|For Immediate Release|
Needham Divorced Father/209A-Defendant Kills Self
Pressures from divorce too much, attorney says
Family, friends, and sympathizers to attend funeral tomorrow
BOSTON, April 28 The family and friends of Steven Cook, along with several advocates for fathers rights, will attend the funeral of the recently deceased Needham man, Saturday, April 29. The service is to be held at the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave., Needham, tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. (781-444-0201).
|"Monday night a friend and fellow
father Steven Cook took his life. Broken hearted, denied access to his young daughter...
he lost his house in Needham along with all his possessions. He had no place to live.
Where is the outrage?
- Doug Turcotte, longtime Cook friend
Cook was discovered dead from asphyxiation in his car Monday evening, behind a public building in Newton Upper Falls.
Jailed for calling daughter on wrong day of the week
Cook had been involved in a bitter divorce. He had been accused and acquitted by a jury of assault and battery of his wife, but convicted of violating the 209A domestic abuse protection order she held against him. He was found guilty of attempting to call his four-year-old daughter Colleen on a Monday instead of a Sunday, as permitted by the conditions of the abuse protection order, and began serving a 60-day jail sentence January 29 at the Dedham House of Correction. He was released April 2.
Cook's attorney Jerome Aaron characterizes Cook's jailing over the mistimed phone call as "outrageous."
Friends testify to "unrelenting" pressure
According to his longtime friends Doug Turcotte and [Ms] Bobene Desmond, Cook, a housepainter by trade, had been disabled due to a hip injury. He had no visible means of supporting himself. He had lost his house in the divorce litigation and no longer had a home.
|"These courts are not courts any
more¾ they are revenge tribunals¾
where every man is guilty of nameless, unspeakable crimes¾
where a pat on a child's head is suspicious, where opening a door for a child merits a
six-month jail sentence, where even a phone call to a child is a sinister act."
- John Maguire, CPF event coordinator
With access to his four-year-old daughter restricted by the restraining order, and seemingly unending ruinous court orders that made it extremely difficult for Cook to do simple things like get his tools from his former home, Cook became so despondent he decided to end his life.
According to Turcotte: "During my last conversation with Steven a few weeks ago, he complained that his wife and her attorney were preventing him from seeing his daughter."
Longtime friend Berbone Desmond spoke with anguish over Cook's problems: "She [Cook's wife] stripped him of everything he had; they sold his mother's house... he was going to be a stay-at-home-dad because he had a bad accident years ago..."
Attorney Jerome Aaron concurs: "The process was unrelenting. She was in possession of the house, all the possessions, the children."
Family courts punish men, CPF asserts
In a prepared statement, CPF event coordinator John Maguire states:
"Steve Cook was a man who could have used some help and support. The Massachusetts Probate Court didn't refer him to any support agency for stressed-out fathers in this state¾ because there is no support system for fathers in this state¾ no hotline for the despondent, no fathers advocates in the courts.
"Steve Cook went into Probate court, and the Court took away everything he valued: his daughter, his home, his tools.
"These courts are not courts any more¾ they are revenge tribunals¾ where every man is guilty of nameless, unspeakable crimes¾ where a pat on a child's head is suspicious, where opening a door for a child merits a six-month jail sentence, where even a phone call to a child is a sinister act."
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|For further information, contact:|
Jerome Aaron, Esq.
Steven Cook's attorney
Longtime friend of Cook
(508) 653-1132 [home]
(508) 652-9891 [bus.]
Ms. Bobene Desmond
Longtime friend of Cook
(617) 232-6154 · Pager: (781) 758-7675
Steven Cook's brother
CPF - The Fatherhood Coalition
A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994
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