Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man abuse claim mother convicted of abduction

Douglas Courthouse
Image caption Miss A will be sentenced at Douglas Courthouse on Thursday morning

A mother has been found guilty of abducting her own son and fleeing to Canada from the Isle of Man.

The woman, known as Miss A, fled with the then seven-year-old the night before he was to be taken into care.

Despite denying the charge the woman, who admitted taking her son, claiming it was a "necessity" because he was at risk of being sexually abused.

The allegation against his father was unproven and she was convicted by a jury. Sentencing is on Thursday.

Deemster Birkett told Douglas Courthouse that it was a "highly unusual case" with "difficult family circumstances" stretching back a number of years.

The court heard that Boy A was made subject of an interim care order on 18 June 2009.

Miss A, who is a single parent in her 40s, was informed that her son was being taken into care because of the "emotional harm" being inflicted on him.

The pair fled to Canada seven days later on the eve of a court hearing.

Stuart Neale QC, prosecuting, argued that the trip was "entirely premeditated" and that Miss A had refused to surrender her son's passport despite a court order prohibiting him from leaving the island.

Mr Neale said: "The hysterical woman you saw in the witness box was an act from start to finish.

"There is no justification for her to take the law into her own hands. She has a warped view of the world and a world that centres around her.

"It is a lie from start to finish created to deceive."

'Failed by agencies'

Authorities tracked down the pair on 30 July 2009 and Boy A was taken into care.

Paul Garlick QC, defending, argued that Miss A took her child because she believed he was at risk of serious injury at the hands of his father.

"Social services did not take her seriously when she reported the alleged abuse by Boy A's father," he said.

"She was failed by every agency on the island - police, social services and the family courts. She is a loving mother," Mr Garlick added.

The court was told that the allegation of abuse against the UK businessman was unproven.

The jury, made up of three women and four men, took less than three hours to find the defendant guilty in the first case of its kind in Manx law.

Boy A is currently in foster care.

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