New Zealand grandmother sentenced for child abduction
The toddler is in the charge of New Zealand children’s welfare agency Child, Youth and Family and her grandfather is her guardian. Yvonne Skeet is the grandfather’s former wife but she has been ordered to have no contact with the child.
Sitting at Dunedin District Court, Judge O’Driscoll told Skeet that he accepted a psychiatric report that the abduction had been born of a desperation to see her grandchild. Nevertheless, the abduction had clearly been premeditated, he said, and Skeet had acted in “flagrant disregard” of the legal order that she not have contact.
The judge noted that the child’s grandfather had been left his feelings of guilt and anxiety, and had told his new partner that the situation was “every parent or guardian’s worst nightmare”.
They were, said Judge O’Driscoll, “understandably devastated to find out what had occurred”.
Skeet was told that she must undergo a year’s assessment by the Community Alcohol and Drug Service, as well as assessment by a probation officer. If she sought further contact with her granddaughter, she ran the risk of imprisonment the judge said.
Skeet’s defence counsel told the judge that she hoped to be allowed to see her granddaughter again eventually.
“She misses her dearly.”
Photo of Otago by Mr Bungle via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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