Information about the Family Justice System: Who can you trust?

This is a post by Sarah Phillimore

I have been asked to provide a synopsis of information about those organisations and people that I think should be treated with caution when it comes to information about the Family Justice System.  What follows is my personal opinion – but, as ever, my opinion is based upon evidence from a variety of sources, including criminal convictions and criticism from the civil courts.

The people I list range from serious criminals to those who genuinely and passionately believe what they say and may have some grounds to support it. I do not suggest that people on this list – save for the obviously criminal – have nothing of value or interest to say about the state of our family justice system.

I do however think that, given the nature of their sources and associates, whatever they say needs to be treated with caution and checked against independent sources, wherever possible.

I believe we all have a moral duty to make decisions with the best possible information and take conscious efforts to be aware when bias and prejudice might lead us astray.



Self identifying ‘investigative journalist’, arrested at court in support of Samantha Baldwin. Also believes in organised satanic ritual abuse and accusing those who report accurately about family law cases of ‘defamation’.

The Freeman on the Land

Be very wary of anyone who identifies as a Freeman.  In essence, they believe that they can escape being subject to the law by refusing to recognise it. This causes immediate and obvious problems in care proceedings and is almost inevitably an entirely doomed strategy.  For further detail see this post. 

GERRISH Brian and UK Column

Part of UK Column, which describes itself as ‘an independent multi media news website’ long standing associate of Hemming et al. Was one of the first people McNeil approached with videos of the children in the Hampstead Hoax case – but looks like he had the sense to turn her down. 

See also the Richie Allen Show.

HAIGH Victoria

Supported by Hemming; unusual for being named in family court judgments after she was found to have caused serious emotional harm to her child by pushing a false narrative that the child’s father had sexually abused her. Was given a custodial sentence for her breach of a non molestation order and worked with Elizabeth Watson, who was also given a custodial sentence for contempt of court in revealing details about Haigh’s case. Believes that the family court sanctions the deliberate ‘breeding ‘of babies to be handed over to paedophiles.

For further information see this post. 

And ‘The danger of crusades’ from The Transparency Project.

HAINES Tim and Julie

Close associates with Hemming and his organisation Justice for Families, which no longer appears to have a web presence. Following Tim Haines arrest in 2014 for leaving his daughter alone in a car, the couple developed a keen interest in the child protection system and appear to operate from a starting point that any social work intervention with a family can rarely be justified. They offer their services as paid McKenzie friends and appear to encourage people to make appeals to the Court of Appeal that they know to be hopeless, simply to send a message about how strongly people feel. I advise that you do not give either money or documents to either of the Haines, without having a clear idea about what they are proposing to do to help your case.


Hemming has been a dedicated campaigner against the FJS since 2007 after some social work involvement with his then pregnant partner. He has over the years made some reasonable and sensible points. However what good he has done is significantly eclipsed by the bad.  He was patron of Sabine Mc Neil and Belinda McKenzies’ Association of McKenzie friends along with MP Austin Mitchell until early 2015. Has repeatedly urged parents to leave the jurisdiction as they won’t get a fair hearing in the UK.  Has worked closely with Ian Josephs and Christopher Booker. He was seriously criticised by Lord Justice Wall. I have no doubt he caused a lot of damage while a serving MP as his position gave him credibility. However his influence appears to have diminished since he lost his seat in 2015.

I made a formal complaint about the activities of JFF in January 2017. I am still waiting for a response.

Further information is here.


A long standing critic of the FJS and author of the infamous ‘Golden Rules’ which includes advice to mothers to think very carefully before even reporting fears about sexual abuse of their children. He is a wealthy man and has given large sums of money over the years to parents who wish to leave the jursidction to escape care proceedings. He carries out no risk assessments of the parents to whom he gives money; his finest hour so far was providing money to Marie Black to travel to France – she was later convicted of over 20 serious sexual offences against children.

MCNEIL Sabine and the Hampstead Hoax

McNeil is currently serving a 9 year sentence for her harassment of families involved in the ‘Hampstead Hoax’ case. This case has proved a useful short cut to identifying the most dangerous of the FJS Conspiracy Theorists. Hoaxstead Research has done sterling work in unmasking the hoaxers and is a good point of reference. It recently reported that McNeil’s appeal against her sentence was refused.

Sabine McNeil has been associated with almost every person or organisation that causes me serious concern with regard to misinformation about the family justice system. See also Belinda McKenzie and the damage done by her and McNeil in the Melissa Laird Case, as just one example out of many.

The Ministry of Justice

It is a tribute to just how odd 2019 has been that I include a Government Department in this list. But the MoJ easily make the cut following their bizarre decision to launch an Inquiry over 3 months into how issues of violence are dealt with in the family courts; that Inquiry apparently proceeding on the basis that men are perpetrators of violence and that law and policy are best discussed in the context of a raft of subjective and unchecked submissions from the public.  It maybe that the outcome of the Inquiry is sensible and I can remove them from the list. But I am not holding my breath and will treat information disseminated by this Department with caution from now on.  Further further details see this post.


Runs Freedom Talk Radio which he asserts ‘has become the very platform for people with an alternative view point to come onto the show and to announce their findings, ideas and suggestions and allows them to open up to the citizens by revealing their true beliefs on just exactly what is taking place in our World from their view point, which does on so many occasions, conflict and call into question with what is being broadcasted by the mainstream media, which they dare not report the truth’. Associated with and friendly to a great many of the most pernicious influencers on the FJS Conspiracy circuit. 


Runs the Researching Reform Website. Has connections with Hemming and at one point made Sabine McNeil her ‘star commentator’. As the comments on her web posts shows, she continues to interact largely with those who are identified ‘players’ on the conspiracy scene.


Further reading

Are you sitting comfortably? The art of Story Telling. 

The Particular Dangers of Conspiracy Theories for Parents 

11 thoughts on “Information about the Family Justice System: Who can you trust?

  1. Angelo Granda

    Thanks for your post,Sarah .
    I agree the inquiry should be cautious . Do you share my reservations about evidence from Social Workers and L.A. lawyers and management?
    I do think the Public should be extremely wary given the widespread criminal behaviour of
    child-protection professionals e.g. the culture of sexual abuse of children and other exploitation in the care-system. Plus there is the culture of silence and covering it all up by senior management ( to save their own skins) , abuse of complaints procedures etc.
    This was evidenced yet again just last week in Notts, as you will be aware.
    I believe there are one or two senior social workers actually sitting on the inquiry panel and i wonder whether they will tend to cover-up their own failures and involvement in injustice.
    Of course, i am a mere parent giving an opinion . Do you have any concerns about the honesty of sw’s?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I share anyone’s reservations about ‘evidence’ being offered entirely from a subjective perspective with no apparent mechanism to check what that person is saying is true. This appears to be the basis on which the MoJ is operating with its recent Inquiry, and I deprecate that decision. It will simply lead to a mass of angry and hurting people making a raft of allegations – some may be true, some may be delusional. My point is that the MoJ will have no way of knowing. Building law and policy on how angry or hurting someone is, is an extremely foolish idea.

      There have been a number of cases where SW and foster carers have been found to lie and been found to alter documents. This is terrible and I am glad they were unmasked. I am also not naive. I am aware that it is likely others have lied and not been found out. However, in 20 plus years of specialist practice in this field I am happy to report that deliberate lying and falsification of documents has been very rare. What is more common – and frankly just as dangerous – is sloppy misreporting and assumptions made that are not checked.

      But that is why parents need to engage with their lawyers, given them full instructions and listen to their advice. I don’t think any of the people or organisations I discuss in this post are safe for parents. But it is up to each individual to gather as much reliable information as they can and make the choice that is right for them.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Considering the widespread institutional sex-abuse,exploitation and the trafficking of children,exploitation and prostitution etc. ,it is essential the inquiry grants credence to the Public however shocking their allegations. There have been enough cover-ups already.
        We could say that lawyers and even Judges who fail to pass on proven illegal activities of c.p. professionals, e.g. unlawful removal and coercion to the Police for thorough investigation are twice as guilty themselves of the abuse of power and duty.
        The practice of turning a blind-eye must stop; such inhumanity must be put right at the top of the Family Courts agenda and dealt with promptly every time.
        I hope ,if nothing else , the Public Inquiry will recognise that the abuses ( and that includes changing reports and other misrepresentations ) even if they are rare as you insist, are more likely to be due to illegitimate aims rather honest mistakes.
        The first task should be to get the social worker on the panel to give some facts about the long-running culture of abuse.
        We can’t just forget to mention it because it is so shocking!
        I’m afraid to say that if these practices are put on one side, it won’t be a big surprise. It’s so much easier to look away.

        1. Angelo Granda

          To me,it seems that not many child-protection professionals ,even when official revelations and admissions are made , seem able to face the serious implications head-on . Even on this resource, ,the scandals are on the back-burner like a dirty secret we all want to forget. The truth is so awful, we just find it hard even to talk about it.

          The Family Courts have to act in the explicit interests of children at all times. That is what this Inquiry is about!

          QUOTE: As a nation we have to wake up to the fact that child abuse is far more prevalent than any of us realised,’ ‘These investigations are destroying all assumptions we had about our society.’:UNQUOTE

          See this link:

          I hope that when i write these things, readers will not think i am inventing theories or exaggerating what are only rare events. I am not. Like Sarah in her above post, i am being as honest as i can and i feel it my duty to bring these issues to the fore. Slate me for it if you like .

          One of the facts found out about the prevailing ‘culture’ at Crown Court in North Manchester was that when the children are taken into care ,they are abused within the first few hours.

          This ties in with what is happening now.Children are ‘taken’ not by order of courts after hearing facts, they are most often removed from home in ‘alleged’ emergency situations which are grossly exaggerated by abusers or by illicitly coercing parents into signing S20’s. Once taken unlawfully,after abusing the children, the last thing the perpetrators want is the children returning to their families because the trauma will be revealed to the world. So they move them miles from their roots, illicitly sign them up to new doctors ( telling them dishonestly that they are victims of parental neglect and abuse), conceal previous medical reports , sometimes change names and misreport NHS numbers and other details of children’s background, stop them from speaking freely to parents at contacts, then contrive to keep the children in care rather than work together with parents etc. and follow the Children Act. They misrepresent evidence and pervert the course of Justice.They will do and attest anything to avoid rehabilitating children home both in Court and out.

          In my view , it should never be assumed that it is in the ‘best interests’ of children to go into the care system rather than remain with family. That is the biggest mistake the Family Court system makes. It is a complete myth. They are at massive risk in care.
          The professionals will say anything; attachment theory, predication based on antecedents, psychological ‘assessments’, invented hearsay reports, police intelligence reports, anything rather than the truth . It is essential they don’t let the children free to expose what is happening. The ‘fait accomplis’ presented to the Family Court by the illicit removal is the major cause of the injustices. Rather than simply tick the L.A’s off when illicit actions are discovered, the Courts should return children home immediately and order a Police investigation. What more can i say?

          Nevertheless, given the nature of this discussion, whatever I say needs to be treated with caution and checked against independent sources, wherever possible. I agree with the post -author.We all have a moral duty to make decisions with the best possible information and take conscious efforts to be aware when bias and prejudice might lead us astray.
          Follow the link above ,readers to help you keep on the right track.Sorry for going on and on about this.

  2. Pingback: Barristers’ Child Protection Project takes An Unprofessional Nosedive | HOLLIE GREIG JUSTICE

  3. dandymanyahoocouk

    I am victim as well and has gone public but, still inhumanely gagged. I wonder who “In Power” is gonna help us? No One as the secrecy prevails regardless. It’s the bloody Judges if you ask me nit forgetting inept SW’s and other callous Advocates

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I am sorry to hear that. Many however are interested in examining transparency in the family courts and how it can be improved – have a look at the work the journalist Louise Tickle is doing, for example.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Looking again at the above post , it is my opinion that the part about conspiracy theories by Dr.Steven Novella as quoted is a load of twaddle!
        It is a subjective ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ repeatedly used by lawyers and others to discredit any arguments or ‘truths’ advanced by their opponents. The object of this theory of ‘conspiracy theorists’ is to give its proponents false grounds to discount the actual truth in favour of their own subjective claims,opinions,conjecture ,speculation,predications and potentialities ( which cannot ever be disproved in a Family Court or any other Court which makes them admissible).
        There is no conspiracy theory. Why not ? There is no top-level conspiracy to theorise about. Read through this resource; look back over comments and readers will see that not many parents or campaigners against the Family Court system or the Social Care system talk of a top-level conspiracy. Only the professionals bring the subject up.
        Most citizens have a level of empathy with Child-Protection professionals and the work they do indeed it is the Public through Parliament which passed the Children Act.
        We recognise the problem of false ideology and its effect on the powerful. They actually think they are doing right !
        False ideology,arrogance and dogma has been the major cause of inhumanity historically. The actual truth,however , does tend to shine through it all and it does all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. To the good Dr.Novella, i will say that is the nature of the truth.
        So , as Sarah has written elsewhere, we should not try to prove or disprove what each of us say , we should examine differences in the respective beliefs and ideologies. Which ones are objectively wrong ?
        1. What are the aims of the Children Act?
        2. What are the aims of the Local Authorities and their political policies?
        3. If it is speculated that children are at ‘risk’ of significant harm with parents, is it objectively wrong and unethical to kill them or liquidate the families permanently?
        4.Are children taken out of the frying -pan into the fire,are they at more risk in this care system or less?

        I look forward to any answers ,comments,discussion etc.

  4. Angelo Granda

    Regarding this PUBLIC Inquiry and PUBLIC Law proceedings , open PUBLIC Courts ,complete transparency and fair proceedings ,we should be awake to the need for JUSTICE.

    This Inquiry is into the Judicial system ( including the lawyers,Judges and participating child-protection professionals). It is to be examined in great detail by the PUBLIC. The goal is to make changes designed to ensure that Courts act in the explicit interests of children NOT in those of the Authorities .It is essential that all facts are taken into account not just opinions and the so-called expertise and ‘experience’ of the various professionals.

    To do this every member of the Public, from any faction or none at all ( just ordinary citizens) must be given the opportunity to attest in writing preferably by signed affidavit. Then a cross section of them must be called to attend the PUBLIC Inquiry to attest in person .Of course, they will be open to tests and contradiction by opposing evidence from others but all must have access to the Court or Public Inquiry itself to WITNESS the proceedings and see what goes on. JUSTICE has to be seen to be done!

    In every day situations, to ensure justice, there should be plenty of Courts and they should be well-staffed and there has to be plenty of LOCAL court rooms where all the locals can go EASILY and give evidence in PUBLIC.There has to be no time limits either or we only achieve summary justice which cannot be acceptable in serious cases.
    This is the only way a Court or Inquiry can be sure it makes appraisals on FACTS . All members of the Public must have an opportunity to attend, to hear evidence and to attest themselves at hearings.

    If necessary, to be open and PUBLIC , judicial proceedings don’t even need marble halls and Court chambers, they can be held in the open-air,providing all can attend.Historically, they have been al-fresco. In a family court,were 10 witnesses given the chance to attend and bear witness under oath that they have seen or heard a man bashing or shouting violently at his wife , he is unable to argue with that. Likewise, if none were able to do so, neither could the wife argue. The facts are there and out in the open. This is how murderers and other offenders are exposed and how justice is to be dealt out. In open proceedings ,in Public.

    The post-author has expressed a view that we should all be wary and that we should question the evidence of certain factions and members of the Public. I agree but the time to question them is during the open proceedings not before them as it may lead to unwanted discrimination. Can readers see, however, that to this current crop of lawyers and other professionals, it will be a great culture shock. They are used to proceedings where their own subjective opinions and appraisals based largely on predication,statistics ,ifs,maybes, and projected ‘risk’ is given precedent. They have forgotten the pure rules of justice; injustice has taken over .They can think of plenty of arguments against open courts and they have become used to it.
    This is why ,the Authorities are so averse to Public Inquiries and why they fight to avoid them. They are called very rarely.As at Hillsborough, we may need two or three before we get to the truth and we achieve change.

    The real danger ,of course,is that if and when the Public Inquiry makes its findings, these will be ignored. The Authorities ( including the lawyers) will respond with silence and continue on their own sweet way refusing to acknowledge the facts. There have been many inquiries recently into institutional sex-abuse and other crimes in the care system and this has been their response. Silence and no comment.

    We have to be even more wary of c.p professionals and the Authorities than we do of our fellow citizens.

  5. Angelo Granda

    In the news tonight on ITV. Operation Augusta and all about long-standing ,continuous abuse and official cover-up.
    Lawyers, please take heed and make changes to front-line practices. Stop ignoring the victims and get this cruel system under control. It’s still going on. Do your job!

    QUOTE: The police operation identified at least 57 victims and 97 potential suspects, some involved with Victoria, and a “compelling picture of the systemic exploitation of looked after children in the care system” was established by detectives.But senior officers at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) chose to under-resource the investigation, the report said.A decision was then made to close it down then communicated to senior officers of Manchester City Council at a meeting later that day on April 22, 2005.:UNQUOTE

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