Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
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Grandparents jailed for role in child abduction
Two grandparents from the West Midlands have been jailed in connection with the abduction of their two grandchildren by their mother, who took them to Costa Rica.
According to the Express & Star, the mother had been granted one session of supervised contact with the children per month at a contact centre after their father won custody. In May 2015 she flew with the children to Paris, then to Madrid and on to Costa Rica.
Police in Costa Rica were subsequently alerted and the children were taken into care. They have since been returned to the UK.
The grandparents admitted child abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice. The grandmother was sentence to 14 months imprisonment and her partner to a year’s imprisonment.
The trio of mother and two children were flown beyond the reach of British justice to Costa Rica while the grandparents tried to cover up their part in the plot by lying to police and a High Court judge, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
The couple, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, took the action after a Family Court ruled their two grandchildren must live with their natural father.
Their daughter – the mother of the boy aged seven and two year old girl – had previously had full time care of them.
On May 16 the grandparents drove the boy and girl to a secret rendezvous with their daughter and a chauffeur driven car took them to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris where they boarded a flight to Madrid before getting another plane to Costa Rica.
The grandparents then lied over their disappearance, claiming the children had been asleep in bed when they last saw them shortly before midnight – but were missing in the morning.
But police found they were not telling the truth after finding a text message from the grandmother to her daughter.
By the middle of June it was known that the daughter and children were in Costa Rica. They were taken into care and held in an orphanage for a week.
A social worker and the wife of the children’s father flew to Costa Rica where they spent five and a half weeks applying for permission to return the children to the UK, which was finally granted on August 3.
The children’s mother is still in Costa Rica. A European arrest warrant has been issued for her and the British authorities are trying to get the Costa Rican government to return her to this country.
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