Runaway mother’s ‘panic’ over son

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Published: Monday 15th June 2015 by The News Editor

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A woman who went on the run with her three-year-old son has told of her panic that she will not see him again.

Rebecca Minnock, 35, went missing from her home in Highbridge, Somerset, with son Ethan for 17 days after a court ruled he should live with his father.

There will be a hearing today at Bristol Crown Court for “directions in relation to the discharge of collection order” handed to Miss Minnock’s family and friends.

The order, which required a person to bring Ethan or any information leading to him before the courts, was served on June 3.

Miss Minnock handed herself into police in Oxford on Friday evening following pleas from police, family members and Judge Stephen Wildblood QC, the High Court judge dealing with the case.

The pair vanished on May 27 – the day Miss Minnock was due to attend a family court hearing in Bristol and hand her son over to ex-partner Roger Williams, 39.

Asked what she was thinking she told the Daily Mail: ” Panic that I am not going to see Ethan again. Wondering what is going to happen. When I am going to see him. Am I going to be allowed to see him again? That is my biggest fear. Not seeing him again.”

Judge Wildblood said at an earlier hearing that “everything possible” would be done to ensure Ethan has “an effective relationship with both of his parents”.

He added: “There is no doubt at all that Ethan is a boy who is much loved by both of his parents and that they both want what they perceive to be best for him.”

Writing on Facebook ahead of today’s hearing, Miss Minnock said: “I am preying (sic) that this case gets re looked at properly and the judge can see that my son belongs with his mama who absolutely loves him to bits.”

Miss Minnock’s mother, Louise Minnock, of Highbridge, and her partner, Andrew Butt, of Cheltenham, were sent to prison on Friday.

Judge Wildblood jailed Mrs Minnock for 10 days and Mr Butt for 28 days after finding them in contempt of court for withholding information about Ethan’s disappearance.

Butt admitted he lied in court and helped Miss Minnock escape with her son by driving them to Cheltenham on May 27.

Louise Minnock said she had been aware of that fact but had not told Judge Wildblood on numerous occasions because she was “scared”.

The collection order was served on Louise Minnock, Butt, Miss Minnock’s brother Marvin Shaw and sister Limmie Shaw last week.

Judge Wildblood said he was “deeply suspicious” that Mr Shaw and Miss Shaw were withholding information but could not prove it to a criminal standard.

Miss Minnock, who contacted the Daily Mail before handing herself in, repeated her earlier comments that she regretted getting her family into trouble.

“I feel guilty that other people have been pulled into this, my family and I know what I have done is wrong,” she told the paper.

Ethan, who was born on January 25 2012, has lived with Miss Minnock since his parents separated in February 2013.

A custody battle began the following month. Miss Minnock made allegations about Mr Williams which a district judge later ruled were false.

On May 27, it was found Miss Minnock exposed Ethan to emotional harm and should only have supervised contact with him.

It was ordered that the boy should live with Mr Williams full-time.

Published: Monday 15th June 2015 by The News Editor

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