Face of the day

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Dorothy Lee Barnett,

A former North Shore woman charged with kidnapping her daughter has been extradited to America.

She is face of the day because after reading the article I realised one thing. I am sexist. Because she was the mother of the baby I immediately assumed she must have had a good reason to do what she did but in fact no such evidence was mentioned in the article. I then asked myself how would I have reacted if it was the Father who had done it? I realised that I would have been furious that he denied the Mother the right to be in her daughter’s life for 20 years. Not only that but she would have had 20 years of heart ache not knowing where her daughter was or if she was safe. I then realised what a horrendous thing it was.

I also have seen the horrible things parents have done to each other after a break up. I have seen them use their children to hurt the other parent. What if this was the ultimate punishment that Dorothy doled out to her husband, the pain of never being a part of his daughters life?

Dorothy Lee Barnett, 54, arrived at the the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday after being arrested in Queensland, Australia, last November.

She is facing one charge of international parental kidnapping and two charges of falsifying US passport applications. Barnett faces a maximum sentence of more than 30 years in prison, Charleston news website The Post and Courier reported.

Barnett is reported to have taken her then 10-month-old daughter Savanna Catherine Todd, who now goes by the name of Samantha Geldenhuys, from South Carolina during a court-approved visit in 1994.

According to Queensland news reports, she initially fled to South Africa, where she married Juan Geldenhuys in 1995 and later gave birth to son Reece, now 18, before moving to New Zealand and becoming a citizen. She later moved to Australia in 2007.
The former flight attendant is reported to have fled the US with the help of Faye Yager, founder of shadowy organisation Children of the Underground, which helped women escape allegedly abusive relationships, The Australian reported.
Samantha told Australia’s Today Tonight programme last year that she stood by her mother’s actions.

A petition published on the change.org website appealing for the US Attorney Office in Columbia to free Barnett has attracted more than 600 signatures to-date.

-NZ Herald


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