Mum Flees With Son After Court Gives Custody To Dad

A mum scared she’ll never see her 3-year-old son again after court gave custody to his dad restrained court order by running away with him.

‘I know I’m going to get caught but each day I get with my son is precious,’ Rebecca Minnock said. ‘We’re both absolutely fine and he’s very happy.’

Asked why she went on the run, she said: ‘I’ve lost all faith and trust in the system. I know I’m going to be in a huge amount of trouble… I didn’t think it would go to this extent. I didn’t realise my family would get into trouble. Of course I’m sorry for what I’ve done – but I have to put my son first.’

Miss Minnock fled her home in Highbridge, Somerset, with Ethan two weeks ago, following a court order to hand him over to ex-partner Roger Williams, 39 – after a bitter two-year custody battle.

She was meant to attend a family court hearing, in which the order was due to be made, in Bristol on May 27, but failed to turn up. Miss Minnock was last seen at Asda in Highbridge at 8.17am that day, withdrawing cash, before being driven away towards Cheltenham.

She said last night: ‘I knew they’d planned on taking my son away from me on that day. I was just too scared. I didn’t feel I had a choice. I know what I’ve done is wrong … But I was desperate at the time and my instinct just said to me “go”. Everybody gets caught in the end … I’m sorry for wasting police time…I know what is best for Ethan because he’s my son … I feel social services have let me down and the court has been unfair.’

One of the missing mother’s aunts, Margaret Minnock, 60, said her niece, who was educated at a Catholic school and studied art at college, had decided at the last minute against going to court.

She said, ‘She panicked. She had every intention of going to court … She knows there’ll be consequences … there has been little thoughts of, “Shall I just give myself up?” … I think she’s hoping that somebody will come out and there’ll be a miracle and they’ll help her get justice. I think … they’ll track her down and take Ethan and she’ll never see him again.’

Miss Minnock’s brother Marvin Shaw, 29, sister Limmie Shaw, 19, and mother Louise Minnock, 52, appeared at Bristol Crown Court and were were arrested in relation to the family court proceedings but were not charged.

Announcing his decision, the judge said: ‘Any assistance by the Press in finding out where he is will be gratefully received. It is really important that we work together – the court and the Press – to find where this child is.’

Mr Shaw and Mrs Minnock gave evidence to the court, swearing they did not know the location of Miss Minnock or Ethan.

The judge added that he remained ‘deeply suspicious’ that the pair had not revealed all they could.

Last night another of Miss Minnock’s aunts, Anna Peters, 53, said: ‘Why should we help the judge who’s going to take her boy off her? … She’s a fantastic mother … and the courts have made her out to be this loopy woman. It’s been a horrendous two years for her and her mum.’

The aunt said Miss Minnock’s relationship with Mr Williams, a consultant at a nuclear power station who lives about two miles from Highbridge, ended about a year after Ethan was born.

Caroline Minnock, 53, a third aunt, said: ‘[Becky] said she’d rather [Ethan] be in care than be with his father.’

Detective Chief Inspector Marie Wright said: ‘As time goes on we are really concerned at the emotional impact this will have upon Becky and Ethan because the court process cannot be evaded forever. We need to find them very, very quickly…’

Ethan has lived with his mother since his parents’ separation in February 2013. Legal proceedings began the following month, when Mr Williams applied to see his son.

Magistrates ordered the father should have some contact with Ethan in Miss Minnock’s presence in August 2013 but the arrangement broke down two months later.

A statement released on behalf of Mr Williams said: ‘The welfare and safe return of his only child, Ethan, is understandably his priority. Mr Williams is working closely with the authorities to ensure Ethan is located and the decision of the court is upheld.’

Source: DailyMail

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