Parental child abductors – driven by self-interest

March 7, 2013


I’ve been in close contact with Joe Chisholm since 2008 (see previous post on this blog). He worked tirelessly for almost 18 years to locate his daughter. During his search he became a very public & very staunch advocate for the rights of missing children. I wish him & his daughter all the best during the next stage of what is now ‘their’ journey. 

I view the references to the mother’s statements about not wanting to hurt Joe or his family with a very high level of scepticism. Given the high public profile of this case it would have been impossible for her not to know for 18 years exactly what Joe and other members of his family were going through, yet she did nothing to ease their concerns. No letters. No phone calls. No emails. Nothing.

Parental child-abductors are driven by self-interest. As with other criminals, they have no regard for other people’s feelings or for the effects their actions will have on their victims – including their own children. In many cases, they want to inflict harm on the other parent. They see themselves as being above the law. In cases involving serious allegations against the other parent, parental child abductors deny that parent the basic human right in a democratic society to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty through an established and transparent investigative and legal process. They deliberately obstruct and remove the other parent’s right to due legal process. By taking the law into their own hands, they openly demonstrate their contempt for the long-held democratic principle of natural justice.

When caught & held to account for their actions, these same people try to justify their unlawful & immoral actions. They then demand the presumption of innocence for themselves. They demand strict adherence to due process & to the principles of natural justice for themselves. Exactly the same rights they unlawfully interfered with themselves. They do this to reduce the likelihood of being subjected to the consequences of their actions. Self-interest.

I hope the Canadian legal system takes these issues into consideration when this case proceeds to sentencing.

To read more see this article ‘Patricia O’Byrne: Mom pleads guilty to abducting Toronto infant 20 years ago’ at


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