The Bramley Affair: The PR Battle - Now everyone wants a slice of the children

WHEN THE Bramleys first disappeared with Jade and Hannah Bennett, it appeared to be a straightforward dispute between them and the social services. In the long weeks that followed it became a tangled web of blame, sympathy, indignation and outrage as those with even the most tenuous of links to the little girls pitched into the battle over what should become of them.

The girls, once an emotional commodity, also become a financial one, with public relations firms battling over their representation. But the couple indicated last night that they are not interested in marketing their story or talking to the media.

The girls' natural mother, Jackie Bennett, had been quick to denounce the Bramleys for running off with her children, describing them as selfish. Last week, after they wrote an open letter pleading to be allowed to keep them, she changed her mind and said that they should keep them. Her solicitor hinted yesterday that she had changed her mind yet again.

"Her overriding concern is that somebody who is independent should take over and decide what is best for the children," the solicitor said.

Jade's natural father, Paul Duckett, who has not seen his daughter since she was a few months old, has announced he will fight for custody. Yesterday he said he wanted to be Jade's "forever daddy". "I'd like the same rights as any other natural parent," he said.

Then Hannah's natural father, Craig Nott, having been told for the first time on Saturday of his relationship to her, said it would be best if she lived with him. Mr Nott has three other children by different mothers, and is expecting a fourth by his current girlfriend. "I'm going to fight to get Hannah to live with me now she has turned up," he said. "My friends said I should get her back and so does my girlfriend."

Regardless of whether the mounting "adoption frenzy" is serious, it seems certain that in the short-term the natural fathers will add to the girls' confusion by demanding access.

The public relations adviser Max Clifford has offered to help the Bramleys in their fight to adopt on the condition they do not sell the story.

Mr Clifford said he had been in touch with the family and had advised them to write the open letter that led to their return, but they were not his clients.

"From what I've heard and read, they are just two caring people who want to do the best for their two girls and I can't help but have sympathy with that. I would be happy to help them get their story to the media and to the British public as long as they don't sell their story. I think that would be totally wrong and would ensure they lost public sympathy."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project