Two years ago, a Canberra woman Sarah Jane Parkinson was sent to prison for making over 30 false rape and violence accusations against her ex-fiance, Dan Jones. Jones was imprisoned as a result of the accusations and Dan’s parents, Ian and Michelle spent over $300,000 on legal fees battling for five years to have their son released and action taken against Parkinson.
Parkinson has just been released early on parole, missing out on a year of her very minimal three-year sentence. The Jones family is appalled, particularly as Parkinson has been given permission to join her husband, the NSW cop Scott White who faces a perjury trial later this year for his role in helping Parkinson as she persecuted Dan and his family. The whole saga featured on an hour-long 60 Minute special.
As a result of this publicity, the Jones family was swamped with messages from families who had endured similar ordeals, including many older women whose sons had been falsely accused.
Michelle Jones has now brought together a group of mothers who have decided to speak out about the unfair treatment their sons have suffered in legal systems and workplaces.
Some of them are grandmothers unable to see their grandchildren due to the failure of the Family Court to enforce their sons’ contact orders. Others have spent their life savings helping their sons fight legal battles over false allegations, watching their sons driven to despair by the bias against them.
They are launching a new website, called Mothers of Sons, which uses videos and podcasts to tell incredible stories of the torment these families have been through, sharing advice to help others in similar situations.
Mothers like Jo Thomson Jones whose three-year-old granddaughter was murdered by her mother after the mother was told by a Family Court judge that she had lost custody to Jo’s son, Nathan.
After years of court hearings, a Family Court judge finally listened to the Court’s own experts who had long been saying that Tamara, the child’s mother, was unstable. The Judge announced his decision to Tamara by telephone. The next day she murdered her child.
Then, on August 16, 2020, Tamara hung herself in prison shortly before going on trial for the murder of her daughter. Here’s a short video about what happened to Jo’s family.
It is very telling that most of the mothers are afraid to go public with their stories because they fear fresh accusations from the women who are persecuting their sons. MOS has changed their names to protect their identities, but you can read their accounts of what happened or hear podcasts from mothers like these:
Erin – After the rape accusations against her 18-year-old son fell apart in court, the jury stood outside and cheered the boy when he left the courtroom.
Katrina – On the night when her sleeping son was beaten by his partner, the police treated him as the aggressor and took him outside to ‘calm down’.
Millie – Domestic violence accusations were used to obtain a permanent visa for the mother of her son’s child, setting off a series of court battles which destroyed her son’s life.
Mary – It took seven years for her son to convince the Family Court that his children were at risk from their mentally ill mother who’d threatened to kill them. But all it took was a new batch of lies for a magistrate to reverse this decision.
The MOS mothers have put together their lessons learnt, hard-won advice for other families about how to deal with false domestic violence or rape allegations, handling the police, finding good lawyers, handling Family Court disputes. And they have a forum for mothers to connect each other for advice and support.
This is a powerful new initiative using the voices of women, mothers, to seek more balance in media coverage of these stories, encouraging fairer treatment for men in our legal system.
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