Belfast woman arrested after fleeing to Spain with daughter

By Lenore Rice

A Belfast woman who took her 5-year-old daughter to Spain without the father’s consent has been arrested pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant.

The girl’s Senegalese born father reported the woman to the police, and French authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant sparking an international hunt for the Northern Ireland woman and their daughter. The woman was arrested in an apartment in Alicante and is being held in prison near the Costa Blanca resort. The daughter was taken into social services care.

The case comes at a time of a worrying increase in the number of reports made to the police against parents who have taken their children out of the country without the consent of the other parent. Many cases often involve parents of mixed nationalities, though not always, and it is often an extreme measure taken by parents caught up in a custody battle. However, this cases demonstrates clearly that taking a child abroad without permission of the other parent is child abduction and will be taken seriously by the authorities.

If you require legal advice from a family law solicitor in Northern Ireland in respect of issues involving access to children or a divorce, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.