Monday 19 March 2018

Baby 'taken from grandmother'

Parents were seeking refuge in Ireland after snatching son, British court told

Conor Kane

A COUPLE accused of abandoning their baby in a Carlow cathedral took the child from his grandmother's home and tried to seek refuge with a friend in this country, a British court has heard.

The couple, a 24-year-old man and his 21-year-old wife, both from Nottinghamshire in England, are accused of abducting the eight-month-old baby last Thursday and taking him out of the UK without consent.

Lawyers said the couple tried to find a place to stay in Ireland but failed to track down an old friend of the woman, who had moved away from the address she had given them, and so abandoned their baby.

The baby was found in a side-porch at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow on Friday afternoon amid reports that a man and a woman were heard crying as they left the building, leaving the child unattended in a buggy.

A note with the baby's name and date of birth was found attached to the buggy and gardai, called to the scene after the alarm was raised by a local woman visiting the cathedral, said he was in good health and hadn't been badly treated.

Since being handed over to social workers in Carlow on Friday, the baby has been in the care of a foster family and is expected to be handed back to his legal guardian -- his grandmother in Nottinghamshire -- this week.

Robert Carr, prosecuting, told magistrates in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, that the mother took the child last Thursday from her own mother's address. The baby was being cared for by its grandmother under the supervision of social workers.

The child was under an interim care order from Nottinghamshire Social Services after allegations of domestic violence were made by the woman against her husband.


There was no suggestion that the child had been ill treated.

The woman went around to her mother's address and asked if she could take the baby to the shops with her, Mr Carr told the court.

"(Her mother) was not happy with this. She went upstairs to ask her other daughter to come down. (The woman) took that opportunity to take the child. Both she and (her husband) went to Ireland. They went as far as Carlow, but the child was left at the cathedral."

They then made their way back to the UK, he said, stopping in north Wales, where they were arrested in Betws-y-Coed on Saturday.

The male accused has been remanded in custody to appear again in court on February 2.

No pleas were taken from either defendant.

The woman was granted conditional bail, but was still in custody last night pending the outcome of a prosecution appeal against the decision.

She is due to appear again on March 8 for a committal hearing.

A Section 39 order was imposed to prevent identification of the baby boy in the UK.

Irish Independent

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