Mother jailed in 'tragic, unprecedented' case
Date Posted: 04/Nov/2010 13:24
By: Manx Radio
A single mother from the Isle of Man has been jailed for nine months after being convicted of abducting her own son.
It's the first case of its kind on the Island, and the charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
To protect the child's identity no names can be used in relation to the case.
The mother, known as Miss A, was found guilty of taking her son to Canada after failing to surrender his passport.
Miss A claimed it was a necessity that she took the boy because he was at risk of being sexually abused by his father. However, the allegation was unproven.
Paul Garlick QC, defending, urged Deemster Birkett to consider a suspended sentence. He talked about Miss A's genuine, even obsessive, belief the child could suffer serious harm and the fact she felt, rightly or wrongly, that she had been let down by professional agencies.
In his summing up, Deemster Birkett said it was a tragic case for all those who loved the child, and referred to the fact there was no precedent in the Isle of Man, so he had to look to the United Kingdom for guidance.
He said Miss A had not helped herself by pleading not guilty, and for that reason he didn't feel he could suspend her sentence.
Miss A is expected to lodge an appeal against the court's decision.