Mother Faces Extradition To The UK To Face Child Abduction Charges

 

By J.S. von Dacre

Investigative Journalist of the International Criminal Court against Child Kidnapping

 

 

 

A mother, who can only be identified as K.T, will be extradited to the United Kingdom, following the abduction of her two children.

 

The woman wept when the ruling as read in a British Columbia court, as her boys, aged 14 and 16, watched her being led to the cells. She faces charges in the United Kingdom for abduction in contravention of a custody order and abduction of a child under the age of 16.

 

K.T., who holds dual citizenship in Canada and the United Kingdom, divorced her husband in July 2014 after they lived together in England for 14 years. Following this, an order was made to allow for both parents to share parental responsibilities.

 

In July 2015, K.T. applied to a family court in Liverpool for permanent custody, which would permit her to relocate to Canada, but her request was denied. The court ordered that the children could not go abroad for more than a month, without their father’s permission.

 

Despite this, the mother traveled to Calgary in October 2015 with both boys without her ex-husband’s consent, and all three have lived in Canada since then.

 

The father, however, successfully applied to an Alberta court for his sons to be returned under the Hague Convention. When the children had still not been returned, he traveled to Vancouver Island in 2016 in a bid to enforce the court’s ruling.

 

At that point, the children refused to return to the United Kingdom and as such, the father agreed that the boys could remain on the basis that he maintains continued access to them.

 

The court order was stayed, until the father reported his ex-wife back in the United Kingdom for child abduction, causing a warrant to be issued for her arrest.

K.T. argued that she had only intended to take the children to Canada for a holiday, and expressed that it was the boys' desire to stay in the country.

But the judge noted that there was evidence from neighbors who reported seeing a moving van and extensive packing before K.T. and her children left England. The judge also noted that the mother had previously applied to a British court for permission for the children to move to Canada, but that request was denied. As a result, it was concluded that there was enough evidence for which a jury could find the mother guilty of abduction, and it was ordered that she be extradited.

 K.T’s lawyer, Gary Botting, told Vancouver Sun:

 

"The judge said as long as there's any inference that can be drawn that infers guilt then she has to send them back. Her hands are tied. "And that's the state of the law, unfortunately, in Canada right now. Anybody who faces extradition can be extradited on very, very slight evidence.” 

 

Botting indicated that they intend to make a submission to the federal justice minister on the extradition charges.  He also talked about the refusal of the judge to allow the affidavits from both children, which indicated that they did not want to return to the United Kingdom, and instead preferred if they could visit their father.

He continued, "The affidavits speak for themselves. They may want to add to them now, having seen what their mother's gone through up to this point. It's very traumatic for a family, especially for the mother."

Also speaking to the Vancouver Sun, the boy’s aunt said:

“The two boys do have a say…They do have thoughts. They do have feelings. They weren't abducted, and they would like to say that. But nobody will listen to them or let them, because they're children."

K.T. is due to be released on bail and has already made an appeal.

To learn more about the crime of parental child kidnapping and the help available to “left behind” parents, please contact the International Criminal Court against Child Kidnapping.

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