Ellie Yarrow-Sanders: Judge's Twitter plea to missing mum

Ellie Yarrow-Sanders with her son Olly Sheridan Image copyright Patrick Sheridan/PA
Image caption Ellie Yarrow-Sanders disappeared with her son Olly Sheridan in July

A High Court judge has used Twitter to urge a mother who vanished with her three-year-old son to return home.

Ellie Yarrow-Sanders, 26, disappeared with Olly Sheridan in July after becoming involved in family court litigation with her ex-partner Patrick Sheridan.

It is thought to be the first time a judge has used Twitter in this way.

Miss Yarrow-Sanders' family have since issued a statement saying she should only return "under certain conditions".

Mr Justice Williams's plea was delivered in a tweet posted on the Judicial Office Twitter account using the hashtag #comehomeolly.

In a post on Facebook, Miss Yarrow-Sanders' mother Donna, 47, and sister Maddie, 22, insisted the family were not "not siding" with Mr Sheridan, who is in his mid-40s, after a joint plea for the young mother to return home was issued on Friday.

Maddie Yarrow said the family appeal was being made by "us independently, and with the judge" and said that for her sister, the decision to "go on the run with her son" was the "hardest decision of her life".

She wrote: "As her mother and sister, we support her coming home but only on certain conditions, such as safety from being prosecuted and that she will not lose custody.

"Please believe that we are doing this with the best interest of them both, as a life on the run is very lonely."

Miss Yarrow also said that she missed her sister and nephew "more every day".

Mr Justice Williams' tweet used the hashtag #comehomeolly and analysed the latest stage of the litigation at a hearing on Friday.

He oversaw a hearing in private, but authorised lawyers to release a statement detailing his message to Miss Yarrow-Sanders.

It reassured her that she would not be "punished" for coming back and promised that she would be "given a voice in court" in order for the case to be dealt with fairly.

The statement also said a senior social worker had been appointed to "promote Olly's welfare".

Lawyers said the judge had made it clear that such a move did not mean there was any chance of the toddler being placed in foster care.

Essex Police has urged anyone with information about the missing pair to get in touch.

Image copyright Family handout/PA
Image caption Patrick Sheridan has previously urged his estranged partner to "see sense"

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