Tuesday 6 December 2016

Runaway daughter went through hell, says mother

Kevin Keane

Published 20/08/2011 | 05:00

AN 11-year-old girl who ran away from home with a young friend "went through hell" during her two-day ordeal.

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Jasmine Humphrey didn't know the danger she and Patrick Quaid (13) were putting themselves in when she agreed to run away with him, the girl's mother told the Irish Independent yesterday.

Jacqueline Humphrey described the nightmare she endured as gardai launched a massive search for the children.

The pair were eventually found on Thursday night, as they looked for somewhere to sleep rough in Sallins, Co Kildare -- more than 50km away from their home in Coolock on Dublin's northside.

"She's never been to town, she's never even been out of the estate on her own in her life," a relieved Ms Humphrey said yesterday.

The youth worker said her daughter had agreed to run away from home with Patrick out of naivety and that both were just "nice, genuine kids" who "didn't know what they were doing".

"I was completely numb and powerless," she added.

"We are a close family. Her brother Nathan was heartbroken, he's only 14."

The mother of two said her daughter and her friend chose to travel to Sallins "randomly".

"They slept in a derelict house, they didn't have a jacket between them. They had no money and not even a phone."

Alert

Following two days of searching and a nationwide alert by the gardai, the children were spotted by two men as they wandered around a housing estate.

One of the men kept the children talking while the other called gardai.

It is now believed that after going missing on Wednesday afternoon, Patrick and Jasmine first travelled to Sallins, where they slept that night in a derelict building.

After their return to Dublin the following day, they travelled on the Luas to Tallaght before taking another train back to the Co Kildare town.

Ms Humphrey said she wouldn't wish the past few days on anybody. She was reunited with her daughter on Thursday night but instead of scolding Jasmine, she sat her down for a proper talk.

"Jasmine looked like she had run through hell -- her eyes were red, she was traumatised. She's fine now, she's just very upset. She's innocent, she's not streetwise at all, they are just genuine, nice kids," she said.

Irish Independent

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