(Family Division; Mostyn J; 28 November 2011)
The mother took two children, then aged 5 and 1 to Austria and the father initiated Hague proceedings. An order was made 14 months previously in relation to parental responsibility on the basis that the mother would remain the primary care giver, and there was an expectation that it would be implemented in Austria. The father took no steps to bring the order to the Austrian court's attention but reinstituted Hague proceedings. The Austrian court refused the application to order the child's return.
The father abducted the 5 year old child to England. The siblings remained apart for 3 months with only Skype contact. The only solution was to order a return of the 5 year old to Austria for a welfare determination to be carried out.
It was in the best interests of the child to be reunited with its mother and sibling as soon as possible and a decision was made on welfare principles regarding residence and contact. Permission to appeal granted.