Mother wins right to keep 'abducted' child in UK

Posted: 5th April 2012

planeThe action of a mother who ‘abducted’ her own child in Australia and brought him back to the UK was cleared by the Supreme Court recently.
She removed her child to protect him from his father, who had relapsed into drink and drugs problems following the failure of his business. The mother also suffers from an anxiety condition, which a consultant psychiatrist testified would worsen if she returned to Australia.
Neither the boy’s father nor the Australian courts had consented to his being brought to the UK. The Court of Appeal had ordered the child’s return but the Supreme Court ruled that the decision was flawed because it had ‘failed to appreciate that the mother’s fears about the father’s likely conduct rested on much more than disputed allegations’.
The mother’s action was in breach of Australian law, but the Court ruled that she had a valid defence and the child should remain in the UK with her.