Sedgley dad joins campaigners in ‘seige of Winchester’

A SEDGLEY dad joined in the “siege” of an ancient city fortification before lowering the Queen’s flag and replacing it with a “Superman” tea towel – in protest at the way fathers are treated in divorce and separation proceedings.

New F4J Flag

Mohand Namani, aged 35, of Downfield Drive, was among activists from New Fathers 4 Justice, who scaled Westgate in Winchester on Saturday and draped a ‘Stop the War on Dads’ banner from the top.

A fellow campaigner, Martin Matthews, from Great Bookham, in Surrey, dressed as Batman to lower the Queen’s Standard to half mast and Mr Namani then helped him to raise the tea towel, which had a Superman logo drawn on it.

Mr Namani, who is unemployed and has been involved in the campaign for the last three years, said: “We want justice for the kids – not just fathers.

“I feel passionately that children have a right for both parents to see them.

“We are against the lies of family courts, which so often take the side of the mothers against fathers.”

A video of the protest – entitled The siege of Winchester – has been uploaded on YouTube, showing Mr Namani punching his hand in the air after erecting the ‘Stop the War on Dads’ banner.

Mr Namani said he and his fellow protestors calmly walked into the museum at Westgate – Winchester’s fortified gateway – and climbed the stairs, letting themselves on to the roof and locking the door behind them before staging their demonstration to raise awareness of fathers “suffering a living bereavement” by not being able to see their children.

They were among 17 fathers rights campaigners in the city on Saturday following the death in July of 42-year-old member Haydn “Superman”, who was found hanging in a cell at Winchester Jail.

During Saturday, another protestor from a group called Justice for Haydn climbed Winchester Cathedral holding a banner.

New Fathers 4 Justice is campaigning for equal rights for fathers in divorce and separation proceedings and reform of the family courts.

In December, Mr Namani joined in another demonstration in which five campaigners chained themselves to the controversial Real Birmingham Family statue outside the city’s library, which depicts two unmarried sisters and their sons.