North West Wales

Pair jailed for abducting their son using Holyhead ferry

A couple have been jailed for abducting their 11-year-old son who was in care in north Wales.

The boy was taken by ferry from Anglesey to Ireland where his parents lived, Caernarfon Crown Court heard.

The husband and wife had been at Holyhead for a scheduled visit but the mother disappeared with the boy when a social services support worker went to the toilet.

The mother pleaded guilty and her husband denied it but was found guilty.

The prosecution said the father had stayed behind at Holyhead and sent coded text messages to his wife as she crossed the Irish Sea with her son.

Judge Dafydd Hughes jailed the mother, 48, for 18 months and her husband, 52, for two years. They cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The judge said he was surprised social services had reduced the number of support workers from two to one despite a previous mention of the possibility of abduction.

The boy has returned to foster parents in north Wales, the court heard.