News- Tameside Advertiser - UK
Desperate dad in rooftop protest7/ 1/2009
A MAN staged a rooftop protest on top of Ashton police station to campaign for the right of dads to see their children.
Glen Macfarlane, 33, clambered on to the roof at 6am on Friday armed with a flask of tea and a placard which read ‘Please Help’.
It sparked a four-hour stand-off as officers tried to talk him down, but the dad refused to budge and demanded to see social services chiefs.
Mr Macfarlane, a self-employed joiner, wanted to highlight calls for improved access rights for fathers.
He claims to have suffered months of frustration over visits to his young son and said he was left with no option but to take such drastic action.
Mr Macfarlane, of Corporation Road, Denton said: "I took my ladder and scrambled up at 6am. No one noticed. Eventually I shouted ‘Good morning’ to a policeman. He glanced up and froze. He ran inside to raise the alarm."
Emergency services were called along with a family liason officer and later a member of social services who agreed to talk to him. Mr Macfarlane, who is estranged from the tot’s mum, has since been in contact with Matt O’Connor, the founder of pressure group Fathers 4 Justice, for advice.
He said: "I can’t begin to explain how horrible it was to be in that situation but when you have been driven to such lengths, it seems like the only option left."
He came down just after 10am and was arrested for causing a nuisance to the public and emergency services.
But the charges were later dropped and he was given a police caution instead. He added: "I’m not proud of what I did. I’ve never been in trouble before, but I have no regrets."