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Father Jailed for Protecting Family
February 9, 2008 permalink
Britain has jailed a father for helping his pregnant wife escape from the forced adoption of both of her children. Britain also follows the despotic Canadian practice of jailing a man while keeping his identity secret.
Man jailed for helping wife flee social services
A father has been jailed for helping his pregnant wife flee abroad because she was terrified that social services would take her baby.
The 56-year-old businessman drove his wife and her eight-year-old son from a previous marriage to Dover, and then on to Paris.
He was arrested on his return to Britain and lost a High Court appeal earlier this week to have a 16-month sentence reduced.
The mother, who is a professional woman in her 40s but cannot be identified for legal reasons, has since given birth prematurely to a girl and remains in hiding.
She fled in part because she believed that her son, known as Child S, was also to be adopted against her wishes.
The three appeal judges were told yesterday how Child S's parents had a volatile marriage that ended in 2004.
Child S was taken into foster care. After months of legal battles, a family court judge agreed with the local authority's plan to put the boy up for enforced adoption.
But by this time, the mother was pregnant and "in despair". A friend said: "She was led to believe by social services she would have no chance of keeping the child she was carrying."
She made a plan to escape and take her son with her last September, after whispering instructions to him through the playground fence at school, according to High Court documents.
Child S "crept out" of his foster home to meet his mother and stepfather. The mother left a note that claimed: "We had to go."
Detectives believe they are in Spain or France, the court heard.
Dismissing the appeal, Mr Justice Bennett acknowledged the "powerful emotions" involved, but said: "Such proceedings taken by a local authority must be respected by parents.
"Those who act must expect a prison sentence because a real punishment is called for and to deter others who might be subject to the same pressures."
The judge expressed his disbelief that the father did not know the whereabouts of his wife.
The father, who has never seen his baby daughter, was led away in tears.
A friend of his, who is a teacher, said: "This isn't justice.
"They are a law-abiding family with respect for the police, but putting him in prison for protecting his family makes the law an ass. What good does it serve?"
Source: Daily Telegraph