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Mother's conviction for abducting her son is overturned

Fri, 19 Aug 2011

Douglas Courthouse
Douglas Courthouse

A woman who was jailed for abducting her own son has had her conviction overturned.

The woman, who can't be named, was sentenced to nine months in prison last November after she fled the Island with the youngster before he was due to be taken into care.

Officials from social services travelled thousands of miles to find the child and bring him back to the Island.

The mother claimed she ran away with the boy because he was at risk of abuse from his father, but her allegation wasn't proven.

A jury found her guilty of child abduction.

However, this has now been quashed by the Appeal Deemsters who ruled the woman didn't get a fair trial.

They criticised the actions of Deemster Birkett who carried out the hearing.

The ruling says he kept intervening as the defendant gave evidence and that these interventions were critical of her and gave the impression there was little or no merit to what she was saying.

It was ruled this was unfair and that Deemster Birkett had acted like he was the prosecuting advocate.

Prosecutors can still ask for a re-trial but as yet there's been no application.



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