I hope not.  I was aware from Facebook that Ellie disappeared last July with her three year old son Olly but I had not been following the story.  When I saw the Transparency Project had written an article I decided to find out what it was about, knowing that this would be the most unbiased account.  Ellie and Olly’s father, Patrick Sheridan, were in court proceedings over residence of Olly.

The first alarm bell rang when I read “she seems to describe controlling behaviour, psychologically and sexually demanding behaviour but not physical violence”.  This is typical abusive behaviour of sociopaths, psychopaths and others who are not only able to control their victims, but also their own behaviour: they know that physical violence (unlike rape) leaves evidence, and most of them are too clever for that.

And when I got to  “Mr Sheridan’s position is that Olly’s mum suffers from some mental health issues” any hope of me remaining unbiased disappeared.   This is classic behaviour of narcissists who manipulate professionals and courts into transferring residence of their children to them, in order to destroy their former partner.

I don’t know whether Olly is nearer two or four years old but either way I have my cousin’s words ringing in my ears about how hard it was to be a single parent with very little family support, and Ellie will have none.  And if she is ever caught, she faces several years in prison for child abduction, with Olly living with his father.  So to disappear like this Ellie must be desperate.   You can read her letter to her mum and the police.

This case is very unusual in that the High Court has given permission for the family to be named and photos published in order to help track down the mother and child.

Normally press and parents are prohibited from talking about court proceedings in order to protect the identity of the children, but this means that very few people are aware of what is happening in family courts up and down the country.   Both fathers’ and mothers’ groups complain about the wrong decisions made in the family courts.  And both the men and the women are right, because the awful truth is that the abusive parent is the one most likely to win in court proceedings.  And of course the real losers are always the children.

You may like to sign the petition which is asking for Ellie’s side of the story to be published too, not just the ‘doting’ father’s.