Daddy dearest

Now in case you’re somewhat exhausted by the horrific news of today – I know I am – here’s a little change of pace. A win for the Men’s Rights movement, perhaps, or just an example of domestic harmony restored.

A mum battered and slashed to within an inch of her life by her jealous ex-fiance has been threatened with jail if she refuses to write to him in prison.

Horrified Natalie Allman, 29, has been ordered by a judge to send letters three times a year to brutal Jason Hughes who tortured her for seven hours in front of their twin sons.

Under parental rights laws, Natalie is being forced to send updates on the five-year-olds along with photos.

The boys were just two when they saw their father batter their mum with his weight-lifting dumbbells, slash her throat with an Army knife and try to ­suffocate her with a pillow.

Ok but they’re still his kids, right, so of course the other parent should keep him updated on what they’re doing. The fact that he nearly killed her in front of them is neither here nor there.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and he was kneeling over me, beating me repeatedly in the face.

“At first I thought he was punching me and then I realised he was using his weights.

“He was smashing them into my face over and over. There was blood everywhere but he didn’t stop.

“It was midnight and then the next thing I knew I was coming round and it was 3am. I don’t know whether I fell asleep or was knocked unconscious.”

Probably the latter. I don’t think you’d just fall peacefully asleep if your face were all punched to a pulp.

After that he tied her up and cut her throat.

Hughes refused to call an ambulance, but at 7am Natalie managed to dial 999 herself. When officers arrived, the couple’s two-year-old twins, Ethan and Timmy, were in bed with their mother and covered in her blood.

But that was then. He was sentenced to nine years in prison, and now he wants to be all connected up with his little boys again. So they were covered in her blood, so what!

The negotiated terms stated that she would have to send letters three times a year – at Easter, September and December.

The order requires that the letters include “an update regarding the ­children’s general progress, both at nursery/school and socially, to include details of their health and emotional ­development”.

The letters must also include an “update photograph of each child no smaller than 6 inches by 4 inches”.

Hughes, 42, is also allowed to send birthday cards, Christmas cards and a letter at the start of each school year. Yet most shocking of all is the threat of legal repercussions for Natalie if she fails to complete the gruelling task of writing the letters three times a year.

He could be out of prison in a year. She’s afraid he’ll find her because of the letters.

Reunions are so sweet and touching.


  1. peterh says

    “Dear Ex,

    Your children live. It’s unfortunate that you do also.

    Your Ex

    P.s.: My new boyfriend is a homicidal maniac and sleeps across the foot of the front door every night.”

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    That’s certainly a heartwarming tale. How wonderful that his twin sons will be able to keep their father’s presence in their lives!

    Let’s also keep in mind that, while the Republicans continue to batter away at abortion rights, even attacking the right of a woman impregnated via rape to abort (because “it’s a baby”), even a raped woman who voluntarily carries the resulting pregnancy to term and keeps the baby often has to interact regularly with her rapist, because of HIS parental rights! Very few states have any sort of laws regulating this situation, which the right-wing conservative political wing of our government is attempting to push us toward without any consideration for this aspect of it.

    Here’s a simple way to overhaul the MRA: If a man commits a violent crime against the woman, he loses all access to any children she is parenting, regardless of whether or not he is biologically connected. See how simple?

  3. themann1086 says

    When I was younger and more naive (or stupid), I thought that of course dads should have equal say in abortion/custody/etc, because I was privileged to grow up with 2 parents in a happy, relatively-equal marriage. Once I was exposed to the wide range of family dynamics, I realized how stupid this would be as actual policy. Sure it’s a nice ideal to strive for if possible, but putting the force of the law behind it is just ludicrous, as this extreme example shows. I hope some judge shows some god damn reasonable discretion here…

  4. Katherine Woo says

    “A win for the Men’s Rights movement, perhaps…”

    Yes it is a victory for those goons, but ultimately this whole case reeks of ‘criminals have rights too’ sentiment taken to absurd degrees. I think people in prison should have no automatic rights but basic food, shelter, and freedom from abuse, with all other privileges determined by the severity of their crime. Their legal aid should be limited to their conviction, not assertion of tangential concerns. The fact she, the victim, has to pay for a lawyer and he, a convicted, incarcerated criminal, does not is almost as outrageous as the contact order.

  5. says

    ordered by a judge to send letters three times a year

    Perhaps a large piece of paper with the words “EAT SHIT AND DIE” scrawled on it would pass as a ‘letter’

  6. says

    Addendum –
    I’d be tempted to write (and publish) an open letter to the judge 3 times a year, too. Nothing threatening, but extremely disrespectful and abusive. And I’d encourage prisoners to write to him, as well.

  7. johnthedrunkard says

    ‘The negotiated terms stated that she would have to send letters three times a year’

    Negotiated by whom? and WHEN? Did anyone representing her participate in this? Disbarment seems to be in order for someone.

  8. sonofrojblake says

    @martin cohen, #1:

    Appropriate letter: Asshole: I’ve got a gun. You come near me, you are dead.

    If you read the story, you’ll see it’s in the UK. We don’t do the gun thing here.

  9. DLC says

    Only 9 years for what he did ? what sort of idiot judge hands down a puny sentence of 9 years for torture, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, assault, and attempted murder ? Seriously ? this guy should be getting at least 20 years, even in Britain. Second, the victim should appeal the judicial order. They don’t have the first amendment in the UK but even so, it’s a fairly commonly accepted principle that you cannot force someone to communicate when they don’t want to. If anything, allow children’s services to provide bowdlerized updates. But a man this brutal should not be permitted to retain any parental rights at all. I Just find myself saying W — T — F’in F at this.

    And I agree : it’s just another attempt to further traumatize the victim by her assailant. The Judge who issued that order should be removed from the bench.

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