MOTHER’S VIENNA COURT HELL
BRITISH mother Beth Alexander first hit the headlines four years ago, after a Viennese court awarded sole custody of her then threeyear-old twin sons to her Austrian ex-husband, Dr Michael Schlesinger – in a case that has been labelled “tragic” and “Kafkaesque”.
In 2013, an appeal to overturn the court’s decision was rejected. Ms Alexander was granted extremely limited visitation rights with her sons – every Tuesday for six hours and every other Sunday. This was despite the court admitting that a previous judgment denying her custody because she suffered from mental illness was wrong.
Ms Alexander applied to take the case to Austria’s Supreme Court, but was turned down.
Manchester-born Ms Alexander has repeatedly claimed she is facing “corruption” inside the Austrian judicial system. Her case gained international attention and support, with a website set up that charted her struggle to see her sons, and leading figures in the community, including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, pledging their support. But last year, Ms Alexander faced a fresh setback. An injunction issued by an Austrian court ordered her to remove all photos of her sons from her campaign website, as well as any pictures posted on social media accounts. She was also forbidden from publicising details of the case.
Beth with sons