Monday, September 14, 2009

Fathers 4 Justice Batman dad 'would repeat M25 stunt'

By Clare Alexander September 11, 2009

A FATHERS 4 Justice dad from Farnborough who was jailed after climbing an M25 gantry in a protest over access to his daughter has said prison was no court

Geoffrey Hibbert, who dressed up as Batman for the stunt at junction 14 near Stanwell on August 15 last year, said he would do it again if he had to.

He was released from Wormwood Scrubs prison on September 3 after serving almost half of his six-month sentence.

The 49-year-old father, from Clayton Road, was sentenced in July after being convicted by jurors of one count of causing a public nuisance and a second of endangering motorists.

Mr Hibbert clambered to the top of the gantry, causing police to close off 12 lanes of the motorway while he protested against his treatment at the hands of the family courts.

He said: “Wormwood Scrubs was all right. It was not a deterrent.”

Mr Hibbert added he had 100% support from the other inmates.

“I was a cleaner in there. I was cleaning the landing outside the cells every day. I enjoyed it. It kept me active and I met a lot of new people, like loads of fathers who are going through the same scenario as me.”

Mr Hibbert described how he felt when the judge announced his sentence.

“I thought they were making a scapegoat of me and thought it was political,” he said.

Worth it

The desperate father said he had not seen his daughter since August 2007 and added that enduring prison was a price worth paying.

While he has no intention of protesting again, he said: “I would be prepared to do it again if I had to, yes. All children have the right to see both parents.

“The family courts are biased against mothers and fathers.

“There are women out there in the same situation as me. The judge should sit in a room with the children [and the parents].”

Mr Hibbert said he dressed up as a comic book hero for his daughter.

“She likes Batman and Spiderman so it was a choice between the two. I did it for her. I did it for all the children in this world.”

He said he chose that particular place to climb the motorway so he could raise awareness in front of as many people as possible.

Mr Hibbert dismissed claims made during the trial that people could have been hurt, insisting he had been in complete control.

“The gantry is bigger than it looks,” he said.

A friend drove him to the motorway, and he said: "I felt nervous on the journey to the M25 but I did it for the children and they are worth everything.

“I had lots of support from the drivers. They were taking photographs shouting to me.”

Global support

Browsers logging on to the Get Hampshire website have expressed their sympathy for Mr Hibbert.

Support for his cause has continued since and people across the globe have heard about his antics.

“Everyone who’s seen me has shaken my hand. When I was inside I had letters from Canada, Poland and Australia,” Mr Hibbert said.

“I feel proud. There’s even things on YouTube about me. People are going through so much trouble with children and it’s wrong.

“The courts need to listen to what the children have to say.

“My daughter is the most special thing in the world.”

Most recent user comments 7 of 7

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Geoff, it was worth it. Children are always worth it.
Its Douglas 14/09/2009 at 07:39
I was in court the day Geoff was sentenced to show my support for his courageous action to bring to light the terrible situation he found himself in. I did a similar stunt only a couple of weeks earlier - also to mark a year since I had seen my 3 girls. It is very hard for anyone to understand the feeling of being deprived of playing a part in your child's upbringing by an uncaring judge with no grasp of reality and who certainly does NOT have your children's best interests at heart. Most studies clearly show that a child's best interests are served by having contact with both parents unless there is some reason affecting their safety. There is no such danger to my children, yet when my bitter and vengeful wife decided to stop me from seeing my girls, it took 3 months to get to court to apply for a contact order. Having patiently waited, I expected justice that day, but instead was left completely stunned and with a feeling of total helplessness. District Judge Goddard - himself a father (his children even know mine) told me "Mr Line this is going to be distressing for you, but you must remember that any contact is meaningful contact. (Whatever that means) - I am going to allow you to write to your children once a month and send them small gifts at appropriate times". he then turned on my wife and told her that she was to ensure that she encouraged the girls to respond to my letters, to which she replied "Yes of course I will". It will come as no shock to many that I have not had a single reply. I have no idea whether the girls even get to see my letters and it is now over 2 years since I have seen them. I have done nothing to deserve this and there are 1000's of parents out there like Geoff who have and are suffering the same injustices. Judge Greenwood while sentencing Geoff took no account whatsoever of the pain and costs that he had been through in the previous year and even intimated that there was nothing wrong with the Family Courts. The man had no compassion whatsoever and clearly had no concept of the desperation you feel when you are denied your right to be a parent to your children by the state. The damage dinosaur judges like this are doing to our society behind closed doors is criminal. Martin Luther King once said ""Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" I am not going to be silent on this matter until our Family Courts undergo major reform and I urge the 1000's of other parents who are victims of our flawed system to stand up and shout. Perhaps then we might get somewhere. Well done Geoff
HeartBrokenDad, Trowbridge 12/09/2009 at 01:24
Thank you for the sacrifice Geoff. Don is absolutly right. Bad parents, moms or dads, don't stick around to take a firm stand against court injustice. Marginalizing one parent tells a child one half their genetic heritage is unimportant. That is child abuse. Judges are social engineers creating negative outcomes for children in many countries, including here in Canada.
Mike Murphy, Sault Ste. Marie, ON Canada 11/09/2009 at 19:17
Geoff Hibbert is a hero and a role model for direct action protests to raise public awareness of discrimination against fathers. Keep up the good work Geoff. Try not to get arrested next time, they will put you in jail for good to silence you.
Denis Pakkala 11/09/2009 at 17:26
GEOFF HIBBERT IS AN INTERNATIONAL HERO!!! Good, fit, willing fathers like Geoff Hibbert are the ones that climb freeway gantry's. monuments and cranes for their children. Instead of imprisoning these fathers we should be building statues in their honor! I agree with Geoff that prison is a small price to pay for our children and would not think twice about giving up my own personal freedom for my children's right to share in my life. Remember, bad dads go away, we never hear from them, good, fit, willing dads take a stand and demand a change to the corruption known as family law. THANK YOU GEOFF HIBBERT, YOU ARE A HERO!!! Donald Tenn Fathers 4 Justice United States of America
Donald Tenn 11/09/2009 at 14:56
WELL DONE GEOFF !! BATMAN M25 The world needs more dads like you ! The government robots tried to make an example and it hasn’t worked, I’ am grateful to you and so I’m sure are many others, you have major global support. The government need to stop cowering behind a cloak and change the law !! 360,000+ children have lost contact with their father in there 10 yrs Best hope is a big change Well done Geoff ! Let the direct action continue Jason newfathers4justice Sussex
newfathers4justice 11/09/2009 at 12:54

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