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Entries in Ethan Minnock (1)


Ethan Minnock's father drops contempt proceedings

The father of the child taken into hiding by his mother to avoid a court ruling has withdrawn his application for the mother to be imprisoned.

Roger Williams was commended in the latest judgement on the case for showing "a strong and commendable display of parental responsibility plainly based on the best interests of Ethan. He does not wish Ethan to be exposed to the continuing publicity that Ms Minnock has caused."

Judge Wildblood also condemns the utterly irresponsible actions of the mother, who could have faced a sentence of 28 days imprisonment:

"It would be patently wrong to suggest that Ms Minnock was so overpowered by protective maternal instinct that she was driven to behave in the way that she did. Her behaviour was manipulative, attention seeking and truculent. It caused immense distress to many. It caused a very large amount of public money to be wasted."

"The one thing that this mother should not have done is to remove Ethan from his home environment and family life and take him into hiding. Her actions were manifestly contrary to the welfare of her child and were a product of her own self focus. They had nothing to do with what was best for this child."

Families Need Fathers Scotland commends this father and hopes that he and his son can resume normal life together.  We also hope that the mother can resume her contact with Ethan, and that she and her family have learned from their mistakes.

As in the recent imprisonment of a mother, Sharon McAllister, in Perth for defying child contact court orders, a broader purpose may be served by this case if it reminds parents with care that a contact order (Child Arrangement Order in England) is not optional.

We feel the courts should act more speedily on failures to obey orders that have been given after due consideration of the best interests of the child.

Courts should remind both parents that it is their duty to actively promote a good relationship between the children and their former partner. There is a raft of research that shows children do better in all aspects of their life when both parents are fully involved in supporting them. Estranged partners don't have to like each other as individuals but they should respect each other as parents.

That's what 'putting the children first' means.”