England

Mother jailed for abducting daughters to USA

Sitka in Alaska Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Indea Ford took her two daughters to Sitka, Alaska without their father's knowledge

A British mother has admitted abducting her two children and moving to Alaska to live with her new partner without their father's permission.

Indea Ford, 34, previously from Maidstone in Kent, admitted two counts of abduction, at Isleworth Crown Court.

She took her children to Sitka in October 2015 after she married an American following the breakdown of her relationship with their father.

Ford was jailed for three years and six months.

'Lost passport'

She had met the children's father almost 10 years ago and the couple had two daughters. However, the relationship ended in early 2012.

A family court in Dartford ordered that custody be shared between the biological parents.

At that hearing the judge said each parent must hold one of the girls' passports.

Ford then obtained a new passport for the second child, claiming it had been lost or stolen, having already failed to get a family court to approve their move to the US.

She married the American who was in the military in 2014 and the children moved to Alaska the following year, breaking the custody order and the family court judgement.

The girls' father began a bid through the family court to get the children back and Ford was extradited to the UK in April.

The children remain with their stepfather in Alaska.

Recorder Gibson Grenfell QC said: "A cynic might say the defendant has achieved what she set out to achieve - keep the children in America permanently."

But he said the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, may have at times behaved "reprehensibly" during the relationship.

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