Mother arrested in Jersey – after a three-year manhunt | #childabductors

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was discovered in the boat at St Catherine on Tuesday morning with her parents and two children.

Her discovery comes three years after police in the country where she was living issued an arrest warrant on charges of abduction and defying a court order.

The Magistrate’s Court yesterday heard that the dinghy was spotted coming into St Catherine at 9am on Tuesday by an off-duty RNLI volunteer. Police and Customs officers attended the scene.

She pleaded guilty to two charges of intentionally or recklessly exposing a child to a risk of harm.

The woman also admitted making a false representation by giving false names when questioned by police.

Her parents admitted false representation charges, and aiding and abetting their daughter. The woman was remanded in custody while her parents were granted bail, and all are due to be sentenced on 8 August.

Outlining the case, police legal adviser Simon Crowder, prosecuting, said that an off-duty RNLI volunteer spotted a dinghy coming towards St Catherine’s Breakwater and heading in the direction of Little St Catherine.

The witnesses called the Coastguard and he kept an eye on the boat and watched as the mother and children got off the vessel.

The police arrived and the parents went back out to sea on the boat, but as conditions got worse they came back to shore. When approached by police officers, the mother gave names for the children, with one turning out to be false.

She told officers they had come from France on a boat on a day trip, and when police searched her she had £1,000 in cash and 180 euros, as well as children’s clothes.

She said the clothes were packed in case they decided to stay in Jersey overnight.

The parents were questioned and told officers they had travelled from the UK to France with the boat, and decided to come to Jersey for the day.

They had been travelling around Spain for a year and then France for the last two weeks, they told officers.

An officer said the children were fit and healthy, and when the mother was arrested she gave money to the police officers to get the children some ice cream.

They found two passports for the children, but the documents turned out to be fraudulent. However, they did have legitimate British passports.

Mr Crowder said that the vessel used was not suitable for travelling in the open sea, and there were not satisfactory life jackets and equipment on board, something the adults contested.

When interviewed by the police the three adults mainly gave no comment.

Advocate Alison Brown, defending the mother, said they had plotted a route and had checked the weather forecast and had phones on board the vessel, which was designed for four adults.

She said that her client accepted there had been a risk for the 20 minutes the boat was right in the middle of the Channel.

Advocate Sarah Dale, defending the two parents, said it was a unique case and they accepted there had been a risk when they were in the open Channel.

She asked the judge to make a binding-over order for both her clients.

Relief Magistrate Sarah Fitz said: ‘This is a very serious case involving two young children being put at risk.

‘In order for the court to sentence, there needs to be more information.

‘This could have led to a loss of life by going out to sea on this vessel, and the court needs more information.’

The mother was remanded into custody pending an extradition hearing in 28 days’ time.

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