One man’s fight to be REunited with his son and give peace to his family scattered around the world. A Father who will not quit .This is a story of Love .
After five years of fighting to be Reunited with my son I have written all in a book (May 2013). The circumstances are such that if the book sells I will be able to bring my son home permanently-this is only about Love.
The following is a shortened version of this story in the form of a ministerial briefing.
- Corporate Abuse, International Child Abduction, Fathers campaign to be reunited with his son.
- This is a verified story . One man’s journey to be reunited with his son.
- Mark Heslehurst, from Middlesbrough is attempting to be reunited with his son Edward (a British/French National aged just 10 years old) who is currently living in Cambodia with his mother Dominique after she fled for her and her sons safety from the threats of a very powerful global company called BioMérieux.
- Dominique has refused to return to her native France because of fear of this company, and the very deep psychological trauma associated with this case.In Cambodia she became suicidal and worked in fields which were still mined and full of high explosives .Dominique will not return to England ater her marriage was destroyed and both she and Mark had become ill .
- Mark collected over 100 000 signatures including a dedicated support group of 48,000 with a view to raising this issue up the political agenda and get a debate in the House of Commons on the corruption practices and threats of this company against his family.And through awareness this debate will bring a way be found to return his abducted son.
- Mark is seeking assurances from the British Government for the family’s safety and their intervention to mediate a return of Edward his son back to the UK.To review its association with Biomerieux .
- Mark wrote 40 times to his local MP Sir Stuart Bell (Labour), and was unsuccessful in meeting with him, being told to go away until he had 100,000 signatures to his campaign. 1300 constituents of Sir Stuart wrote official letters asking why Mark did not recieve assistance.Mark achieved the 100 000 signatures and Sir Stuart Bell then denied making the demand despite 9 people willing to swear affidavits under oath that he had including Michael Lunn Chairman Wealdon conservative party who went public and wrote to the PM David Cameron testifying to this .Response to Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP(michael Lunn )
- Mark is determined to be reunited with his son Edward , this is a story of love and of a single mans silent, peaceful campaign for his family to be reunited.
In 1996, Mark Heslehurst (A British citizen) went to France to start a new career as a Business English teacher where he met his wife Dominique (A citizen of France and Cambodia).In 1999 whilst working alone as an independent teacher Mark was contracted by BioMérieux to provide English classes to the companies employees,over 350 in total. Mark established his own company the same year totally dependent upon Biomerieux . This French based company is one of the top ten microbiology and in vitro diagnostics companies in the world. The company headquarters are in Lyon, France, but it has subsidiaries in the UK, Australia, Canada and United States. BioMérieux contracted Mark to provide English language services over four years leading to the development of one of the biggest language schools in France employing over 40 English teachers.
However, business relationships with BioMérieux broke down in 2001 after Mark notified authorities within the company regarding sexual harassment from a senior HR executive who had multiple sexual relationships with many senior executives across this company up to senior vice president level .
The Nightmare begins
The person in question was dismissed in April 2002, but had significant connections across this powerful company.These connections fearing they would be exposed began a campaign of threats to make Mark retract his complaint . As a whistle-blower, Mark Heslehurst and his wife were then subject to blackmail, loss of business contracts and had significant threats made against them. Including threats to send criminals into their home to look for papers,that Mark could be attacked and that their computers were been hacked into and their personal e mails intercepted,Dominique was 7 months pregnant whilst these threats where being made . Edward, Mark’s son was born premature in September 2002 in Lyon right in the middle of this developing situation. The stress on the family was intense but was to get worst.
The family started to receive hundreds of anonymous phone calls (some threatening). Mark had nails placed under his car tyres 16 times over a short period of time, once with serious consequences when his car left the road. Mark was physically attacked.
After Mark was attacked (in 2004), he went to French police again who had been building their case ,concerned about the seriousness of the attack they entered BioMérieux offices during their investigation. BioMérieux refused to give any assistance to the police. The police informed Mark and his wife that this attack was certainly a revenge attack by people connected to the history with Biomerieux and the French Police were sure there would be more in the future. Mark was also informed by the Gendarme that BioMérieux knew some powerful characters in Lyon and the family should be very careful even leave the country .
In 2004, Mark decided to stop working with Biomerieux after another attempt at blackmail. But despite the break in contractual ties with this company the threats continued. Mark wrote to Alain Merieux, Head of BioMérieux in Lyon, France pleading with him to put a stop to the threats against his family. All through the years Alain Merieux never stopped the abuse and the threats. The threats continued and in the end this family lost everything they had built together in France , their business ( which had to be off-loaded days from bankruptcy), home, health, and marriage.
The final straw was after a call in 2008 from Thierry Bernard, Vice-President of BioMérieux, North Carolina, who spoke openly and confirmed his knowledge of previous threats made by his company to Mr Heslehurst’s family that gangsters (French word for criminals) could enter Mark’s office or home looking for papers and that the family could be attacked at any time etc .
The impacts on a family
In 2004, Mark found his wife so distressed that she was standing on the outside ledge of their property two floors up just staring into space. All the threats, lies, pressure and attacks from BioMérieux had taken their toll.Dominique Heslehurst who before her association with BioMérieux had no adverse medical condition . Over the association with Biomerieux saw doctors for stress and blood pressure was hospitalized and had paramedics coming to her house whilst having serious panick attacks ,saw psychiatrists and mis-carried several times. Biomerieux named with all official bodies .
The family returned to England in December 2006 to try to put this tragic nightmare behind them and start again. But there was too much hurt and pain for Mrs Heslehurst, she was physically and emotionally traumatised.
In November 2007, Mrs Heslehurst returned to France to be near her family but she could not live in France. She had too many bad memories. She was worried she might be attacked. She was afraid to live in her own country.
When Mrs Heslehurst returned to France she was 6-8 weeks pregnant with their second child. The trauma of the prevailing years had severe mental impact on this mother. The family were forbidden in all banks after losing their company (Marks company was offloaded after 10 years of work just days before being officially declared bankrupt.) In this impossible position and under doctors advice, she terminated the pregnancy. She carries this guilt today though she had no choice at the time.
Desperate Times call for desperate Measures
2008 The stress of the whole situation led to Dominique telling Mark that she was making plans to leave France back to her native country of Cambodia for her and son’s own safety.
When Mark learnt of his wife’s intent to flee to Cambodia to live with his son he brought his son back to England to have a legal ruling .The couple fought against each other for their own son.The 1985 Hague Convention ruled Edward had to be returned to France for a legal ruling even though Mark explained Mrs Heslehurst s condition and intent. Edward returned to France and before any further hearing his wife fled for her safety to Cambodia. Edward was taken without authority from any court and in direct contravention of the high court ruling .At this time both parents were confused, frightened and mentally unwell.
Mr Heslehurst and his wife maintained contact and his wife explained to him that she was still deeply traumatised at the threats made towards her and her family by BioMérieux.That she could not return to England she was so ill and had to get as far away as she could to protect herself and their son .Mark fully understood what his wife was saying and decided not to attack her further and stopped his legal action .January 2009 Dominique was ill in Cambodia. In desperation Mark wrote (fax ) 30 times over a few weeks to BioMérieux and specifically Alain Merieux (The then Chairman and remains a major shareholder to BioMérieux) himself and Mark pleaded with him to help Dominique and Edward in any way.
The Global reach of a Global Company
2009 , Dominique desperate and ill was now working in fields which were still mined and scattered with high explosives where people had recently been killed .Biomerieux were now been contacted by official bodies from around the world. Dominique was suddenly formally requested to attend the French Embassy in Cambodia. The French Embassy official told her that they would like to speak to her about her health, and the welfare of Edward and named Mark heslehurst .
Dominique was devastated and thought Mark had betrayed her to try to get his son back. Fearing losing her son she informed the Embassy “ she was happy in Cambodia “ It took many weeks for Mark to convince Dominique he had not initiated the contact with the Embassy . Biomerieux began to communicate with bodies around the world.Dominique realising she had been tricked decided she must state why she went to Cambodia once and for all. Dominique made a video so people could see it was actually her and told all (Video bottom page) she then contacted the Cambodian press and wrote an official letter of witness. Dominique quotes in her letter of witness and in Cambodian press “I never intended to return to Cambodia, I am here because of threats made to me and my son by the global company BioMérieux, they attacked me and my husband because they found in Mark, a man they could not buy or intimidate. I feel guilty separating Mark from his son, I came here as a refugee”.
A father’s journey to be reunited with his family
Rather than take the legal route and to avoid hurting Dominique further who had suffered so much .Mark started a global peaceful silent campaign to be reunited with his son Edward. (Mark later found out that in fact there was no legal route as Cambodia is a non signatory of the Hague Convention 1985 ).
In December 2010, Mark travelled to North Carolina USA ( Where the final call came from which scattered his family ),and spent 5 months outside the North American HQ of Biomeireux. Sitting under a banner which showed a picture of Edward his son , and had the simple word ‘Reunite’. Sitting through the worst winter, Mark silently campaigned for 12 hours a day, and gave out 20,000 leaflets. The company paid between $30 000 and $40,000 to the local police to have a armed sheriff keep watch over Mark . On a regular basis Mark was intimidated and threatened, moved from one day to the next. One evening the company painted an orange line two miles long, and Mark was told that if he crossed the line he would be arrested.Another day when the sheriff was not present, Mark crossed the line to silently campaign directly outside the doors of the company .Two men came up to him and said that if he did not leave the area, his throat would be cut.An official police investigation was opened . These are just a few of the many examples of threats Mark has incurred over the years. Of course this is all backed up by evidence.
Returning to England in September 2011.October 2011 Mark was given special permission by Charing Cross Police to silently and peacefully campaign outside Number 10 Downing street . A permit was issued, and Mark spent 11 days and 11 nights sleeping on the pavement in the most adverse weather conditions. Marks supporters contacted many levels of the UK Government, including Mark’s local MP Sir Stuart Bell for help, but not even a meeting was arranged to hear Marks story. And then during the evening of the 11th night Mark received a text from Dominique telling Mark that Edward his son was undergoing an emergency operation. This was one of the hardest 24 hours of Marks life.
Mark then walked from London all the way home to Teeside sometimes walking through the night , taking 15 days, giving out flyers and collecting signatures for his petition.After returning he continued to try and meet with his local MP without success.
Mark who began this journey alone, now had his 100,000 plus signatures with his target to trigger debate in the house of commons .Over 90, 000 signatures where from Marks home area of Teesside but he still could not get local MP support .
After telling Mark to collect 100 000 signatures and he would get to meet his MP .Sir Stuart Bell now said in the media he never made this demand. Contrary to E mails sent from Mark .And eight people who also called Sir Stuarts office (many life -long labour supporters ) all are prepared to testify to this .
All the above Substantiated by legal documents,letters of witness and polygraph test supported by two of the worlds leading authorities .
Mark’s goal is clear that through the awareness brought by the British Government debating this story a way be found to reunite his family.That he can bring Edward his son home without attacking and destroying a mother and in turn hurt his son who have both suffered so much.That she has the free will to return of her own choice without legal or Government pressure to a place of comfort and security and and be allowed to recover in a stress free environment to become her former self .
Walk One .7th April 2012 Mark walked from Middlesbrough to 10 Downing street (240 miles ) to deliver his petition.Walk began with rally in Middlesbrough in support of Marks cause.
18 th April mark handed in 100 000 petition to 10 Downing street asking his Prime Minister to help him.Mark was met in Downing street by Lord Bates . London Mayor Boris Johnson also stood for pictures .
Quote Lord Michael Bates “Mark,s dedication and sacrifice for the cause of his son is inspiring “
01/05/2012 Mark arrived in Middlesbrough after walking back fom London .
Walk Two. 03/05/2012 Mark Began again walking to Downing street .
21/05/2012 Mark begins walk back to Middlesbrough another 250 miles.
02/06.2012 Mark arrived back in Middlesbrough 1250 miles now walked in total.
Walk Three . 04/06/2012 Mark begins walk again to london .
17/06/2012 Mark arrives in London Downing street at 12 am as planned.No meeting PM now 1500 miles walked.
Walk Four .03/07/2012 Mark sets out for London again this walk he will be supported all along the route and many will walk with him.
19/07/2012 at 11 00 Mark arrived at Downing street now 2000 miles walked again to ask PM face to face meeting.He handed in letter ,poems and his Black stone (the last thing his son gave him and his most treasured possession ).19/07/2012 After again failing to meet his PM Mark,tired,wet and is now walking back to Middlesbrough another 250 miles .
Walk Five .31/07/2012 (His Birthday ) Mark sets straight off for London again (now no rest days ) on arrival 2500 miles .
13/08/2012 Mark arrived in London again, -The PM would not meet him now 2500 miles walked .
23/08/2012 and 30 miles from Middlesbrough Mark had to take a lift to his home town after a relative taken ill and was in hospital..Marks total walked now 2720 .
08/10/2012 Mark signed a litigation against Sir Stuart Bell with london solicitors for defamation .
13/10/2012 Sir Stuart Bell MP Died .Following the death of Sir Stuart Bell the legal action stopped.
16/11/2012 Middlesbrough councillor Joan Mctigue arrested by Cleveland police for Harrassment of Mark Heslehurst ..She was previously given three warnings by Cleveland police to cease her activities on the 30/07 and 03/09 and 07/11.She has again shown pictures of my son on the internet.
Mark ran for MP of Middlesbrough in the by election on the 29th November 2012 . Campaign web site :http://mark-heslehurst-mp.com/
“I tried as hard as I could though without funds or a political engine behind me I could never succeed.Also in running for political office I was over my head and exposed for what I am. A father fighting for his son. I did not succeed and lost my deposit.Picture hustings,I am second from the left.”
“I am now doing what I have been asked to do for many years.I am writing a book.”
My book has been accepted by an International publishers and will be available the end of April. The release of book will be accompanied by radio-tv and press releases arranged by the publisher. Lawyers letter Libel -Book. PGI legal document BOOK.
I hope that from the awareness/sales of the book I can find a way to help Dominique and also bring my son home .
From Me to my son .Edwards Poem
Picture album walk of Love and Downing street . Enjoy .https://picasaweb.google.com/116111306968375789017/WalkOfLoveDowningStreet2012?locked=true#