Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Turkish ex flees UK to avoid maintenance for distraught daughter, mother shares story
2 March 2020, 16:42
Andrew Castle was taking calls on the public's experience with child maintenance payments after revelations that a third of parents don't pay.
Mary from Weybridge called into Andrew to share her horror story with her ex-husband and her heartbroken daughter.
Mary recalled the story from when her daughter was six. She and her husband were already separated and the arrangement was that the ex would see the child on Wednesdays while paying maintenance until "one Wednesday he just didn't turn up and we haven't seen him since".
Andrew pushed and Mary told him that her ex was Turkish and they met at a friend's wedding. She said it wasn't as if he was desperate for money as "his family are wealthy, they own a lot of houses in Istanbul".
The caller said that her daughter, now 14 has been scarred by the ordeal, suffering with extreme anxiety and huge loss of self-esteem as a result of her father's absence.
After Mary tracked him down via email, asking her husband to leave a message for his daughter, "his response was 'I don't need a pen pal'"
When Andrew asked Mary had gone to citizens advice or even sought legal action, the dejected mother stated "I'm a single mother- I can't afford a lawyer".
After her horror experience, Mary asked Andrew "how can a man or woman walk away from their child?"