On Tuesday we reported that Belinda McKenzie had helped to fund the escape of a Zimbabwean teen and his mother who had sought asylum at their country’s London embassy. The teen had been the subject of a protection order, and had bolted from the Royal Courts of Justice immediately prior to his hearing. His mother joined him in the embassy, where they remained for 3 weeks before somehow evading police and port alerts and fleeing the country.
We obtained some details of the situation from emails placed by Yolande Lindridge on a publicly available online listserver, FreeLists, but as we expected, once Yolande realised the story had been published here, she alleged that we’d hacked her private emails: For the record, Yolande is mistaken. She has published a number of email threads on the [Patriots] email list, and they are available to anyone who cares to look.
Further to Monday’s report, we’ve discovered that the flight from the Zimababwean embassy drove deep wedges into the group that had been attempting to keep the boy out of the child protection system.
On 4 May, Yolande wrote to the mother, with notes embedded for Belinda’s attention:
Things have moved on since I filled out the Fees Exemption Form for [the boy] last week for him to sign and scan when you were both in a hotel in Amsterdam.
I have just clicked on the link that you sent to Mr Justice MacDonald to remind myself of the article that John Hemming’s associate, Tim Haines, posted on facebook and see that you have amended the article to protect both the LibDems and the UK police from rumours. [Note to Belinda: The article that you have sent to Mr Justice MacDonald shows contempt of court and contempt for Mr Justice MacDonald; this is not likely to endear him to you.]
Julian Assange has been in the Ecuador Embassy in London for 4 years next month and has not yet found a way to safely leave despite powerful connections, yet you and [the boy] have been able to leave safely after just 21 days. [Note to Belinda: People are already asking questions.] The judge will want people brought to trial for helping you to leave.
My concern is for those who helped you by giving you money as it appears that this money was used to commit a crime in the UK ie to aid the international abduction of a child by helping to pay for travel costs. Did they knowingly give you donations to commit a crime?
Moreover, although I whole heartedly support the re-unification of you and [the boy], child protection questions will quite rightly be raised here about vulnerable children being smuggled out of the UK to be abused elsewhere. The law needs changing to protect other children at risk here. [Note to Belinda: Our statement to court should support this. I think that [the mother’s sister] and [the boy] now need to see the emails that you barred me from sending them this week.]
We wonder what might have been contained in those emails, which Belinda apparently ‘barred’ Yolande from sending to the boy and his aunt.
And it’s interesting that Yolande is suggesting to Belinda that they should change their statement to court to one that supports better safeguards against removing vulnerable children from the country. A huge turnaround for them, surely, though it sounds very much like “let’s change our story so they can’t catch us out on this one”.
The mother responded on the same day:
In your email of 02 May 2016, you wrote,
“John Hemming will be aware that all MPs are freemasons and have powerful networks. There are rumours circulating facebook that the LibDems helped you leave the UK and paid you off to stop the destruction of their party.
“I am today writing a witness statement in support of Sabine which will hopefully help to bring her suffering to an end quickly. [Note to Belinda: Do I have your permission to write about my work on your scandal in the witness statement that I am writing today to help Sabine?] I understand that John Hemming is a witness too at Sabine’s July trial.”
It was you who made me aware of these rumours and since I know that the police the LibDems did not help us, I informed writer to make sure that the truth be told. Once again, we were not helped in any way by the police or LibDems.
Once again, we received the money for the tickets weeks before we escaped and this was intended to assist us to fly back and get [the boy] settled as soon as the ICO had been discharged. No one intended to commit a criminal offense. I have the correspondence in this regard and I still remember telling you that I was going to pay back part of the money within 6 months. Not all that money was donated.
Similarly, when the Zimbabwe Embassy issued [the boy] with a temporary travel document, that was after the LB had said that [the boy]’s passport got lost while in their hands. So the embassy was just making the same arrangements in the event that the ICO was discharged. They did not commit any offense.
Aside from the rather startling news that both Yolande and Hemming plan to act as witnesses at Sabine’s July trial (a subject we’re afraid we cannot discuss here but thought worthy of inclusion), we note that the mother is extremely careful to exonerate Belinda, Hemming, the police, and the Zimbabwean embassy from any role in the illegal escape.
Interesting, too, that the mother emphasizes that “not all that money was donated”.
Does this mean some was given in the form of a loan? If so, from whom?
The mother’s email continues:
You are now confusing me because you are the one who referred me initially to John Hemming and I have the correspondence to prove this. Now you are attacking him in almost each and every email that you are circulating. Please help me, [the boy] and [my sister] to understand why.
Lastly, I am not reading anymore some of your emails as I cannot relate to what you are writing as I am neither a UK resident nor a UK citizen. We have moved on with our lives and are currently trying to pick up the threads from where we left.
[The boy] will not be reading your emails. Same as [my sister]. I am therefore kindly requesting you to refrain from writing to them as you would be violating their rights. They do not want you to copy them anymore in these emails as you are just confusing all of us. (Emphasis ours)
In one breath she insists that Yolande explain her sudden antipathy towards Hemming to her sister and her son; in the next, she forbids her from writing to either of them.
As far as I am concerned, I already requested you to stop circulating correspondence regarding our case without my permission but you are still doing that. Now you have made a mistake and copied Anita, thereby disclosing what you are circulating. I do not think that this is good for you.
I do not need to please the judge and please let that be my problem.
Please also do not speak for other people and copy me. If anyone has something to say, let them do it in the manner in which they want to.
[My son] will not be speaking anywhere or getting involved in anything in the UK. He is 16 and a minor in Zimbabwe. I am responsible for him. And I will neither be speaking on his behalf at that conference nor grating you permission to do so unless you have shared with me what you want to present.
It seems that now that the mother has what she wants, she’s dismissing Yolande entirely—and staking her claim as her son’s representative.
Hemming, who was copied on the mother’s email, puts in his oar:
It is also not the case that all MPs are freemasons. MPs do tend to have a better knowledge of how things work and can require responses from public authorities – which is useful.
But Yolande is determined to drive her point home:
John, please don’t talk rubbish to me. MPs have freemason networks that they can tap into to bend the law and protect themselves for failing to do their public duty.
My own Maidstone MP, Andrew Rowe, broke the Immigration Laws in 1986 to get me an American Special Needs teacher to be my son’s nanny – these laws remained broken for 4 months when [she] got deported back to the US.
I understand what MPs can do.
After some rambly bits about how various freemasons have done her wrong, she gets to another point:
You work for the LibDems but were unable to negotiate with the Lib-Dem run LB of Sutton for [the mother]’s expenses, and Bill Bache is your legal adviser and you were unable to speak to Bill about [the mother]’s expenses so that she had to borrow money from Belinda and David that now possibly implicates them.
How can you represent any [member of this family] when there is a conflict of interest between you and Bill Bache?
Yolande does seem very concerned that her friends might be implicated in having funded an international kidnapping—not an unreasonable fear.
I stand by my opinion based on 36 years of experience – there is some sort of LibDem freemason cover-up going on re the LB of Sutton Children’s Services. [the mother]’s behaviour since returning to Africa alerted me to what is going on.
She seems to believe that the mother’s rejection of her stems back to a ‘LibDem freemason cover-up’. Hmm.
Hemming responds rather tersely:
Dear Ms Lindridge,
Please do not make false allegations about people. In particular please do not make false allegations about me. A short period of silence from you might be in everyone’s interest including your own.
Well then. That’s telling her.
Yolande snaps back:
Dear Mr Hemming
What false allegation have I made against you? You are fully aware of what you did when I confronted you about the conflict of interest between you and Bill Bache.
If I have made a false allegation then please tell me what it is so that I can rectify it publicly and apologise to this group?
Moreover I do not feel comfortable with your comment “A short period of silence from you might be in everyone’s interest including your own” – what do you mean by this? When I read it it felt like a threat in the light of the silent nuisance calls that I have been getting for some weeks which I attribute as normal behaviour when there is a scandal to be covered up as I first started getting these types of calls in 1980. I know what the calls mean ie shut up or else you will be sectioned or put on trial if you do not stop talking about the LibDem scandal in the LB of Sutton. Yesterday one of the harassing nuisance calls was from an 0121 number and was not with-held.
We could have predicted this, had Hemming asked our advice before he wrote the bit about “in everybody’s interest including your own”. But did he ask us? He did not.
Yolande is on the offensive now, challenging what she perceives as intimidation:
Was your C2 application just before they fled the UK intended to stop the Supreme Court from making any decisions re this [unnamed celebrity] Media Restriction Order?
Was your C2 application designed to protect Mr Justice MacDonald, LJ King & Bill Bache from embarrassment? Was your C2 application, supported by [the mother]’s comments to the Supreme Court when back in Africa designed that the Family Court changes that I asked for should not happen and that the injustices in the family courts continue?
[the mother] initially enthousiastically [sic] endorsed me writing to the Supreme Court but you never wrote in support of a public hearing that would be open and transparent. You never wrote in support of the positive suggestions that I was making to the Supreme Court for the sake of justice for families, and yet you run “Justice for Families”.
I am a witness to what went on in LB of Sutton v [Anon], I will not let myself feel intimidated when children could be suffering as [the boy] did. Belinda, Sabine, David & Terence are feeling intimidated from what I have been told but [the mother]’s niece living in the LB of Sutton does not feel intimidated or frightened.
Interesting that she’d state that “Belinda, Sabine, David & Terence (Steele) are feeling intimidated”: are they perhaps aware at this point that their role in the embassy escape could be revealed, and that it could have severe legal implications?
On 9 May, Hemming responds once more:
You have made a number of false allegations against me in various places. I am not going to repeat them.
If you don’t stop emailing me I will simply block your email address.
Please be quiet.
Direct and to the point. But does it stop Yolande?
It does not. Yes, we were shocked too.
On 10 May, she writes:
I promise both you and [the mother] that this will be my last email to both of you unless you are included in a group email sent to me and I feel the need to reply.
Quite frankly the behaviour of both of you disgusts me and so I want to put in as much distance between myself and you both as possible, so you will both never get another direct email from me again. I am including Tom Brake MP in this email and [the mother]’s family, as they need to get a grip on what has been going on.
I have had both PTSD and severe anxiety arising out of the scandals I know about, but I continued to work whilst suffering from these conditions but from what I read in [the mother]’s email yesterday she is incapable of dealing with emails at this present time because her son has these conditions. I am of course very pleased that [the boy] is now getting the PTSD treatment that I told her that he needed last August, and that they will get compensation due to the fake diagnoses of [the boy] over here.
Please John & [the mother] tell us what happened in the hearing on 5.5.2016? Is the Media Reporting Restriction Order still in place? If so I want to appeal it in the interest of the safety of those who helped [the mother] and in the interest of those children who might still be suffering as [the boy] did in care of the LB of Sutton. If you don’t reply then I will use the original Media Restriction Reporting Order and appeal that, just as News Group Newspapers did re [another celebrity], and I will use the same grounds too.
Interesting: she seems very concerned that the Media Reporting Restriction Order be challenged, presumably so that she herself will not face legal repercussions from having violated it repeatedly.
You have a business called “Justice for Families” where you charge vulnerable and poor people for McKenzie Friend work. What I did for [the mother] was free of charge, but the email that I read from her yesterday has nothing but contempt for me for all that I have done for her and [the boy].
How do you think that your Justice for Families clients are going to feel when they learn that you passed up an opportunity to reform our family justice system, and instead opted for a continuation of our rotten family courts? How much did you charge [the mother] for that C2 application that you did before they left the Embassy to undermine what we were trying to achieve in the Supreme Court?
For 9 months [the mother] sold me the idea that she was an ethical and principled businesswoman who was like me a humanitarian; a few months ago I realised that her case had huge humanitarian opportunities for many so I worked longer hours and harder to help in the expectation that she would only do one thing for me ie help heal my son and that she would do what she said and use their experiences to help those children still avoidably suffering here in the UK.
Yesterday she put 2 fingers up at me.
In fact, it seems that the email in which the mother “put 2 fingers up” at Yolande was received on 5 May, but not read until the 9th:
Dear Mr Justice MacDonald
I have a feeling Yolande is going through a difficult time for reasons unknown to me.
I have not instructed her to act on my behalf. I do not agree with most of what she wrote here.
It is evident she has an agenda of discrediting John Hemming and exposing [my son’s grandfather] as a Freemason and using this celebrity media injunction case. The decisions should be made by the court and not her.
Please go ahead with the hearing as planned.
That does seem rather cold.
Interestingly, the mother’s website, which had contained information about her son’s case (and a prominently displayed donate button) has been almost completely stripped of content.
It appears that, having somehow spirited her son out of the country, the mother has no further use for it. Or Yolande, come to that.
If you’re interested in reading the judgement regarding this case and the Reporting Restriction order attached to it, it has now been released on Bailii: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2016/1371.html