Has Guardian contributor Jim Perrin left the country in a hurry?

We were told at the weekend — Sunday, November the 4th — that Jim Perrin may recently have moved; and in several earlier posts we have described how, over the years, when this elusive author has felt the CSA or the CMS (as it has been renamed) were closing in on him he hastily packed his belongings and left the address they had discovered. For one example, when our sister Jac was involved with him in 2003 he moved to her house from his own in Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant: he organised this without Jac having the least notion as to his real motive for leaving his property, and she never knew of his connection with the CSA.

We know that later, after she died — and he was thwarted in his deceitful attempt to take over the tenancy of her house from her children by telling them ‘it had been their mother’s last wish that he should’ — he had other relationships and subsequent ‘disappearances’ (and two of these we can substantiate at first hand) — before he was involved with his current partner. He, and she, left the addresses where they lived in a) Harlech, and b) Drefach Felindre for the same reason (that is, the CMS had been in touch with him): perhaps though, as in our sister’s case, she does not know of this aspect of his life — we cannot believe he has told her… or that she would be complicit if she did know of his deliberate deception of the Child Maintenance Service.

In other instances, giving them the slip just in time to avoid ‘capture’, he would flit to a bolt-hole in France. He did this when he went from Penrhyndeudraeth some years ago: after abandoning the young woman with whom he was living and involving himself with someone new in Ariège he told her he ‘had met the love of his life and would not be returning to Wales’ — thus putting hundreds of miles between himself and those who sought him! Jim Perrin has out-manoeuvred the CMS at least four times in this way and it appears that during the last few weeks he may have achieved another such vanishing act…

Incidentally, The Guardian has paid him for no less than thirteen Country Diary entries from Ariège in his time as a diarist — described as he has been as ‘The Country Diarist for Wales’. (It is typical that he has always let this title stand, has never corrected it, and never acknowledged there are others; John Gilbey, for one.) However, not a single penny of his earnings from The Guardian or from books, festivals or lectures, has he ever passed on to the mothers for the maintenance of those of his children who are under-age.

(And, do note, we are discussing only child maintenance — not alimony. The mothers of the children whom effectively he disowned never sought this —  ‘the dreaded alimony’ to which so many men claim they are martyrs! It was financial support for his children which they had hoped for — and to which they were entitled; and which to this day they have not received.)

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Our ‘well-wishers’ (as we describe them) have frequently shared with us the most useful information, and we thank them for contacting us about the current particular issue: where is Jim Perrin? This time, we have been told that he might have left his recent address in Wales (running it very close indeed) and absconded because he became aware the Child Maintenance Service, having again located him, were about to pin him down in legal action: this concerned non-payment of the child maintenance that for decades he has consistently refused to acknowledge — leaving him owing his dependent children sums well in excess of tens of thousands of pounds.

How do we know this? Because some of our ‘well-wishers’ have given us the details which are verified, which those most closely concerned have also confirmed. The news has spread like wildfire amongst the circle who already know of Jim Perrin’s offences: nevertheless, and practised as he has become at evasion, it seems he has given the CMS the slip once more…

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This raises an intriguing question: we have now learned of another address where he could be living, still in Wales, but it has also been pointed out to us that he has recently been talking of leaving the UK for good, and moving to France. He claims it is the political climate here that he finds he can no longer tolerate.

We wonder, if this is so and he plans to become an ‘expat’ (actually to avoid British justice… ) and if his wish is to live permanently in France, what the French authorities will make of their aspiring English immigrant? Presumably he will not be able to fly under the radar for long (as he has always done in Wales) if he hopes to become a resident, and we suppose it will be less easy to hide away in that French Pyrénéen bolt-hole — as he did on former occasions — when the stringent use of the French red tape requires of him formal documentation. A bona fide British citizen (with National Security number etc.) and at present an EU citizen, may not need a carte de séjour permanent or an equivalent, but if Jim Perrin’s documentation is valid in Britain why are the CMS having such difficulty? And if he is determined to stay in France he will need to have lived there for at least five years (and not just as a visitor). Also, consider the paperwork needed to be filled in — ‘honestly’ that is — with details which he could not fudge. ‘Brexit’ will surely, finally, bring in train further complications, whatever the decision, but in any event it is clear from Jim Perrin’s history that official paperwork is not his forte… and yet these things are quite important in France — the bureaucracy of daily life. And it is always natural for neighbours to be curious about newly-arrived foreigners with a dog and a cat; how will he conduct himself, in La Belle France?

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If Jim Perrin does choose France over the UK there is always going to be the little difficulty, should he wish to return (even for a day trip), of the fugitive status which will automatically apply if he flees the CMS when they are officially requiring his attention in this country… We suppose there can be no question of dual nationality as by now the CMS armed with that information would have caught up with him.

As to the political situation here in the UK, we know of course, and for certain, it is not that which Jim Perrin abhors to the point of deserting his country. He is planning as usual to take himself beyond the reach of the Child Maintenance Service — a tactic he has used before…

Will he succeed in the long run? He has outwitted that government department time and again and it remains to be seen if they are finally able to outwit him!

Those who have spoken to us have expressed their complete astonishment that Jim Perrin has avoided for so long the paternal responsibilities for which he is legally liable. It shows the lengths this individual is prepared to go in his efforts to avoid the support of his children and he has, by hoodwinking so completely the relevant authorities, been running rings around them for many years: they who have already spent thousands of tax-payers’ pounds in their unsuccessful efforts to bring him to book.

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This whole episode, as yet unsatisfactorily dealt with, has been a large and most unedifying part of Jim Perrin’s life. Had he originally accepted, as would an honourable man, that he was by law as well as by any other ethical standard responsible for the financial assistance of his children; had he made at least some effort to put in place the appropriate arrangements, if only partially, instead of ignoring their existence not just as legal entities but as his children, and, by this stance, nullifying them as vulnerable human beings, perhaps he would not now be considering leaving the country. (Or… is he still in hiding in Wales?)

The peripatetic lifestyle which the constant flitting from his innumerable addresses has entailed, as he has tried to keep one step ahead of the CMS, and the possible exile he is apparently now contemplating are the consequences of his own dishonourable decisions: it is such a travesty of fatherhood.

Jac’s sisters.

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