THREE children were abducted from their foster home and driven to Wales by their mother and by the time the authorities caught up with her eight months later the children were showing obvious signs of neglect.
The 26-year-old mother was jailed for a total of one year at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday on three counts of abduction.
Garda Katrine Tansley testified that the three children were in foster care and that the mother arrived at the house where they were in care at 11.30pm on March 7. She demanded to take the three children, aged three, eight and nine.
The foster mother had been advised by the Health Service Executive not to put up any resistance if such a scenario arose on the basis of avoiding a confrontational scene in front of the children. She notified the gardaí in her area.
The mother drove straight to Belfast and travelled by ferry to Wales.
It was not until November 13, 2007 — eight months later — that the defendant and her husband came to light in London where they were arrested on another matter.
They refused to say where their children were until the following day, after being told that they would not be released until they did so.
When the gardaí brought the children back to Ireland and before returning them into foster care they found that the children showed visible signs of neglect.
Garda Tansley said, “They were very obviously neglected. They were underweight and had head-lice and scabies.”
The defendant has a new baby girl and is being allowed to mind the child while she is in custody.
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