Missing Children Being Treated As Parental Abduction


August 4, 2012

Source: Newrytimes

Two missing children have turned up safe and well.

Three-year-old Fernando and six-year-old Pinar Boyle went missing with their mother Elizabeth from the Co Down area on Thursday.

Police said they were found in the Republic of Ireland on Friday.

They are now being transferred back to Northern Ireland.

The PSNI thanked those who responded to an appeal for information on the family’s whereabouts.

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England: Parental child abduction arrest


A man has been arrested in London on suspicion of parental child abduction.

 

A 45-year-old man was yesterday arrested in London on suspicion of parental child abduction.

The man is believed to have taken three children from the Banbridge area, on Thursday, 29 March, to Dublin airport where he was intercepted by An Garda Siochana.

The three children were taken into protective custody before the man boarded a flight to London. The man was later arrested when he re-entered the UK jurisdiction in Heathrow airport yesterday. PSNI officers accompanied him back to Northern Ireland this morning and he is currently assisting them with their enquiries.

The operation involved E District CID and Response Police as well as mutual assistance from authorities including An Garda Siochana.

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Gardaí use phone tracking to find alleged abductor


Source: Irish Examiner

GARDAÍ used phone tracking technology to help locate a dad who allegedly abducted his three children and led gardaí on a chase before crashing into a road sign.

A massive Garda operation was put in place after the incident due to “serious concerns” for the safety of the children.

Gardaí were concerned at the man’s psychological condition — including previous comments to do himself harm — and the aggressive way he removed his children from school.

Children’s charity ISPCC yesterday praised gardaí for their reaction, pointing out that the first two hours were crucial in such situations.

The father took his three children aged 12, nine and seven, from their home in Co Wicklow, and brought them to school at 9am.

However, in what has been described as “bizarre” behaviour after this, the man:

* Drove back to the school after 10am and forcibly removed his children in a row with staff, during which he pulled out a phone line.

* He left at 10.30am and obtained a second car.

* By 10.45am, he had transferred the children to this car and drove off.

* Gardaí, who had been looking for his original vehicle, discovered he had switched cars and later tracked him to the N11.

* They pursued him on the southbound lane. At 1.05pm, he lost control of the car on the off ramp, collided with a road sign and ended up on a roundabout.

Gardaí said they had “serious concerns” due to the full circumstances of the case.

This included the concerns of teachers and the man’s aggressive behaviour at the school. Gardaí also discovered that he had made worrying comments in recent days, including that he might do himself violence.

A Garda source said: “We were hell bent on trying to find his [first vehicle], then we discover he had switched cars.”

Gardaí had been on the verge of sending out a public appeal regarding the first car and had to change that. The urgent media appeal was sent out at 12pm to locate the second.

The Garda helicopter was dispatched. Gardaí had a general idea of the possible directions the man was travelling in and set up a series of checkpoints.

They also used phone tracking technology to trace movements of his mobile phone.

“All these pulled together and we tracked him to the N11,” said a source.

The man tried to evade gardaí and took a turn off, but crashed into a road sign.

Gardaí said none of the children were injured.

The father is being detained under the Mental Treatment Act. He was being examined by psychiatrists yesterday and it is expected he will be transferred to a secure psychiatric hospital, allowing gardaí to work on a file for the DPP.

Mary Nicholson of the ISPCC said: “We absolutely commend the gardaí in responding so quickly. The first two hours in child abductions are crucial.”

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International Parental Child Abduction : Fathers pay price when mothers take children


Source: Irish Times – Irishtimes.com

JOHN WATERS

DESPITE ONE-THIRD of births occurring in non-marital relationships, unmarried Irish fathers remain deeply ignorant of their legal situation.

Under Irish law, such fathers have no automatic right to the day-to-day care of their children (“custody”) or to a say in the upbringing of their children (“guardianship”). What they have is the right to apply to a court, which may then extend rights of guardianship and custody according to the nature of the relationship between the child and the father, a matter almost invariably dictated by the attitude and behaviour of the gatekeeper-mother.

Although mischievous agents propose that the high numbers of Irish unmarried fathers neglecting to apply for guardianship is evidence of indifference, the fact is that many fathers, reluctant to initiate legal proceedings that might create a conflict where none exists, tend to leave well alone.

This leads to extreme difficulties when mothers abduct children to other jurisdictions and fathers find themselves bereft of legal standing.

Almost all European countries now make legal provision for the concept of the “de facto family” – which extends legal recognition in situations in which unmarried parents and their children have lived together in quasi-marital situations. This can enable an unmarried father who has no formal guardianship order to invoke the Hague Convention in the event that his child is abducted. Irish law is noticeably out of step in the recognition of such “inchoate rights”.

The man in the street may attribute this circumstance to oversight. Alas, it arises from the ideological outlook of the Irish State, which is determined to withhold from unmarried fathers anything but the most minimal recognition forced upon it by international law.

The lay person, too, might surmise that, all things being equal, the objective of the Irish State will always be to strive towards just and equitable resolutions, subject only to whatever legal impediments may arise.

Alas, in abduction situations where the abductor is the mother, such an assumption would be mistaken.

In fact, the pattern of behaviour by the Irish central authority in these matters – ie the Department of Justice – is to turn its back on fathers whose children have been abducted, even when the destination country is reluctant to accept jurisdiction.

This policy became clear over the past 18 months, in a case arising from the refusal of a mother to bring her two children back to Ireland after a summer holiday in New York. For six years the father had lived in Ireland with his children, in virtually every respect as though married to the mother. In August 2010, the mother told him she and their two children would remain in New York, where she was moving in with a man she had met on Facebook.

The children had been born in New York, which meant that the father was their legal guardian under US law. He had the right to apply to a New York court, but felt that to do so would be to acquiesce in what had happened.

He wished to have the matter adjudicated in Ireland, where his children had lived almost all their lives. He approached the Department of Justice but was told that, since he did not have guardianship here, there was no legal recourse under the Hague Convention.

Proceedings were initiated in New York by the mother, while the father began seeking guardianship under Irish law. In November 2010, he was granted a guardianship order. Because this application was initiated within a statutory six-month period stipulated by New York law – in effect confirming the children were for legal purposes still habitually resident in Ireland – and since the father continued to reside here, the New York court ruled that the case should be determined by the Irish courts.

All that was required was for an Irish court to issue a temporary custody order in favour of the father, and the New York court could have ordered the return of the children here.

The next step was to persuade the Irish court to do the decent thing. Three hearings, in August, October and November 2011, were adjourned in turn because the judge was away. Although it was implicit in the New York decision that, by issuing a guardianship order, the Irish court had already accepted jurisdiction, the Irish judge refused to communicate with his counterpart in New York.

Instead, in the end, he wrote to the New York court handing over jurisdiction, unwittingly confirming that, contrary to the assertions of the Department of Justice, the Irish court already had jurisdiction. Thus, in December, this Irish father was forced to surrender to the jurisdiction of an American court.

These Irish proceedings, involving 12 court appearances and nine different judges over 15 months, cost this father more than €20,000.

For years I have been meeting men like this, trying to help them deal with the inscrutable processes that “legal advice” forbids me from describing in the only terms I can adequately and reasonably describe them.

I observe with dismay that things are growing worse, not just in the treatment of such men and their children, but even more ominously in the studied avoidance of these matters by other journalists who make much of calling authority to account except here, where the sleep of justice is more implacable than anywhere else.

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