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Robin the Boy Wonder - where did he come from?

The first woman protester for Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) says she has no regrets about joining the high-profile group, even though it has landed her in court. Helena Tilbury, 19, known as Ellie, of Abridge Way, Barking, joined the infamous group in June 2004 in response to the frustration of not being able to see her father much when her parents split up.

On Friday she received a suspended sentence for her part in a protest over railway lines in December.

Speaking exclusively to the Recorder, Miss Tilbury explained: "When my parents separated, I was stopped from seeing my father. I think every child needs to see their dad when they're growing up.  I was at primary school and all the children would be talking on Monday about what they'd done with their dads over the weekend and I'd have to lie about what I'd done with my dad. [...] It's the courts' fault. Me and my three brothers all lived with our mum and we didn't see our dad for ages.  We all went through the court process so our dad could see us, but in the end we just
gave up.  As we got older we managed to find him ourselves."

She has now been living with him for four years, but added: "There's hundreds of kids that go through this every day.  I wanted to get involved because it's not just the fathers who suffer."

After the trial, she said: "Going to court won't stop me.  The reason we have to do high-profile protests is because we need the publicity for our cause.  If you don't have the publicity, no one's going to take any notice of you."

And on being the most high-profile female member of the group, she said: "If there's other women whose feelings are strong like mine, then it would be good if they got involved too."

F4J is campaigning for a change in the law to grant fathers equal access rights to children. It has gained notoriety around the country after a series of high-profile protests, usually by men.