Friend of missing mother sentenced

Published: Friday 12th June 2015 by The News Editor

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A family friend of a mother on the run with her three-year-old son will be sentenced after a judge said he had been “utterly untruthful” about their disappearance.

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

She has since contacted a number of newspapers to say she fled because she felt “trapped” and that while she has thought about giving herself up, each time she looks at her son she thinks she “can’t do that”.

Andrew Butt, 56, the partner of Miss Minnock’s mother, was yesterday found by Judge Stephen Wildblood QC to have told “a string of lies” in relation to his knowledge of the disappearance.

He has been warned that he faces prison, and will appear at Bristol Crown Court this morning.

Miss Minnock called The Sun earlier this week and has since contacted the Daily Mail, insisting that she and her son are “doing really well”.

She said she knows what she has done is wrong and realises she cannot stay in hiding forever.

She told the Mail: “I’m very realistic, I know I will be caught and he’ll be taken from me.”

Butt was interviewed by police and first insisted he had last seen Miss Minnock on May 26, the day before she went missing.

He later admitted he had given her a lift to a cashpoint in Highbridge before taking her to a One Stop shop in the town.

Detective Constable Anthony Davis told the court Butt told him: “Me and my family would all rather do 10 years in prison rather than tell you where they are.”

The judge said: “I have no doubt that Mr Butt has told a string of lies.

“The only reason for him to have done so is that he knows precisely where Rebecca and Ethan went that morning because he took them to Cheltenham himself in his motor car.

“That information is plainly essential to this inquiry and to the implementation of the collection order.

“For failing to tell the truth about the events of that morning, Mr Butt plainly acted in breach of the terms of that order.

“I find, Andrew Butt, that you have acted in breach of the collection order. I intend to sentence you in breach of the collection order.”

Police described Miss Minnock as 5ft 3in tall and of medium build, with dark, wavy shoulder-length hair. Ethan is of small build with blond hair and blue eyes.

Ethan, 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.

Published: Friday 12th June 2015 by The News Editor

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