Oporto Appeal Court overrules Bury St Edmunds ‘abduction’ claim
A Portuguese mother, who had been living in the United Kingdom, fled to Portugal with her daughter after she was threatened by her Polish ex-partner and feared for her own and her daughter’s safety.
An appeal court ruling in Oporto means that the mother can have stay with her four-year-old daughter in Portugal.
The appeal ruling was issued on Thursday, January 19th, with the judges agreeing that the child should stay in Portugal and continue to live with her mother in Vila das Aves.
The mother hopes that this is an end to a difficult legal jumble after the Family Court of Bury St Edmunds ordered that she return with her daughter to the United Kingdom.
Her refusal to do so had the British authorities claiming that the girl had been abducted after she and her mother failed to return after a holiday in Portugal.
The Court of Santo Tirso, an area in the north of Oporto, agreed with the UK ruling and it was this that the Oporto appeal court has overturned.
Portugal’s Public Prosecutor’s Office may yet appeal the Oporto ruling at the Supreme Court of Justice, rather than letting this good sense judgment stand.
According to the woman’s lawyer, Hernâni Gomes, the mother was accused of “international abduction” which prevented the daughter from “having a normal life, such as attending kindergarten,” a situation which the Oporto court’s decision has unblocked.
The defence lawyer argued for, “the best interest of the child through Article 13 of the Convention of The Hague.”
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