27th August 2008
To whom it concerns,
I, xxxxxxxxxx, have know Andrew David Tchappat since March 2000 in his capacity as partner to my sister, Susan, and father to my nephews xxxxxxxxxxt. In that time I have found him to be an abuser of alcohol, a drug user, a narcissist and severely dishonest.
He has on multiple occasions glorified the abuse of alcohol in front of his children, and to his children. I remember one particular instance when xxxxxxxxxxwas about 2 years old of him holding the beer he was drinking up to xxxxxxxxxx’s mouth and encouraging him to drink it. This behaviour resulted in xxxxxxxxxx often asking for beer to drink, which I understood as an effort to copy his father. Andrew would laugh about this and show no recognition to xxxxxxxxxx of the potential for alcohol to be a dangerous substance. I often witnessed Andrew drink alcohol to excess in front of the children and he would be disengaged and unhelpful with all tasks related to caring for the children, leaving all the work to Susan.
On many occasions Andrew confessed his drug use to me, he would regularly smoke marijuana and try to hide it from Susan. He also claimed to regularly use ecstasy and cocaine when it was available to him. This drug abuse became apparent to me, when one night he arrived home in a psychotic state and cowered in the dark in the lounge room fearful and believing that he was being followed. Susan took him to hospital to be assessed, and he was given a perfunctory diagnosis of bi-polar disorder. I was present when he subsequently admitted that this episode was brought about by his drug use that night. I have no reason to believe that Andrew has changed his ways in this regard.
Over the years I have known Andrew he has displayed the ability to weave extremely complex and intricate stories that are relayed as fact, but which in actuality are tremendous lies. I believe that Andrew is particularly skilled in deception. An example I experienced was when he told Susan that he was required to leave her and the three children on Susan’s birthday and travel to Singapore for his work as the South-East Asian manager of Johnson-Diversey (a lie in itself). In a subsequent confession he admitted that he had in actual fact been in Brisbane conducting an illicit extra-marital affair. The level of detail he went to to maintain this lie was uncanny. He would describe his surroundings and experiences in great detail on the phone and we had little choice but to assume nothing was amiss.
This aspect of Andrew’s personality is already showing signs of rubbing off on his children. xxxxxxxxxx has developed a habit of telling complex, detailed and blatantly false stories too, which he also presents as fact. I worry that his father’s continued influence will reinforce this habit and nurture it from imaginative play to deliberate lying. In my experience from when Andrew and Susan were still together, Andrew was generally inattentive towards his children. Susan was almost solely responsible for both practical care-giving and discipline, comfort and emotional security. The attention Andrew did pay the boys always had the appearance of “putting on a show”. He would sometimes effuse about how much he loved them, but I never once saw him play with them and he rarely took them on solo outings except at Susan’s insistence. This inattentiveness hasn’t changed since his separation from Susan. For example at 6:30pm on the 13th of August 2008 I rang Andrew’s house where the children were staying that night to speak to xxxxxxxxxx to wish him a happy birthday. Andrew told me that I couldn’t speak to xxxxxxxxxx because he had been put to bed. This was a whole hour earlier than the boys usual bedtime and is consistent with the testimony of Andrew’s former live-in lover xxxxxxxxxx, that he would put the boys to bed as early as possible so he didn’t have to deal with them. It is my belief that Andrew Tchappat is unfit to have unsupervised access to his children. I believe the harm inflicted upon xxxxxxxxxx by his example is unbearable. His poor standard of care and his dishonesty make him unsuitable to take care of himself let alone take care of his children. I sincerely hope that any access to his children in the immediate future is only allowed with the supervision of a functioning adult. Yours Sincerely, xxxxxxxxxx