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Pushing open the door, Jonathan Grindon's eyes scan the bedroom, taking in the single divan with its Chelsea football club duvet cover, teddies and collection of Roald Dahl novels.
A furry toy cat, which makes a 'meowing' noise when Jonathan accidentally knocks it with his elbow, catches him off guard and, instantly, his composure is lost.
Years - Room - Jonathan - House - Surrey
For two years, this room in Jonathan's five-bedroom semi-detached house in Surrey has been a shrine to an 11-year-old boy named Timothy — a boy he believed to be his much-loved biological son, having been callously duped by his former wife.
So angry and distraught was Jonathan, a university lecturer, when he discovered her deceit that last year he took her to court, where a judge ordered she pay him £40,000 in compensation for his distress, humiliation and the maintenance he had paid.
Victory - Loss - Child - Jonathan - Hope
A hollow victory when weighed against the agonising loss of a child who Jonathan has, without hope of recourse to the legal system, been prevented from seeing for over two years by his ex.
His anger and agony are palpable. You couldn't imagine it less intense if his child had been abducted or killed. For, in a sense, that is what has happened to Jonathan's son; he no longer exists, in law, biology or as a physical presence in his life.
Torment - Child - Life - Jonathan - Toy
'There is no greater torment than a child who you have raised and bonded with, fully believing he is your own, suddenly being snatched from your life,' says Jonathan, clutching the toy cat to his chest.
'I was the first person to hold him as my ex-wife had an emergency Caesarean section [under general anaesthetic]. He was the most gorgeous, tiny, perfect little bundle. It was total, instant adoration and love.
Rights - Part - Child - Life
'But knowing that the rights I thought I had to be part of that child's life no...
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