Tony Cleary will be known to some Gazette readers as an editor of Jordan’s Family Court Practice and a serving circuit judge. In 1990, then a county court registrar, he and his family were horrified by televised scenes from the orphanages in post-Ceausescu Romania. The regime had outlawed abortion and contraception, and the ‘orphanages’ were no more than holding facilities for infants whose parents could not or would not care for them. Nobody Comes is Tony’s personal account of a quest to rescue and adopt at least one child from those appalling conditions.
Having ensured that he had undergone appropriate assessments in the UK, he travelled to Bucharest where he encountered bureaucratic chaos, incompetence and lack of interest sufficient to dissuade many lesser mortals.
As the story unfolds, the reader is taken through the highs and lows of a conflict between humanity and indifference. Tony pulls no punches in describing the squalid conditions in which the children were kept and the inhuman treatment meted out to them, but his story is enlightened by the willing support that he received from family, friends and volunteers. With their help, his determination to confront, bypass and overcome numerous obstacles placed in his path by both British and Romanian authorities is inspirational.
Nobody Comes is a tale well told, and one that needs to be told.
Andrew Jones is a district judge, Warwick and Coventry county courts
£8.99 (Kindle edition), Crux Publishing