January 30th, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Yet another father has come forward to detail his abuse at the hands of the mother of his child and the police. Here’s the article (Daily Mail, 1/22/12).
This time it’s renowned British musician and composer Simon Boswell who was acquitted of the false claim of domestic violence levelled at him by his partner, the sometime actress, Lysette Anthony. His story is by no means the most horrendous we’ve ever read. Boswell has been a well-regarded and well-paid musician for decades and, financially at least, could afford to defend himself and did so successfully.
But even though there’s been no actual blood spilled, his story is worth reading and the fact that it’s prominently displayed in one of the most widely read newspapers in the U.K., means a lot. The more of this that gets into public discourse, the more likely laws are to be changed to inject some measure of sanity into the utterly dysfunctional system we have in place to deal with domestic violence. And that, not a desire to revel in scandal, is why Boswell decided to publish his story. He, like many before him, demands change.
Simon Boswell’s story is familiar. It’s the tale of the abusive mother who cries “abuse.” As is so often the case, her abuse of her male partner and their child was entirely overlooked by the police and courts. If she’s paid any price for her many misdeeds, Boswell doesn’t mention it.
According to Boswell, Anthony had an affair with a man Boswell doesn’t name. She denies the affair, but Boswell has emails from both her and the man admitting it. As if the affair weren’t hurtful enough, Anthony pursued it while he was on the continent working to support her and their son Jimi who was seven at the time.
Lysette contributed virtually nothing financially to our life, though I know she would have if she could. I supported her many theatre tours, from which she earned very little, but I was happy to do it to keep her content and busy and to support our son. I paid all the bills – mortgages, shopping, you name it.
But when Boswell mentioned to her that he’d met the man in Los Angeles, Anthony went ballistic. For reasons only she can tell us, she called the police claiming that Boswell had assaulted her. He was arrested, held for a few hours, and released with no charge ever being filed against him. That’s partly because Anthony retracted the charge before he was ever arrested. Readers will be unsurprised to learn that he was hauled off to jail anyway.
In spite of the advice of the minicab driver from India in whom I confided my woes on the way home, and who had warned ‘This woman, she is a snake. Cut the poison out of your life or she will strike again’, I returned to the house and wearily climbed into bed with Lysette and Jimi.
After all, they had a child together, so leaving her likely meant leaving Jimi as well, and Boswell wasn’t ready to do that. Still, it’s worth mentioning the nature of the relationship between Boswell and Anthony at the time. He alone supported them and their son, she had an extramarital affair and levelled a false charge of domestic abuse at him. In short, she’s a User. Somehow, Boswell managed not to see that; somehow he deceived himself into believing that his partner was worth the effort.
She wasn’t. Not content with humiliating him in several ways, it wasn’t long before Anthony upped the ante just as the cab driver had warned. Eventually, they decided on a trial separation which Anthony used as her cue to demand that Boswell buy her a house. And not just any house, but one that was too expensive for him to afford. Did I say “User?”
There followed several months during which Anthony called the police several times with phony claims of abuse. Into the bargain, she attempted more than once to jump off their balcony and once slit her wrist with a broken wine glass. While the two were still living together, she went to a doctor and claimed Boswell had assaulted her on April 9th of last year.
The doctor, as he/she is required to do by law, reported her claim to Social Services who investigated the pair’s relationship and the welfare of their son. Amazingly, Social Services managed to do so without ever contacting Boswell.
Eventually, Anthony called the police again with yet another false charge and Boswell was once again arrested. This time he spent 22 hours in jail before being interviewed. On advice of counsel, he said nothing. A restraining order was issued so he could have only limited contact with his son and none whatsoever with Anthony. Needless to say, she used her position to deny him access to Jimi.
Another six weeks passed before his trial on a single count of common assault stemming from Anthony’s claim of abuse by Boswell on April 9. At that trial, the Crown Prosecution Service produced but a single photograph of Anthony’s knee sporting a bruise she’d incurred in one of her attempts to jump from the balcony.
I had assembled a number of witnesses, including my son Jack, who had actually been present on the night of the alleged assault. That night, Lysette had gone to bed early, and Jack and I had sat up watching DVDs of our favourite show, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
No argument or fight took place at all, and Jack was to testify to that. Other witnesses were to recount the many desperate conversations I had had with them about Lysette’s window-jumping attempts. In the end, neither I nor any of these witnesses were called.
On December 13th, some seven months after his arrest, Boswell was acquitted of the charge. Anthony requested that the judge issue a restraining order against him, but her request was denied. She was ordered to pay his costs.
So, according to the justice system, Boswell won, but of course he didn’t. He was jailed twice and repeatedly made to face the police in his home and answer their questions about claims of abuse fabricated by Anthony against him. He paid large sums to lawyers, was thrown out of his house paid for by his money and, worst of all, separated from his son for seven months.
It’s one of the major achievements of the domestic violence system – the separation of children from their fathers. It’s no secret to anyone; a mother can level false charges of abuse at a father and he will certainly lose his children at least for a time, and they him. Whether the separation is permanent or not is often a matter of how much money he can throw at the problem. It took one father, detailed in the Seattle Weekly, $240,000 and over a year to get his child back. Needless to say, most men don’t have the financial wherewithal to do that.
Meanwhile, as here, mothers who falsely accuse fathers in order to keep them from their children usually pay no price for doing so. Did Anthony lose custody? Apparently not, but why not? She plainly fabricated an incident and she did so for the purpose of alienating Jimi from his father. In what sane system does that behavior go unpunished? As if her child abuse weren’t bad enough, what about her abuse of the justice system? Why is it OK for her to waste the time of the police and courts? Neither the article nor the British justice system answers those questions.
Someday we’ll admit to the pernicious effects of abandoning due process of law and replacing it with mothers’ say-so. When we do, we’ll remember that Simon Boswell’s experience and his willingness to publicize it played a role in our move toward sanity.