Poor grandma and grandpa…thrown in jail for their misguided efforts to assist their daughter to flee England with her two children after the Court ordered a change in custody to their father.
The children’s mother had custody of her son, age 7 and daughter, age 2 until a judge ordered the children to be transferred to their father’s custody, leaving mom with one hour a month of supervised access. The mother’s “issues”, what ever they be, were plainly reflected in the draconian limitation placed on her time with the children.
And then a plan was hatched: Mother’s parents drove her and the children to a secret rendezvous spot under cover of night where mother, children, and six suitcases were loaded into a chauffeur driven Mercedes for the journey to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris where they hopped on a flight to Costa Rica. They had escaped, or so they thought.
Police investigators naturally began their search for the missing children at their grandparents’ home. The grandparents advised the police that the children had spent the night at their home, but in the morning when they awoke the children and their mother were gone, leaving only a note.
However, their story quickly fell apart when police discovered a text message from granny to her daughter that showed her daughter’s location in the Channel Tunnel enroute to France.
More damning evidence emerged from roadside video that showed the Mercedes and other footage displayed the abducting mother’s vehicle being driven by grandfather back to his home.
Eventually the police learned that mother and children were in Costa Rica and not surprisingly, the children were already on the local constabulary’s radar as it had been reported that the children were wandering through their hotel without supervision, their mother’s whereabouts unknown.
The children’s father’s wife and a social worker arrived in Costa Rica to retrieve the children from an orphanage and return them to England, a task that took almost six weeks to obtain the proper paperwork from local authorities. All tolled, the children’s ordeal lasted two and a half months before they landed on British soil.
Grandma was jailed for 14 months, while her husband, who was less involved, was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Judge John Wait said to the elderly offenders:
“The consequences of this case have been quite awful. You were responsible for some of this but those acts were done out of love and emotion, not for money. You knowingly flouted a court order and told lies in the Royal Courts of Justice.”
Mother remains in Costa Rica but extradition proceedings are pending. You can be sure this mother will receive a lengthy jail sentence once she is back in the United Kingdom.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang