The following was left as a comment on our article “‘New Fathers 4 Justice’ Member Possibly Not Doing Great Things for Fathers or Justice“. It is from the subject of the story, Matthew Starmore. He felt that he wasn’t given a fair shake here, or in many media outlets. As Editor-in-Chief of 8BitDad, I will defend our site by saying that in short blurb stories such as the one linked above, we only offer quick summaries and links to outside news. We put no guarantees on other peoples’ information, and when posting links, they are offered as-is.

So, just as we offered the BBC’s article “at face value”, so too shall we offer Matthew Starmore’s response, after the jump. Please excuse our uncharacteristic lack of humorous pictures, as they don’t fit the story’s tone.

Starmore’s response in its untouched, unedited, un-paginated entirety, left as a comment in the original article (re-printed here, no spelling or grammatical mistakes changed):

Hi I am the person the dad the father that you are talking about here. I am outraged at the rubbish that is written in the above article. Not only is it slanderous but it is totally untrue. I joined New Fathers 4 Justice in 2009 after a split with my partner of 10 years to whome I have 3 children with, We split up after she had an affair and hurt me beyond beleif. The relationship was everything to me and I loved nothing more than being a dad and providing the world for the ones I loved

I was running mutiple jobs, running my own security company, Running my own promotion company, Working part time as a support worker on the monmouthshire and torfaen youth offending team as a role model and guide to 10 – 17 year olds and the CAD team as a drug support worker, Helping to rehabilitate ex drug users back into the comunity, Also I was managing a guest house.

With this multitude of work I still found time to spend time with my family and be a dad often taking part in fatherly roles and bringing up my children with manners and respect.

November 6th 2008 my partner and I split up and she used and continues to use my children as weapons to hurt me. The school contacted me 2 months after we split up telling me that my children had not been in school for 3 weeks, alarmed i went to the local police station and asked them to call my ex and check if my children were ok, they returned to the counter and said ” They are at home with there mother” to which i replied but are they ok ? they then repeated the same answer and ushered me out of the police station. I was distrought and worried so for 10 weeks i text my ex a total of 26 texts (all loving and careing) trying to check on my children, I got charged with non violent harrassment (The relationship never had a history of violence or any form of abuse).

I then joined New Fathers 4 Justice and wasv soon to be made co-ordinator for Wales (because I had a different way of doing things). I was not going to cause any problems for the public (The picture above was a demo outside the irish family Courts that we did on a bank holiday when it was shut thus not to cause any inconveiniance for the public).

Whilst being a member of the group i was using soliciters to try and gain access to my children, Not before long just over a month to be exact my savings had gone and i was struggleing to live. As i was working i had to pay for my soliciters and my ex did not, Soon the amount had got to £1700 and i was suffering from serious depression. I then had to close my buissinesses and finish work.

For months i tried my hardest to see my children but to no evail.

After 8 months of being out of work i made a positive move and asked the owner of the guest house if i could lease the building off him. He was to give me a month to make repairs and see if i was mentally fit to do the job (he continued to get all profits and money from the buissiness. I received nothing) There was a manager styill in place and i came and went as i pleased (not having any ties to the buissiness).

i returned on october 25th to have the manager come out of his room with some items he had found , It was pots of powder and some bullets, he asked me to call the police so I did, the police said they were very buissy and it would have to wate so made an appointment for the monday. I went about my usual roles and when i returned to the guesthouse on the friday i was confronted with the premises crawling with police, they asked who i was and i explained i was the POTENTIAL lease holder and they let me go in. I and a friend went to my flat which was located on the top floor (this was semi self contained with a locking door). I went to go down stairs and heard officers talking about this powder, I then aproached the officers and said i know where the manager had found it (i then explained how i knew, because he told me) I was then arrested and did 6 months in prison (on unfounded allegations made by the police). A full search of the premises found nothing in my flat except my note book that contained notes to prove to my children that i tried so hard to see them. The note book had notes by others too that were made at events that we did. Yes losing your children is the most hard hitting series of events, yes there were notes on world war 2 (newport memorial senataph protest), Yes there were emergency services called in from far afield and police tacticle units at the Crane protest on fathers day outside newport leasure centre. This was done by others going against the principle of what i was trying to acheive. A fire engine was called in from Brigend and there was apolice tacticle unit there plus they were going to close the lesure centre (fundemental resource).

I actually after some time managed to get the protesters to come down so the leasure centre did not close.

Like i said in court i had 45 minutes in the guesthouse and the police were not conserned by me.

They raided the guesthouse because unknown to me the manager was a master fraudster and they had been watching him in an operation. If the notebook was a master terrorist plan surely i would of dispersed of it but i didnt it wasnt even hidden. Also why after doing things so differently would i want to do things totally out of charecter ? I would never want to hurt people and why would i want to do something that would not aid me getting my children back in my life ? my children live in newport and i would never want to cause them embarrassment or pain or any type of suffering at all.

To prove the point , When i was taken off as co-ordinator due to these unfounded alegations, The group went back to irts old ways with repeated demo’s ect.

The book contains no reference to gunpowder or anything , it contains no plans , nothing but notes regarding preavious events, The wording on certain notes was put into letters but they were to go under newspaper cuttings ect to go in my master book when i am able to do it.

I am a caring and loving dad who has been done for non violent harrassment twice, the first i have explained then the second is when i left 3 bags of birthday presents outside my ex’s for my daughters birthday. I was charged then because my ex said she felt harrassed . my sentence was 14 weeks castodial. I wont ever give up on my children and i am certainly not a bad person.

Now you know the truth and you should be able to see who is the victim ! Yes its my children and there dad. Like so many parents in the uk and world the justice system and relevent agencies are outdated, biasdt and totally out of order !

I will continue my plight to be a dad and get equality and reform in the legal way i always have done.

People who alleg and make up nonsense like the story above should not be allowed to do it as it can cause so many problems. just think of the individual that it slanders, think of his children !

Thanks Matt

Starmore left one more comment: “Yes i was remanded on unfounded allergations but after trial was found NOT GUILTY on all charges ! it may be wourth wild blogging that instead of slating me by airing one side of a story !

So – is Matthew Starmore a misunderstood father? Perhaps we’ll never know for sure, but 8BitDad would like to thank him for sharing his story with us.