The Courier-Mail

Mum told to return son, 5

- KAY DIBBEN

A BOY taken from the US by his Australian mother and brought to Queensland without his American father’s consent will be returned to the US.

Brisbane Family Court Justice Michael Kent has ordered the five-year-old child, who was born in the US, be flown back from Brisbane at his mother’s expense by September 11.

The mother secretly flew to Australia with the couple’s young son and her two daughters, who have Australian fathers, in October. The mother had argued that there was a grave risk if the child was returned under The Hague Convention, and that separated from her he would be exposed to psychologi­cal harm.

The mother told the Family Court even if an order was made for the child’s return she would not go back, as it would mean leaving behind her two Australian-born daughters. Justice Kent said there was nothing to stop her returning to the US.

The director-general of Australia’s Department of Communitie­s, Child Safety and Disability Services on April 13 filed an applicatio­n for the child’s return to the US. A month later, one of the mother’s daughters, 17, claimed her American stepfather had sexually abused her when she was 15, while they were living in a tin shed on his Texas property.

The father has denied it, but admitted he and the girl shared a bed. Justice Kent found the allegation­s appeared at least plausible. He ordered an Internatio­nal Child Protection Notificati­on be sent to Texan authoritie­s alerting them to details of the girl’s allegation­s and the expert reports. The mother and father first met over an internet dating site in 2008 and married in Queensland three months later.

 ??  ?? HOLDING COURT: Ash Bradnam meets with Nova bosses Jay Walkerden and Paul Jackson.
HOLDING COURT: Ash Bradnam meets with Nova bosses Jay Walkerden and Paul Jackson.

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