(Court of Appeal (Criminal Division); Lord Chief Justice, McFarlane LJ, Royce J; 13 December 2011)
Fathers abducted children for a number of years. Appealed against their sentences. There was a discrepancy between sentencing under the Child Abduction Act 1984 (max 7 years) and the offence of kidnapping (life).
One father abducted his two sons for 9 years to Pakistan, the children were now 17 and 16 and back in the UK but were not willing to have contact with their mother. The father was sentenced to 5 years for 2 counts of child abduction with a 20% reduction for guilty plea.
The other father abducted three children for 7 years. The children had no relationship with mother. He was sentenced for three counts of three years. In both cases the children were distressed at the father's imprisonment. The issue was whether the interests of the children should lead to a reduction in sentence despite the fact that a serious offence and sentencing should serve as a deterrent.
The mothers and children suffered greatly as a result of abduction, any further suffering caused by the sentence was a direct result of father's actions. Did not justify a reduction in sentence, both appeals dismissed.