The mother of two girls who went missing after social workers intervened in their family has been jailed for contempt of court.
The local authority, the London Borough of Ealing, had previously investigated the family, amidst reports of domestic violence and poor attendance at school. In one alleged incident, the older girl, aged 14, was assaulted by her brother and father.
She and her younger sister, aged 11, were made the subject of emergency protection and recovery orders. Their mother was pressed for information on their whereabouts. She claimed they were staying with relatives in Manchester but failed to provide further details or deliver them to the courts. The mother was taken into custody and eventually admitted that she deliberately not revealed the girl’s whereabouts because she feared they would be taken into care.
The courts concluded that the mother had provided unreliable evidence and was in breach of the collection order.
At the High Court, Mrs Justice Theis said missing children were always a serious matter and such matters became even more serious when courts were unable to locate children because relatives would not co-operate.
The mother was jailed for 28 days.