Report & Video Link | Ramola D | May 17, 2021
Veterans from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army recently came together on News Panel 20 to report a common factor of concern in their lives during and post retirement from Military Service: a variety of harms from Child Support Agency (CSA) and Child Maintenance Services (CMS) engaging in aggressive collections, false-claims of arrears, wrongful assessments of income, bullying, stonewalling, and harassment. The impact on their lives has been severe, they report, with several veterans reporting exacerbated depression, psychological stress, suicidal feelings, and tragically in the case of Gavin Briggs, a 15-year veteran of the RAF and son of Ian Briggs, also a Royal Air Force veteran, the ultimate destruction of one’s life, suicide.
False Claims of Fictitious Arrears and Fraudulent Assessments of Income Lead to Psychological and Mental Health Stresses
A common thread in the accounts is the leveling of false-claims by CMS, demanding sums much in excess of payments these UK dads and veterans had already agreed to pay, and issuing claims of arrears which can only be named fictitious, since they run counter to the facts of payments already made.
What is worse, they report, is the attitude of hostility, avid aggression and outright intimidation and bullying from the personnel at these agencies, who refuse to check records to set right the false-arrear-claims, refuse to act as supportive staff and frequently threaten debt-collection and property-confiscation.
These actions essentially comprise extortion and asset theft, says Brian Hudson, not a veteran himself but also a dad who has run up against CMS, who has started an organization, United Parents, to help UK dads come together and tell their stories as he collects statistics and seeks to find help. Very often, the next step that CMS uses when unable to collect on the high arrears, falsely claimed, is to send a bailiff.
The antagonistic responses and stonewalling of CMS and CSA staff to veterans already battling PTSD and life changes of divorce add to the pressure of the situation and cause mental health breakdowns, veterans report.
Craig Bulman, a former paratrooper with the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, Red Devils Freefall Team, and the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry, who himself reports psychological stress and PTSD from the pursuit of CMS in his case, says CMS only got involved by threatening to withhold benefits from his ex-wife if she did not open a case against him while deceitfully informing Craig she had opened a case. “That caused conflict between us,” says Craig. CMS claimed 4000 pounds in arrears, although he had been paying on private arrangement on his own. All this happened before he set off on an operational tour to Bosnia, he reports, amplifying the stresses on him, which he returned to, when false-claims of 12,000 pounds in arrears were made on him. “As soon as I challenged them they became hostile and militant towards me.” They also enforced unaffordably high payments on him, up to 800 pounds a month, which set off PTSD: “the wheels came off”–as they rendered him homeless. The Parliamentary Health Ombudsman was finally reached and led to CSA admitting culpability and paying 5000 pounds in reparation, a smaller sum than they should have, and nothing to compensate for the long stress. “The government is letting it happen.”
Elite Forces More Frightened of Their Government than Terrorists They Pursue
“Every one of the people here I would venture to state has contemplated the taking of their own lives, due to the way the call-handlers operate,” says Clive Spencer, who interviews veterans at his Youtube channel and has helped bring to light many cases of injustice at the hands of the CSA and CMS.
“We’ve got serving personnel in the most elite forces of the British military who are more frightened of their Government they serve than of the terrorists they pursue–something’s got to change, this is wrong.” Clive reports that he has experienced the loss of several veteran friends to suicide, and the murder of a close friend in the throes of mental health breakdown which was blacked out in the media, which latter led him to work with Craig Bulman in supportive efforts to bring cases to light.
Mark McLeish, in reporting his own case of being slammed with sudden high arrears and removal of funds from his paychecks with 25,000 pounds in claimed-arrears currently likely to be addressed in a tribunal also reports the case of Matt who “went out to the moors and took his own life because they left him with five pence to live on.”
The crushing loss of a parent then to suicide, likely to leave a lasting psychological impact on children, is what CSA helps provide for the children: a macabre irony which needs turning around. CMS and CSA are adversarial and intimidatory about money that is fabricated, note several of the panelists. Mark says, “They’re nasty, they’re taught to be very nasty people, they’re taught to bring you down.”
Writing to MPs and seeking their help has not yielded much. “We’ve got letters back from the MPs and the Cabinet saying there is no problem.”
Suicide of Gavin Briggs Caused by Persecution by Child Maintenance Service Making False Claims Plus Whistle-blowing Retaliation at Work
Ian Briggs also reports that his own attempts after his son’s demise to consult with MPs and have CMS address the case with him so the truth of his son’s persecution and wrongful arrears and income-assessments could be acknowledged have been met with refusal by MP Theresa Cofee to respond and a minimal response by other MPs only after 7 months of persisting “I badgered him and badgered him and think I finally embarassed him into doing something about it.”
Ian Briggs has also been working to inform the coroner about the CSA where Gavin was wrongfully hit with false-claims of arrears, “which left him with nowhere to go.” Gavin Briggs, the son of Ian Briggs, and Air Force veteran himself, sadly took his own life last summer, hounded by CMS to pay amounts he did not owe and did not have. Ian also reports work stresses at the same time–where Hitachi Trains, Gavin’s employer, had not heeded Gavin’s efforts to change things for the better at work but had instead sought to fire him in retaliation for whistleblowing–something they seemed to have changed now, Ian reports, after his and Gavin’s fiancee’s visit to Hitachi post Gavin’s passing.
Deeper focus on Gavin’s case is provided in this interview with Ian Briggs where he expanded on the story of Gavin’s persecution.
Family Court Frauds Seem to Involve Collusion Between the Lawyers and Judges while “Modern Slavery” Run by CSA & Stealth Tax Benefits the Government
Michelle Young says “In the family court frauds, the lawyers, some of the judges have blood on their hands. It’s time we the people organize to stop this…secrecy in the courts needs to be stopped.” Michelle Young, herself a victim of the family courts and bankruptcy courts suggests a syndicate of attorneys and judges seems to be in operation, permitting numerous irregularities in all Family Court procedures.
The travails of UK mothers whose children are being taken from them while they are wrongfully named mentally unstable or aggressive as their funds are stripped in fraudulent practices of second-loan funding was covered in the very first panel in the Saturday News Panel series and written about here:
UK Mothers Across Socio-Economic Lines Reveal the Crimes, Corruption, and Fraud Rampant in UK Family Courts and Bankruptcy Courts Which Unlawfully Asset-Strip and Defraud Women & Kidnap, Foster, Traffick, and Disappear Their Children and Babies
The criteria for calculation of child support payments comprise income level, number of children and number of days of the week for shared custody of the children, says Brian Hudson, but the CSA seems to be engaging in fraudulent calculations in each case and is making money off their unsubstantiated demands for more from each parent. When parents earn more, they are taxed more–“There is a direct incentive for the government to ensure that each paying parent is under as much financial pressure as possible because in most circumstances they will do whatever is needed to get a higher paying job.” Which may still not be enough.
“The government is benefiting from not utilizing the tax-free allowance from the receiving parent–when you calculate all that, as I’ve done in my report, based on the average paying parent profile, you’re looking at 3.65 billion a year in stealth tax-that the government is pocketing–(taxes from second jobs, property taxes from second homes, etc.) this is an extortion racket which comes from an increase in employer’s insurance (among other stealth fees).”
Brian’s own situation involved a convoluted and fraudulent assessment of “unearned income,” he says, which left him being charged very high amounts, which combined with his ex-wife’s spending to make him lose his company as well as made him homeless and eventually led him to “restraint of trade” where he is unwilling to take up high-paying jobs since he would be charged at a higher level–leading to a situation of modern slavery, he says.
“Some dads are so desperate to make their basic costs that they are committing crime to pay the CMS these fictitious arrears, it’s encouraging desperate acts–they are driven to such despair that they might harm themselves or someone else…you wouldn’t treat dogs this way.” The CMS is able to extort in this fashion through self-created permissions. “They have written regulations which allow them to do it, to defraud someone.”
Hundreds of thousands of paying parents in the UK are subjected to these situations, he says, with case numbers doubling in the last five years, despite lower birth and divorce rates. Spouses also fabricate claims, he suggests. “Sixty percent of claiming parents are claiming domestic abuse to waive the 20-pound application fee–and that’s ridiculous.”
The phenomenon of the “deadbeat dad” as well seems to have been created and talked up in media against the bankrupting and impoverishing, not to mention psychological traumatizing of the hundreds and thousands of engaged fathers who do care for their children and are actively engaged in their welfare, support, and raising past divorce.
Estimated 90% of UK Family Court Judges Have Partnerships in Law Firms and Get Dividends from the Raiding of Family Estates Which Means This is Collusion and Racketeering on a Grand Scale
Social dysfunction is being created through the family courts and the CSA, notes Brian Hudson, and almost every ill in society could be traced back to them. “This industry doesn’t seem to want to fix problems but seems to want to perpetuate them–because the careers require that. Family law solicitors are making hugely inflated incomes through raiding family estates. It’s estimated that family court judges –90% of them have partnerships in law firms–this is a clear conflict of interest.”
What this translates to is that judges “want as much dysfunction as possible because the law firm you have shares in gives you dividends, you benefit from it, plus you’re getting 150-200 grand a year from listening to parents squabble all day.”
This situation has transpired, he suggests because the Ministry of Justice allows it, since the progression is usually from lawyer to barrister to judge or to MP–“20% of Parliament are former lawyers.”
Michelle Young points out this is huge information since what was not exposed in News Panel 1 with the UK mothers where the subject of judge and lawyer collusion was discussed “is that 90% of the court judges are involved in the law firms. How are you supposed to go in there and get justice–they’re colluding. It’s racketeering. ” (Brian Hudson notes this is an estimate, he cannot exactly cite sources, but the judge-lawfirm connection seems to be widespread.)
Brian reports a statement made by the President of the Family Division on Radio Four saying the rise in cases was a “head-scratcher.” “It’s not a head-scratcher, ” he counters, “it’s plainly obvious what the problems are.”
The System Also Incentivizes Fabrications of Domestic-Abuse Claims, Report Veterans
This industry would not even exist, notes Brian Hudson, if pre-nuptial separation contracts and laws on mandatory joint-custody with needed-evidence for any domestic-abuse-claims were instituted. “This industry has been created–if there were no incentive for parental alienation, it would stop overnight.” But it has all become an industry now, which permits fraud.
Also notable, says Brian is the fact that 88% of British divorcing parents turn to Family Court–while only 2% do so in Sweden, for instance, and there is a huge incentive also for false-allegations of domestic abuse; he reports he has seen documents in a certain case where the lawyer is grooming the divorcing spouse to make invented claims of domestic abuse.
Triggered PTSD, Mental Health Breakdowns, Lowered Productivity, Dropping Jobs, Suicide are the Outcomes
Mark Appleby reports that he was paying 33% in child support for a child succeeding a one-night stand in Germany with a British citizen, which he lowered to 15% on an army official’s advice, after which CSA pursued him for years for arrears, making him homeless.
His debt was transferred to debt collection services, Cabot Financial and Evershed, he says, and constant pressure led to mental breakdowns and working overseas. It’s easier for him now to live modestly off his war pension and savings and not get a job, he says, because of fear that CSA will “hammer him for 40% of his wage.” He also says he has never seen his child who is now 18 and has paid 22,000 pounds to date; she did not let him see the child and at this point he is in a new relationship with two children and does not wish to have any connection with that family any more. “Better for my mental health not to make money and risk being pursued again by CSA.”
Making money made him also a target, says Brian Hudson, and he wishes to be a target no more. This is a widespread and under-reported problem, he says. “The Government, industry, Press won’t take it on–the rate of growth in this industry suggests this will keep happening.” He believes it will happen to the next generation of young men, “even to my son who is 9 now.” The cost paid by society in the psychological harm caused to fathers, especially in cases of suicide, is extreme. “Ripples caused to family and friends extend and it’s obscene–suicide deeply impacts everyone…I would rather be poor and not targeted.”
“There are about 500,000 or so paying parents now, under the Child Maintenance Service–quite a number of them would have been pretty bloody productive and they’re being much less productive, because they’re like, what’s the point? So while they are extracting money on one side, they’re losing money in potential productivity of all those people on the other side. So it’s a false-economy anyway and downright crime against humanity,” say Brian, while Clive Spencer points out “they still make their money.”
Several other anomalies such as records being found to be in Belfast, Northern Ireland while veterans have served in the UK conflicts with Northern Ireland cause veterans concern.
PTSD and Being Pushed to Suicide Don’t Slow CMS Harassment & Fraud
Leonard Lawrence, a pilot with the Royal Air Force who has flown UK & Irish Prime Ministers and the Royal Family reveals a case of asset theft–his million-dollar home seized as well as simultaneous persecution for invented high sums of money by the Family Courts, Department of Work and Pensions, Revenue and Customs, and an arbitrary investigation opened on him by the London Met Police, exacerbating PTSD and causing great stress. He reports he was saved from the Mental Health Act being used against him through the intercession of a chief constable in the Security Services, as well as Wing Commander Professor Turnbull, “a world authority on PTSD at RAF,” and the Attorney-General Geoffrey Cox who helped with his case and gave him the legal process for CPS to set his case aside.
Leonard reveals also that he learned later from a police whistleblower that he had been deliberately targeted for all this harassment including with false investigations by a solicitor in the High Courts to stop his case from going to the Court of Appeals. Court of Protection certificates had been used to hold him for 1.5 years–none with a court seal–and despite Professor Turnbull’s report for him assessing PTSD over 20 years, “what Helen Cliff, the government lawyer did was obtain another report” on him, without reference to his being held on the basis of the false Court of Protection certificates.
In the UK, taking court action against agencies or MPs usually unleashes Mental Health Act frauds on people, Len reports, which is used to marginalize and disappear people via imprisonment, asset theft or both.
The issue of Order of Protection certificates not really having the proper court seals or an audit trail points to deception which can be exposed, says Michelle Young. “I think the whole system is such a scam–on the bankruptcy documents there are no proper seal stamps–we need to investigate all our documents to show these are fraudulent documents, they are asset-stripping us,” she says.
Tony Booth reveals that he too like many other veterans was falsely charged with high amounts for the support of a child from his first marriage even after his ex-wife’s death when, peculiarly enough, he was asked to pay the ex-wife’s partner as the executor of her estate, which funds his daughter later revealed had never reached her. CMS had in fact raised the amount he was due and refused to listen when he tried to address the figures, so he “just paid,” after they “laughed in his face,” enduring hardship with his second family where the children had to stint given lack of available parental income. The people at CMS also seemed to threaten him and reveal their larceny at one point, saying “Just pay up or we’ll raise the amount.” The situation at many times was so stressful, including the false-charge of a suspended prison sentence, that Tony, who reports being diagnosed with PTSD, confesses he was suicidal at one point. He was asked to pay 800 pounds a month which was a huge drain on his resources. “I’m a truck driver not a bank manager.” It was Clive Spencer and Craig Bulman who helped him (after he met them) with speaking to CMS, he says, who also falsely accused him that he had not told them about a second relationship, which he had–a situation which should have affected the support payments they calculated. Tony is currently working to regain some of the false arrears he had been forced to pay earlier.
Mark Pryce notes that “For every one of us, there’s 30-40 guys who have fallen by the wayside. We are still fighting–but there’s numbers who don’t have the gumption or fortitude, who have given in to the bullies at CMS. We are lots of us ex-Service personnel, trying to put ourselves at the front, to protect everyone else. We still have that cape on our backs, we want to jump into fires–but there’s 30-40 guys who can’t take this, who have fallen behind us. We’ve got to get everyone together.”
“I agree, and we have to get the men and the women together — this is about a system,” says Michelle Young.
Mark Pryce responds,”The system is disgusting– if all of us get together we could move mountains. But get together cohesively and then we can do something.”
“We need to march on Parliament”, says Mark Macleish, “all of us.”
Private companies such as SERCO and Capita Services have been found to be behind CMS, says Clive Spencer.
Ian Briggs notes that as Mark Pryce points out there are high numbers of people who simply pay the false arrears demanded by CMS “because there is nowhere for them to turn to and no-one will listen to them.”
“People are forced out of work, do not pay tax and Government is paying for their benefits–which means Government is out of pocket in this way; every suicide causes the Government 1.7 million pounds,” says Craig Bulman. Brian Hudson notes that all Government policies are driven by particular people–“it is career-driven corruption, and in family law, individuals are directly financially benefiting.” He also notes “they must know what this does to people so you have to ask do they want this dysfunction–no-right minded people would like to see this harm–and if they had been concerned they would have remedied it instead of letting it go for 20 years.”
Clive Spencer reminds all the Queen has said government officials are also not above the law.
Mark Pryce, a 12 year Army veteran, notes that he was subjected to false allegations of domestic abuse in the case of his divorce, as well as false-allegations of child abuse of his 1-year-old child and other allegations–127 allegations, he says–which were all later found to be false reports. The harassment led to a mental breakdown, he says, well beyond anything he saw in the Army; he could not focus on work in his small business or function, he had to close it down. In 2010, after his company was closed, CMS estimated the company was worth half a million pounds and he was charged 9000 pounds in arrears. This figure was held against him for years and he says they wanted to get an Order for Sale for his own property. In 2011 he was able to see his daughter with a Contact Order; in 2018/19, false-arrears persecution started up again; Craig helped him with his case and finally in November 2019, the court agreed the figures were fictitious; CMS told the mother she had lost the case and would not get the 9000 pounds or the house; in 3 months, the mother stopped him seeing his daughter, they are back in court now to fight the alienation from his daughter.
Mark Pryce reports he is especially disappointed that the British Army has let him down, with no support. Promises of a house in three months dissolved to nothing. “We have a justice system,” notes Clive, “where you are innocent until proven guilty, but as Mark says, in this CMS system you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.”
Solicitors would not touch his case, reports Mark, not even Legal Aid–not one would trust him against the CSA, or CMS. Ian notes that no-one will take on the CMS, and in Gavin Briggs’ case, it also means the coroner is unheedful. “They’re shutting all the doors., and the coroner won’t listen to the evidence.”
Michelle Young suggests building a database of everyone’s cases and information so that it becomes more evident which judges, which lawyers, which law firms are involved, and then run class action lawsuits.
“We Served Our Country–We Don’t Deserve This”
As this powerful panel of testimonials drew to a close, several overarching sentiments were aired.
“We served our country,” says Mark McLeish. “We don’t deserve this. We don’t deserve to be penalized–we don’t owe this money. Why is it so many veterans are being penalized like this?”
Mainstream media does not cover this situation or these cases, notes Craig Bulman. “We have Special Forces now more frightened of the CMS than special tours–Armed Forces are easy targets for CMS–and it affects operational effectiveness.” A wing commander he knows “doing an operation sortie had to cancel his sortie because he could not function” because of CSA being after him, causing high stress.
More than Services, it’s a lot of people working for Government in other ways who are being gypped, notes Clive.
All suggest the system needs tearing down and reform, and Michelle Young suggests “we need to get rid of the head of the snake” while focusing on the Constitution and Bill of Rights and compelling public servants to serve the people, as they are bound to do.
“Police and Service personnel need to come together,” says Clive, “because Govt acts to stop the Common Law route.”
Closing out the show, Clive issues a call to all viewing Servicemen and fathers facing similar travails to connect. “There’s always light at the end of the tunnel, you need to connect, if anyone is out there in a bad place–get in touch, talk to someone, it is only when you talk that there is hope.”
Anyone viewing this panel who finds themselves in similar circumstances and keen to connect with this group and others may write to email@example.com. Please visit Justice 4 Gavin Briggs, stay tuned for further coverage.
RAMOLA D REPORTS | NEWS PANEL 20 | REPORT 246: UK FATHERS AND VETERANS REPORT PSYCH WARFARE, CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY CRIMES/Co-Hosted with Michelle Young
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