Toronto Sun

Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Mom drops access appeal

Took tots to Mexico

Toronto Sun

Carline Vandenelsen won't appeal an interim visitation ruling allowing her to see her children every other weekend.

Yesterday, the mother of the Merkley triplets withdrew her application to appeal an interim access order, made by Justice John Desotti in October, of one day every other weekend.

Vandenelsen, 39, was acquitted Oct. 26 of three counts of parental abduction after Peter, Gray and Olivia Merkley disappeared with their mother on Oct. 14, 2000. They were found three months later living in Acapulco, Mexico.

Vandenelsen's stunning acquittal in the criminal courts by a Perth County jury has been a flashpoint of controversy since.

Vandenelsen's lawyer, Clay Powell, successfully argued Vandenelsen believed it was necessary to take the children because she feared a judge was about to terminate her access to them.

She has been embroiled in a long and messy custody battle with her ex-husband, Craig Merkley, who is the custodial parent of the eight-year-olds.

Appearing in a London courtroom before Superior Court Justice Edward Browne, Vandenelsen confirmed she had given notice late last week she would not be proceeding with the appeal.

Browne denied a request from Merkley's lawyer, Gordon Lemon, that Vandenelsen pay $500 in costs.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.