Ethan and mother safe and well

Published: Saturday 13th June 2015 by The News Editor

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A mother and her three-year-old son who were missing for more than two weeks have been found safe well, police said.

Rebecca Minnock, 35, went on the run with her son Ethan for 17 days after a court ruled he should live with his father.

Avon and Somerset Police said she was in the Oxford area when she made contact with officers yesterday evening.

Before handing herself in, Miss Minnock told the Daily Mail: “I feel that my time has run out now.”

She said her son believed he had been on holiday because they had been having “normal, fun times together”, including going swimming and visiting parks.

Miss Minnock told the newspaper: “My only regret would be the trouble that my family have gotten into, all the police efforts and time I’ve wasted. Obviously everyone’s been concerned but we’ve both been absolutely fine.

“He’s been safe and happy and I don’t have any regrets because I’ve spent so much more time with him than I would’ve been able to.”

She said she decided to hand herself in after Ethan asked to see family members.

She had also heard how her mother Louise Minnock and her mother’s boyfriend Andrew Butt were jailed for contempt of court yesterday after lying about the toddler’s disappearance.

Miss Minnock said it was “not fair to Ethan to keep running with him”.

“He needs to go home, he needs his routine back,” she told the Mail.

“It’s been extremely difficult, I’ve considered it every day since we’ve gone. What’s made my mind up, Ethan has been asking to see my family, he’s been asking to go to his bed back home.”

Miss Minnock fled her home in Highbridge, Somerset, on the day she was due to hand her only child over to his father, Roger Williams, following a court order.

She defied orders by Judge Stephen Wildblood to come forward, as well as direct appeals from police and family members appearing before the courts.

Detective Chief Inspector Marie Wright said: “This is the news we had been hoping for and I am grateful to Becky for coming forward.

“Both Becky and Ethan will now receive the support they need and the appropriate welfare arrangements will be made.

“I would like to thank the public and the media for their assistance throughout this investigation.”

Mrs Minnock, 52, and Mr Butt, 56, were jailed yesterday after Judge Wildblood said he “could not possibly” avoid imposing a prison sentence.

The pair were sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to 10 and 28 days respectively for lying to police and withholding “crucial” information which would find Ethan.

The toddler, who was born on January 25 2012, has lived with his mother since his parents separated in February 2013.

A custody battle began the next month. During the May 27 hearing this year, a judge said Ethan should live with Mr Williams and have supervised contact with his mother.

Earlier, Ms Wright made a direct appeal to Miss Minnock.

“Please can you get in touch one way or another and let’s start talking,” the detective said.

“We know you are looking after Ethan, we know he’s safe and well, but you cannot keep on hiding forever, Becky.”

Published: Saturday 13th June 2015 by The News Editor

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