend an academic thesis and got nabbed at the airport. There, did you see that coming? I know, I know, what was she thinking? Who knows...?

But there's more.

The kids are still in France, so Grant has to go look for them, again. Now Gettliffe's mother, in her turn, like daughter, like mother, abducted the kids. This time, at least they're still in France, and they're found, but not before Gramma-abductor has accused him of drinking, getting stoned and trying to sleep with his own daughter.

Fortunately, the credibility of these accusations is believed to be a tad suspect and Grant gets to take the kids home. But he's got a lot of work to do as they're thoroughly alienated from him, believing rather too much of their mother's claims in their impressionable years. (But then again, as so many are so bent on demanding, parental alienation is junk science and they couldn't possibly be telling anything but the truth, so who knows what the future holds.)

Indeed, what does it hold? Two years in clink for Gettliffe and 3 probation is what the crown is asking for. (Maybe she should get life, geddit? Gettliffe, get life? Oh never mind.)

Gettliffe herself thinks she should become president of France. Wait. Er. What? No. You're not serious.

Oh yes I am. Really, I kid you not.

So, we have a bona fide nutcase mother, who abducts children internationally, goes rabid in public and spews vitriol all over her ex husband and poisons the kids against him, while developing plans to become president of France and it takes 5 years and CA$500,000 to sort it all out. But, yay, the system works, eventually, sooner or later, if you can afford it, if you can keep at it, and if mom's nutty enough.

Update: she got 16 months, which comes to 6 to go with time served, which actually seems quite reasonable to me.

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