Jersey

Mother arrested after two children found in dinghy in Jersey

boat Image copyright JERSEY POLICE
Image caption Coastguards were called after an off-duty RNLI volunteer spotted a dinghy heading towards the shore

A mother and two children on the run for three years have been found on board a dinghy in Jersey.

The woman, aged 33, was charged with child neglect and immigration offences following her arrest at St Catherine's on 3 July.

It's understood she is named on an arrest warrant from another country for allegedly abducting her daughter.

A girl aged four and a boy of three are being cared for by Children's Services.

A man and woman, both 67, also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting and immigration offences.

The three defendants, who are originally from England, appeared at Jersey Magistrate's Court earlier.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Two children were found in a dinghy that came ashore at St Catherine's breakwater

The court was told an off-duty RNLI volunteer spotted a small dinghy heading towards shore just after 08:00 BST and called the coastguard.

A woman and two small children got off, and the two older occupants of the dinghy headed back to sea, but returned to shore as conditions worsened, the court heard.

When police arrived, the mother gave a false name for one of the children to police, the court was told.

The woman and the couple, who turned out to be her parents, told police the group had travelled from France on a day trip, having been travelling in Europe for the past year.

Police officers also discovered children's clothes and more than £1,000 in cash.

The woman said the clothes were packed in case they stayed in Jersey overnight.

The Court was told the children appeared healthy, but their passports were fraudulent and life jackets and equipment on the dinghy were not satisfactory.

The family cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The mother pleaded guilty to two charges of intentionally or recklessly exposing a child to risk of harm, and to allegations she gave false names to police.

She will remain in custody until an extradition hearing on 1 August.

Her parents admitted aiding and abetting their daughter and have been released on bail ahead of sentencing on 8 August.

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