Byron in May 2013, in my studio  watching Michael Jackson's Thriller on the big screen

1. Letters to Byron. Pilot to the twice weekly blog letters to my son


This Blog began as a reaction to having December visitation cancelled for the son I have not seen or spoken to since 16 February 2016. Whom I miss dearly and coming after I have exhausted my best efforts towards seeing him, having sworn a solemn oath to my beautiful son from the outset of his parents separation that I would do so.

Before this blog, I wrote letters to Byron in the traditional way. By hand through post. As you will see by reading further, that basic right – to communicate between father and son in written letters – was interfered with by the mother in the context frequently referred to as parental alienation and child abuse.  My requests for unfettered visitation with the child I raised for the first four years of his life, met unrestrained, malicious obstruction.
I know my son misses me and I consider events in the matter Alder vs Broulidakis to represent the worst level of ethical fraud by four members of British family law who have ensured that not only did the mother face no censure for black and white offenses in family-law, such as denying me the postal address to write to my son for a period of 9 (NINE) months, but that I have faced a judgment in British family court that is child abusing and nothing is being done about it. In a Country that prides itself on a spirit of fairness and equality in a transparent legal system, secretive frauds are getting away with child abuse.

My exhaustive efforts tosee my son included writing to the President of British family law, who himself sat as Judge in an Appeal hearing and ruled that the judgment of Michele O’Leary, the swithc judge who ruled that I should not have an ongoing relationship with y son, should be appealed.  Despite that, family-law members continue to protect their own. Even in flagrant translucent breach of laws anyone not a member of an entitled society, protected by its own special arcane laws, would be in prison for.

Since my sons mother, Charlotte Adler, chose acrimonious litigation and personal gain over the child’s best interests, I have seen legal fee’s in excess of £500,000 charged against me in the effort to see my son. Money benefiting  British family-law members pockets rather than to my sons future. And I have seen  30 years of hard work building a home in England taken away, fraudulently stolen,  by a family court judgment that is predicated on a lie. Brought to court by a £500 an hour liar charging by the hour, supported by another £500 an hour liar, presented by a £5,000 day super liar, defended by a £5,000 a day less super liar for the attention of a dim witted £500 a day liar.  A switch judge, introduced to me as exactly that by my  family-law barrister, who should know.
Sadly for my son Byron, 9 at this time,  in this five year period of his life his mother lied repeatedly, and consistently,  placing material gain over our son’s best interests.   

And for that there is no argument left to  convince me she should be protected by law or any other deceit from her son knowing that; for all her qualities as a biological mother, in regards to her treatment of Byron’s rights to be with his father, she has lied in conduct indistinguishable from blackmail for visitation. Offering to allow me to see Byron for £100,000, but not before payment. And then aggressively and dishonestly opposing the ‘application for visitation’ I brought in family court, preventing him from spending two nights a month with me.
She and her lawyer Tom Amlot went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that in the first year apart, my legal bill to see my son was £40,000. I saw him for four nights in year one post separation. That is £10,000 a night. While demanding £100,000 as a blackmail, I say the fact they succeeded in forcing me to pay family law £10,000 for each night with my son speaks for itself.
And that was just the beginning. In 2013. Since then, from the point of view of my son, then 4 and  9 at this time of writing,  family court has determinedly and consistently made a series of contradictory judgments at odds with the transparent nature of a fair and open judiciary, in which I have, on two separate occasions totaling ten months, not had the address of where my son was. His address concealed, forcing legal costs on me to find out his whereabouts, Baited by the mother and her lawyer with ‘so sue me’, knowing that process runs me up enormous legal costs. I have seen a legal bill of over £5 million and rising because Michele O’Leary thought it was not in any way abusive to a child’s best interests to award costs of 8% against one parent. For having the audacity to challenge a member of family law for the right to see his son.

War. by Picasso

War. by Picasso

And for that, the least Byron deserves is  access to an honest recollection of the facts around what happened to his life on Fathers day, June 16, 2013. And why I refer to his mother as Adler throughout all correspondence. The other participants in this duplicitous fraud, Tom Amlot, Michele O’Leary and Graham Coy, along with the two barristers, have to share between them extraordinary amounts that I would otherwise have been able to spend on my sons future. Right now I can show my losses arising from these co workers in family law playing their family law card, at above £3 million pounds. And that means seeing my son again will be difficult. Both because of the residue of animosity that making bad judgements against children leaves and because without funds, you cannot pursue justice in a British courts, where it is  ‘pay before you play.’
Without the option of an intervention by any family law monitoring body, any member of parliament outraged by this fraudulent child abuse exploiting arcane legislation, or the Solicitors Regulation authority, all that remains is my ability to communicate to my son that I love him and am always available to house and raise him in the hope that the neural pathways formed in those four years where I raised him 24/7 while his mother was out at work, retain the parental bond, as I believe they do.

I set out this idea of ‘letters to Byron’ without a formula for writing to a 9 year old across this form of letter writing in a T & C’s blog  format. For this reason, you will see the level of writing evolve as I adjust my expectation and my time availability to this twice weekly visitation I get to spend with my son in this way. Expect a few typos. And some grammatical errors. It is a live blog written for a specific purpose that is not commercial in the way that justifies editorial support.
originally ‘Letters to Byron’ began as hand written letters sent by post, after he was removed from my home in 2013, not yet five years old.  Drawing on advice from a professional child psychology therapist , these were appropriate private missives written for his eyes only. Now, five years later,  this blog ‘digital’ format is for a wider readership and a less specific purpose. It is not written solely for me to Byron. There is a higher purpose.

For Byron, reading this one day, I know it is a big line to cross, for one parent to reveal that the other parent is a malicious avaricious liar and I have not taken this step lightly although I know you know more than any nine year old should know in this regard.

I have no doubt that whatever love she professes to have for you is a version of her own reality and she will always be your mother, so there is that. But for me she will always be Adler, the thief who lied to remove my son from my life, blackmailed me for visitation and saw it all the way through to a half million legal bill for me and financial consequences (for me personally) north of £3 million. which made it impossible for me to remain in the Country I loved living in for 30 years.  She continues to abuse British family law to cause me harm that is immeasurable, mostly by preventing any visitation with my son and abusing British family law to a criminal extent.

My intention in writing to you now is to find a level where you will be able to read my news twice weekly and know that I am well, and miss you and love you. Through these letters I can transparently show the opportunities for visitation and how that pans out – in real time. Eventually, I think you will have the means to respond but for now, I write in full awareness that you cannot so I proceed  with two hours twice weekly, writing to record the facts of what where when and how like a detective series presenting; Motive, Means and Opportunity, or how Adler stole my home and my son and got away with it – winning what goes down as the worst judgment made in the addled history of Britain’s arcane family law.
With this December visits hopes dashed, again for the 4th year in a row, I write in the hope that this summer, your summer holiday when you will be ten, you are able to spend the entire time with me, starting a new chapter in your life where you are no longer prevented from being with your father by corrupt, child abusing members of British family law. Either on annual holiday visits, or full time. Whatever you choose. And if the summer visit doesn’t happen we will try for next December. Eventually you will be of age where you can start your own court proceedings for visitation. I will always be ready.

    Andrew Brel.
California. November 2018

and_HDRToday, November 8th, 2018, is my first Letter to Byron in the new format.

This yellowed envelope contains my last actual old style ‘letter to Byron’, pictured here just before I posted it from Dana Point Post office. It went on Monday 5th November 2018.

Lets recap why dates matter in this story that starts on Fathers day, June 16, 2016.

My boy Byron was 4 and a half that day when his life, like mine changed. Seismic events born of lust for a very handsome, tall, young and buff boxing instructor, whom she called ‘the Pole‘,  who probably did not know the amorous lawyer had a four year old and a loving father looking forward to a life together, although he himself was married at the time. Poor Graziana. His wife, whom Adler offered to help him divorce for no charge. I wonder how things worked out for them.

Since that fathers-day separation, executed with the cynical surgical precision of an experienced member of family-law familiar with all the tricks of the trade, both Byron and myself have experienced the sunny-side of British family-law ensuring we have had some considerable obstacles presented towards being together.
By sunny side I mean, criminal deceit borne of  wilful malicious intention, and by considerable obstacles, I mean, the full weight of a court judgment by a switch judge who has clearly ruled in a criminal deceit borne of  wilful malicious intention, with costs consequences that run into millions and in the process, interfered with the legal process in a different country. Which I can abbreviate to; ruled to abuse a child. Because, lets be clear, Michele O’leary’s judgment is not child abuse only if she is right that Byron should have no part of my life because I am a liar and such a bad parent he is better of not ever knowing me.
On this point we disagree. I think of her exactly as she ruled of me. That she is a liar and Byron’s life is detrimentally impacted by her judgment. Which makes her the abuser in my sons life, in which he was already off to a bad start with a family-law mother with her eyes set on stealing from a richer older man in a legal process that began with her blackmailing for visitation and concealing the child’s address.

Initially, in the weeks post her departure, I could not even write to Byron because I had to first pay his mother Charlotte Adler (henceforth referred to as Adler) £100,000 before she would agree to disclose his address.

And that is the when part of where ‘Letters to Byron‘ begins.

I wanted to see my boy who I raised as ‘stay at home’ dad until shortly after his fourth birthday and I wanted, very much, to continue  raising him in the manner and with the commitment I decided on in having a child in the first place. That is to say, the Greek philotimia, ethically motivated, musical,  lifestyle he had been brought in to. I was the stay home parent, there 90% of his time, while she was the working mum, running the law firm I paid for and established, to earn six figures as per our arrangement in having a child together, there at most 10% of the time with the child. Networking was a priority for her. Raising the child as a fifty year old dad was the priority for me.

Challenged by his mothers interest in a different life choice for him, this would require some harmonious confluence between personal interest and the best interests of a 4 year old child, in circumstances where, through no fault of his, or mine, the mother removed the child from his home and then attached financial demands to visitation.

It turns out her success would depend on an inefficient, corruptible family-court system.

Byron, approaching his first birthday

Byron, approaching his first birthday

So far so good?

Overall, knowing what I now know and with the documentation to substantiate the disclosures that follow, my goal is to present ‘the worst judgment ever made in British family court‘. A process that, even for a master in brevity,  requires some degree of   wordiness, for which I in advance for the imposition on your time.

This is a weighty subject where’s dates matter. Because timing is everything; in litigation as in life. In story telling as in whistle-blowing. In raising a child as in abusing a child. In choosing legal paroxysm without regard for basic ethical propriety as in abusing due legal process for monetary gain.

That then is the background of this Blog.

picture of handwritten letter, sent October 2018

picture of handwritten letter, sent October 2018

I have had some difficulty in seeing my son. And after many stages in the effort to do what is best for him, today’s decision is to replace the letters I have been sending twice weekly, with a blog, which I will write, twice weekly. Investing the same amount of time as I have done with my bi-weekly letters. That is, historically, about two hours, every Monday and every Thursday, in which I choose 4 photos,  from my library of thousands of photos and then have printed (At CVS)  in postcard size.
On the four photos chosen for that day, I would write a story on the back. All starting  ‘To my beautiful Byron‘ all ending with ‘miss you, love you, daddy.’ With a story du jour in between. Some one hundred words at a time. After which each set of four pictures is photographed front and back, and archived. Before being taken to post office and posted.
Why photographed front and back? Because I doubted Adler would pass them onto the recipient. By dating and archiving each one, a repository exists for Byron to one day know those letters were sent. Whether he received them or not. You see, dear reader, I have learned there is no place for trust between myself and  Adler.

Example of the front - 3 pics sent October, 2018

Example of the front – 3 pics sent October, 2018

Given the lengthy time frame for this correspondence and my commitment to ensuring I do not miss one single Monday or Thursday, I am able to disclose it has not always been easy to maintain my 100% record of sending a Letter to Byron every Monday and every Thursday. Recently, for example, when I was in South Africa for an unexpected visit attending a medical emergency, I learned that sending a letter costs $60.
Well, so was I.
I asked the postal clerk in the Bryanston office “$60 for a letter. Are you serious. Its just a letter to England. How can you charge $60 for a letter to England?”
“It is $3 for the letter. But if you want it to get to England, its $60.”

See, in South Africa, corruption is so endemic, even posting a letter requires special security measures, making it pretty pricey to send a letter to England. I share this one example of how, no matter what, I made sure that a letter went every Monday and every Thursday.
I managed to keep up a 100% success rate in sending Letters to Byron twice weekly. Up until this last one. That’s why I took a photo of myself with that actual final letter and chose it as the first picture in this new era of contact with my son. That one, incidentally, cost $33, even though it went from the Dana Point post office. I added a few extra photos because it was the last one via post. A significant moment worth memorializing. My last letter to Byron sent by Post. My first letter to Byron began in July 2013. Weeks after he was removed from my home.

Letters to Byron began as medical advice from my therapist at the Priory in 2013.

Byron was four then and the only means of contact between us was post. Although, at the beginning, after his mother,  the family law professional, removed him from his home in devious circumstances, I couldn’t even send letters to Byron because I did not have his address. He could not send letters to me because he was four. And, without doubt shell shocked by this astonishing upheaval in his life.

On the Brompton Road, aged 6 months

On the Brompton Road, aged 6 months

Why did I not have his address for letters?

Here, verbatim, from my email to Adler, my request, as my therapist advised.

Please provide me with Byron’s address. Without delay. Without the need to write again on this.

But I received no reply. For weeks. Until an unrelated email  explained

I need £100,000 to house Byron. Once I have this you can see him as much as you like.”

Actually, she didn’t technically refuse to provide me with his address and probity suggests I choose my words carefully here aware that my readership includes at least four members of family law with a vested interest in my Letters to Byron and, for three of them at least, with section 12 of The Administration of Justice Act 1960 at their disposal.  But more about those  dodgy lawyers and the arcane dodgy Section 12 enabling-tool for dodgy lawyers to get away with child abuse later.

The fact is, shortly after Byron, then just 4,  was removed from my home, I emailed Adler asking for Byron’s address and she never replied.

Technically yes; I understand that she may deny refusing to provide the child’s address to the father. (Just like Clinton ‘did not have relations with that girl because cigars don’t count’.) Legalese provides convenient language for confusing facts. But not when its this transparent. So the devil is in the detail.

I accept that not replying to an email at all is quite different to replying with a negative.  Adler did not actually refuse to provide his address.  There was no active refusal in the form of a letter saying “I refuse to provide his address.” So I will qualify my comment accordingly. “Adler refused to provide that information when I emailed requesting it” which  I hope will be interpreted as the suggestion that a member of family law did not disclose the address of a child to the parent. Although obviously true at first blush, what we know about British family law is that within the truth of family law interpretation there is always room for doubt. As long as that doubt serves the purpose of the family-court judge.

It is a fact that she did not provide the address of the child. Inviting me to spend thousands of a family lawyer first. This was a deliberate tactic,made in full awareness, because she is a family lawyer, of what the costs would be to me. And that she could wait until the lawyer was on the way to court, running up the maximum costs, before simpy emailing the address. So that the judge would never know f this blemish against her professional reputation.

My captive audience, aged 6 months

My captive audience, aged 6 months

And as you will read as this story unfolds, the truth of family law interpretation has a specific quality that is unique to British family law in which there is considerable latitude for personal interpretation, without regulation. Room for doubt at the sole discretion of the members, that need have no bearing or foundation in actual truth. Whatever we understand actual truth to be, but commonly, that truth erected on a pillar of factual honesty that is unimpeachable by counter-argument.

Like, for example; it is true that not disclosing a 4 year old child’s address to the father he adores and depends on, while demanding money for doing so is unacceptable conduct, which, left unaccounted for by the responsible party, is an invitation to continue down that same path.

Is that true.

Or false?

Learning to fly, 2010.

Learning to fly, 2010.

It is also true that being granted anonymity from accountability through membership of a gang is dangerous. An avenue that once entered has no turning back. A no u-turn zone. A direct line forward, fraught with ethical peril.

Ordinarily, not providing a traumatized young child’s address to his similarly traumatized parent could be considered poor parental behavior that increased the extent of the trauma for both parties, child and parent. Especially if the offending parent has removed the child from his family home in a deceitful premeditated act of malice,  demanding money before disclosing the child’s address.

When that parent is also a member of family law, the excuse of ignorance of legal boundaries in matters of access to children, evaporates.
Ignorance of the law is no mitigation, especially when the offender is a lawyer.

Having cleared up the distance between my words and my intention, I am happy to have that entered into judgment.  My judgment, as the author of this blog is this.
In 2013, in the weeks after removing Byron from my home, Adler refused to provide that information by replying to my email requesting it. And consequently, initially, I was not able to send any Letters to Byron. Not even one.

Why did this suggestion form advice from the Priory? Isn’t that an admission of mental infirmity or drug related issues or something? Are you not shooting yourself in the foot here by admitting you received therapy at the Priory? Wouldn’t a judge in any family matter seize on this as evidence of mental infirmity?

Well dear italics paragraph. I am glad you asked. That might have explained why a judge said you could not have your son overnight with you two nights a month. I mean. You might have been depressed?

Growing up under umbrella

Growing up under umbrella

I found myself at the Priory after a traumatic event. Having my son removed from my home by a mother who announced her intention to break up the family on Fathers day, (June 16, 2013)  at a time when I was expecting a more appropriate fathers day celebration. That event and my swift accounting of its consequences for my son was a traumatic stress generator. After which I experienced PTSD.

Within hours of the trauma I self-diagnosed, qualified by way of  (considerable) previous experience of PTSD. I am an established author in this field having written about it at length. To a readership that can be measure in millions. I am predisposed to PTSD. Am familiar with the medical diagnosis and able to confirm that I experienced a traumatic event in that deliberately malicious separation, set up on fathers day.

PTSD forms an important value in my book The Emergency Bouzouki Player, which I know is used as a resource for treating PTSD affected former conscripts, like myself, in South Africa’s famous Border war. Making me, at the very least, credibly qualified to diagnose this condition.

The Priory clinic. Barnes

The Priory hospital. Barnes

As a result of my diagnosis I acted in accordance with the same advice I give others. Get professional help. Lucky for me I have a friend who is well qualified to be described as professional help. My GP, Dr Hamill, in East Molesey advised “You should see a therapist at a time like this. And the way the NHS is, if you can afford to see one in private, then do that. If I recommend one for you on the NHS, with our budgets hot as they are, it simply will not happen.” I explained that I knew Chrissie Steele socially. And he said “Call her right away. Professional therapy is the best way forward at this time.”

I called Chrissie Steele, (Eric Clapton’s therapist and partner of Richard, who started the Priory in Barnes) and in no time at all I had access to a world class specialist in grief counseling and processing profound loss, in a series of appointments at that famous white building in Barnes. I am going to say that was a great decision. I benefited enormously from those weekly drives up to Barnes, and seeing that high energy white building in those lovely landscaped lawns.
You would think – a judge using my decision to attend top flight therapy  as the opportunity to label me ‘mentally fragile’ 24 times in the transcript of her hearing, would constitute unacceptable profiling?
I do. That however was Michele O’Leary’s observation of my decision to accept professional help for grief counseling. I was repeatedly, at every opportunity, and even when there was no opportunity, referred to as ‘Mentally fragile’.

Ironically enough, it was my book The Emergency Bouzouki player (which addresses PTSD to a detailed level), that served as the introduction which enabled my opportunity to receive the best of attention from one of the worlds leading facilities. Chrissie Steele attended my 2011 book launch at The Mada Cafe shortly after which she spent a week with her client Eric on his super yacht cruising the Greek islands. He, Eric, noticed Chrissie reading my book, in which he is actually name checked, and asked to read it. And then, when the week long cruise ended for Chrissie, Eric was not yet finished reading and asked to keep her copy.    When Chrissie shared with me this story of Eric Clapton reading my book, I thought as any author would agree of celebrity endorsement; that would be a great celebrity endorsement. Eric Clapton agreeing to comment as a reference for the second print of the book?  Couldn’t do any harm having his name of the front cover.
However the events of ‘Letters to Bryon‘ overtook pursuing that opportunity and instead, there I was debating grief counseling and profound loss with a leading world renowned psycho therapist specializing in this area of psychology.
My Priory therapist is also an author level expert in child psychology and I had the opportunity to consult on Byron’s experience. I felt extremely fortunate to have this resource at my disposal. To inform my decisions on how best to go forward in Byron’s best interests. How unfortunate that family court judge targeted her prejudice at this opportunity to label me as ‘Mentally infirm‘ as the conclusive proof that I am a liar and not suitable to have a relationship with my son.

a story to tell

a story to tell

Turns out, kids love receiving things in post and while the small details of custody and visitation were to be future debate, my wonderful advisor directed my attention to the importance and value of letters. Fired by the certainty that I was receiving the best of advice to add to my determination to do the best for my four year old child,  totally unprepared for his new role as football in his mothers family-law game of chance, I set out my stall as the author of ‘letters to Byron.’


That’s my two hour timer.

It may take a while to get into the writers groove, not knowing if Byron will be able to read this sooner, or as is more likely, later in life, but for now. At least the process is begun. And I look forward to my time with Byron next Thursday. To carry on from the first ‘Letter to Byron.

(4,830 words.)



Where you can order my books and also send copies to friends. And leave REVIEWS

LETTERS TO BYRON in chronological order:

The first of the LETTERS TO BYRON:  The PILOT
4th:  Thanksgiving day
5th: MICHELLE O’LEARY. The switch Judge
6th : Raining in California
7th: Music
8th: December Rain
9th: Brexit and Greek war
10th: Winnie the Poo
11th: December kayaking
12th: Family law and Mark Zetin
13th: Xmas day 2018
14th: Maria and Anna
15th: New years eve 2018
16th: Your first smile
17th: Your Uncle GEORGE
18th: The Mighty PACIFIC
19th: WEBSTER and Summer HOLIDAY 2019
20th: Breach of Privacy offense
22nd: Philotimia
23rd: A short note
25th: Robin Hood
26th: SRA ethical code
28th: Valentines day
30th: Rushing
31st: Quick Note
32nd: Johannesburg 2019
33rd: Still in Johannesburg
34th: More Johannesburg
35th: Last Johannesburg for now
36th: Traveling. Upgrade
37th: Spring
38th: Whales
39th: MEXICO
41st: 1 April. Wallace’s Birthday
43rd: Short letter
45th: KIRA visits
46th: Goodbye uncle Lazaros
47th: Easter Monday
48th: OJAI Tennis
49th: Short letter
51st: Cartagena memory
53rd: Last letter to 9 yo
54th: First letter to 10 yo
55th: D Day – 75 years
60th:  Chris and Golf
61st: Chris visits Byron in London
65th: MISS YOU
67th: Mason leaves for college
68th: ART
69th: Day after 911
71st: Two Women
75th: M and M
76th: HALLOWEEN 2019
78th: First late letter
89th: MIAMI
90th: Thanksgiving and the SRA
91st: Dentist
93rd: Almost Xmas
94th: Boxing day 2019
95th: 2nd January 2020
96th: 9 January 2020. Liars and Thieves
97th: 16 January. Thursday
98th: 23 Jan. Mystery Thursday visit
99th: 30 Jan. Months end
100th: 6 February. 2020. Summer Holiday


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