A 37 year-old Norwegian mother has been sent to jail for four months after abducting her daughter.
When she split from the father of her child in the southern county of Rogaland, a family court ordered the pair to share the care of the youngster. But the arrangement only last six months before the mother took their daughter to the UK without the father’s consent, NRK reports.
When he tried to contact her, the mother’s new roommate told her that he would not see his daughter again. The mother did eventually return to Norway to face to the music after four months, following the intervention of the British police and English courts. Back home she initially received a six month jail sentence.
The mother appealed this first to the Court of Appeal and then all the way to the Norwegian Supreme Court. Judges were largely unswayed by her arguments, although the sentence was reduced to four months at the Court of Appeal due to delays in the case.
Norwegian law allows for up to three years in jail for anyone who withholds a child from a parent or carer or who abducts them abroad.
Norwegian lawyer Sjak R Haaheim is a child abduction specialist. He told NRK:
“The verdict is a crystal clear signal to all those who are planning to take children out of Norway illegally. If you do, then you [will] end up in prison.”
Jeanette Solheim, meanwhile, is manager of the campaign group Foreningen 2 foreldre (the Association for 2 Parents). She agreed with Mr Haaheim, saying:
“…this sentence from several courts an important signal: it’s not okay to take a child away from the care of one parent, not to ignore a court order or judgement.”
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