Jail for 'selfish' mother who ignored court to take child abroad

Exeter Crown Court Image copyright Google
Image caption The mother was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for taking her daughter to Cambodia

A "selfish" mother who took her daughter to Cambodia in breach of court orders has been jailed.

The woman took the child out of the country rather than granting the girl's father access to see her, Exeter Crown Court heard.

She left the UK in October 2013 and was finally expelled from Cambodia for overstaying her visa in July.

The woman admitted taking a child out of the country without consent and was jailed for two years and six months.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, previously taunted a Family Court judge by saying she was living in a country which did not have an extradition agreement.

The daughter is now living with foster parents where she will remain while her mother serves her jail term.

'Misguided and selfish'

The mother took out £30,000 in loans six weeks before she boarded a plane to Dubai and then flew on to Vietnam and Cambodia.

Judge Graham Cottle said there was a "flagrant flouting" of court orders and the woman had not acted "in the best interests" of her daughter.

He said: "It tells me you did not have her interests at heart. You had your own completely misguided and selfish interests at heart."

There had been a long-running dispute in the Family Court over the father's wish to have access to his daughter.

The mother took her daughter out of the country on 28 October 2013 - two days before a planned custody visit from the girl's father.

She and her daughter were brought back by police in July after being handed over by the Cambodian authorities.

Joss Ticehurst, for the defence, said the mother believed she was acting in the girl's best interests.

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