Concern over missing mother and son

Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Concern is growing for the welfare of a mother and her three-year-old son who are on the run after a judge ruled the boy should live with his father.

Rebecca Minnock, 35, fled her home in Highbridge, Somerset, with son Ethan two weeks ago following a court order that he should live with father Roger Williams.

Police previously appealed for help tracing the mother and child but could not reveal the circumstances behind their disappearance due to reporting restrictions in such cases.

But yesterday – in a highly unusual step – Judge Stephen Wildblood QC allowed the full facts to be reported to help find Ethan and reunite him with his father.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said Miss Minnock, who likes to be known as Becky, was last seen at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton on May 26.

She was due to attend a family court hearing – in which the order to hand Ethan to Mr Williams was made – in Bristol at 9am on May 27 but failed to turn up and vanished.

“Concern is growing for her welfare and whereabouts, and that of her three-year-old son Ethan,” the force spokesman said.

“Becky is described as a white woman, aged 35 years, about 5ft 3ins tall of medium build.

“She has dark wavy shoulder-length hair. It is not known what she was wearing when she went missing.

“Ethan is a white boy, three years old, of small build with blond/fair hair and blue eyes.

“Becky does not drive and regularly uses public transport so we would urge anyone who uses public transport to keep a lookout for Becky and her son.

“We would like Becky, or anyone who has been contacted by her or has seen her and son Ethan, to contact us to confirm she is all right.”

Anyone with information about Miss Minnock or Ethan is urged to contact the force on 101.

The judge lifted reporting restrictions at a hearing at Bristol Crown Court yesterday to assist in the search for Ethan.

“It is really important that we work together – the court and the press – to find where this child now is,” the judge said.

“Any assistance by the press in finding where he is would be gratefully received.”

Miss Minnock’s brother Marvin Shaw, sister Limmie Shaw, and mother Louise Minnock, appeared before the judge for a one-day hearing.

All three were arrested on Sunday in relation to the family court proceedings and were not charged with any offence.

Both Mr Shaw and Mrs Minnock gave evidence before the court, swearing they did not know the location of Miss Minnock or Ethan.

The judge said he remained “deeply suspicious” that the pair had not revealed all they could about the disappearance during their time in the witness box.

“I have suspicions that you know more,” the judge told them. “The inquiries go on and Ethan will be found, so the longer it lasts, the worse it gets for everyone.”

The judge adjourned the case after ordering the family to come forward if they receive any information that would lead to Ethan being found.

Ethan, who was born in January 2012, has lived with his mother since his parents’ separation in February 2013.

Legal proceedings started between the parents in March 2013, when Mr Williams applied for contact with his son.

Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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