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Jail for Mom
November 12, 2013 permalink
After an English court ordered her to surrender her son Jaden for adoption Michelle Kelly took him to Scotland. Police there took the boy and she was returned to England. She faces jail time for the crime of fleeing and the boy will be adopted even though the judge's opinion describes her care of the youngster was 'more than satisfactory'. The pretext? She took the boy on a day trip with his father.
Mum to fight for son
A BASILDON woman was ordered to surrender her son for adoption even though social services said she was taking good care of him.
The ruling was revealed last Friday when Michelle Kelly, 28, of Mellow Purgess Close, appeared at Basildon Magistrates Court to admit 'keeping away a child in care without lawful authority'.
Miss Kelly fled to Scotland after a judge ordered her son Jayden into the local authority's care, despite social workers finding 'no areas of concern'.
Miss Kelly now faces up to six months in prison for fleeing with the child.
A clerk at Basildon Magistrates Court attempted to impose a gagging order on the case last week but Miss Kelly's solicitor Mark Pearson quashed the application.
Journalists had already overturned a prior gagging order in a previous hearing on September 12.
After blocking the gagging order, Mr Pearson read aloud from the judgement, delivered by District Judge Stephen Hodges at Chelmsford County Court on August 9.
It described Miss Kelly's son as a 'happy, well-maintained child' and said her care of the youngster was 'more than satisfactory'.
Mr Pearson revealed Judge Hodges had ordered the boy be put up for adoption because social workers discovered he and Miss Kelly had been on a day trip to London with the child’s father. He said social workers had feared Miss Kelly – who used drugs as a younger woman – could 'relapse' if she socialised with the boy's father. Miss Kelly claims she has passed all of her drug tests.
A social worker learned of the impromptu outing by monitoring the father's Facebook page.
Mr Pearson said: “The officer took the view that they could no longer trust Miss Kelly.”
Miss Kelly was given a week to appeal the August 9 judgement but Mr Pearson said a solicitor told her there were 'no grounds for appeal'.
Mr Pearson said Miss Kelly felt she was 'not given correct advice' and told the court he agreed.
Miss Kelly was ordered to surrender her son at the Willowbrook Family Centre, Church Road, on August 16, but instead fled to Scotland.
Mr Pearson said: “At this stage she simply did not know what to do. She is a mother who is going to lose her child when everyone is saying she is perfectly capable of caring for the child.”
The pair were found on August 22 and the child was taken into care.
Miss Kelly initially pleaded not guilty to the offence.
Mr Pearson said: “She couldn't bring herself to plead guilty because she felt she had done nothing wrong.”
He said she had changed her mind when she realised she had 'no choice'.
Magistrates were set to sentence her on Friday but told her they would defer the matter for a probation report because they felt she had 'significant personal mitigation in this situation'.
She will be sentenced later this month.
Mr Pearson said Miss Kelly would continue fighting for her son.
He said: “She is continuing and will never give up. There do seem to be some grounds for appeal.”
Source: Yellow Advertiser
Addendum: Kelly gets a non-jail sentence. Her son is still scheduled for adoption.
Mum who went on the run after social worker spotted her with son in a picture on Facebook is spared jail
A MUM who went on the run to Scotland with her son has avoided a jail term.
Michelle Kelly, 28, of Mellow Purgess Close, Laindon, fled with one year old Jaden after Essex Social Services secured an order to take him into care and put him up for adoption.
She was handed a 12-month community order at Basildon Magistrates’ Court , but has vowed to appeal against her sentence.
Jaden had been under close supervision since he was born in August 2012 because of concerns about his parents’ previous drug problems.
His dad, Junior Jeffrey, was not meant to have unsupervised contact because of his criminal past, but posted a photograph on Facebook of the family enjoying a day out at the London Eye.
After a social worker saw the photo, an emergency care hearing was arranged at Chelmsford County Court where a judge ordered Jaden be taken off Kelly.
She was due to hand him to social services at the Willowbrook Family Centre, in Church Road, Basildon, on August 16, but went on the run to Edinburgh.
Kelly was tracked down by police in Scotland on August 22, after she was spotted on CCTV, and agreed to be driven over the border so officers from Essex could arrest her.
She pleaded guilty to keeping a child away from their responsible person and was handed a 12-month probation supervision order.
Speaking after the hearing, Kelly said: “Twelve months is too harsh. I’m definitely going to be appealing it. Jaden is my child so I didn’t do anything wrong and I would do it all again if I had to.”
Her mum, Julie Felton, 52, of New Waverley Road, Noak Bridge, is preparing to appeal the decision to hand Jaden to social services. She wants to be considered as Jaden’s legal guardian.
She said of her daughter: “She’s a lovely mum who didn’t deserve any of this.”
Source: (Essex) Echo