(Court of Appeal, Sullivan, Ryder and Macur LJJ, 10 Oct 2013)
The mother and father both appealed following contempt proceedings. Their 13-year-old son was removed from their care and placed in local authority specialist care. When the parents visited separately they both gave him money following which he absconded from the centre. He was arrested and returned but absconded again necessitating a collection order requiring the parents to deliver the child or to inform the tipstaff of his whereabouts.
When the parents failed to comply committal proceedings were commenced. The judge found the father had strongly disagreed with the child's placement, that he had given him money and knew where he absconded to, in breach of the collection order. He also inferred from the mother's actions that she too knew where the child was. Both were found in contempt and were given prison sentences.
The parents' appeals were dismissed. In light of the findings made by the judge there was sufficient evidence for him to infer that each had knowledge of the child's whereabouts. The appeals were totally without merit.