Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Court Jails Pregnant Mother for Breach of Orders - News Item

This decision was made by Judicial Registrar Johnston. Do JRs have the Authority to impose a criminal type penalty, particularly a custodial sentence?

There is a News item on this site mentioning an article from a major daily paper. The article describes the custodial sentence imposed upon the mother for contravening order and in fact what being treated as contempt.

Having read the Judgement, I was some what surprised in the first instance. The decision was made by Judicial Registrar Johnston. Until reading this judgemnet I believed that JRs did not have the Authority to impose a criminal type penalty, particularly a custodial sentence.

Further reading revealed that the was an existing recovery order made before the 2005 trial. Three days into the trial, the parents agreed to what are affectively concent orders for shared care. These orders also included a self executing order that in the event of a breach by the mother, the child automaticaly live full time with the father.

It will be interesting to see if any appeal is lodged and what the outcome is.

Johnston JR also discusses in the judgement the possible consequences to other peple that might result incarcerating the defendant.

Attachment
Dobbs & Dale

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!

Woman jailed for family law contraventions to give birth in jail

Here's the aforementioned article, with some leading commentary…

Quote #1: More mothers than fathers breach court orders. A Family Law Council study from 1998 found nearly 70 per cent of those who breach court orders are women.

Quote #2: Latest figures reveal that between January 2004 and December 2006, 10 people were jailed by the Family Court for failing to comply with a court order.

People, including women, should consider the consequences carefully before they break the law.

Neither pregnancy nor motherhood should prevent convicted criminal women from being jailed.

Children can always live outside jail with the other parent or with family, just as they do when a father is in jail! :o

This article may be the start of a campaign to have this women released on the basis of her sex and the pregnancy/birth.

On the other hand it may also be read by many mothers (considering contravening) and give them cause to have second thoughts about contravening.



The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
8 November 2007

Mum to give birth in jail
By Janet Fife-Yeomans

A seven months pregnant mother has been jailed by the Family Court and faces the prospect of giving birth behind bars.

The woman, 32, was at the centre of a nationwide alert after snatching her five-year-old daughter and going into hiding for 16 months after the father defied court orders over medical treatment for the girl.

It is the latest in a string of jail sentences handed down by the Family Court and Federal Magistrates' Court in controversial cases as the courts get tough on wayward parents.

The woman's mother said yesterday that the family was devastated.

"She was protecting her daughter. She is a really good mother," she said.

Latest figures reveal that between January 2004 and December 2006, 10 people were jailed by the Family Court for failing to comply with a court order.

More mothers than fathers breach court orders. A Family Law Council study from 1998 found nearly 70 per cent of those who breach court orders are women.

The woman at the centre of the latest case was last night in maximum security at Dillwynia jail, while the girl is with her father in Queensland.

The Family Court sitting in Sydney yesterday ordered the father to bring the daughter to Sydney to visit her mother in jail.

"To her credit she admitted she had breached court orders but she had a real and live belief that she had a good reason for doing so," lawyer Nabil Wahhab said.

The couple separated when their daughter was two and she initially lived with her mother.

It was agreed the father would gradually spend more time with the girl with a view to sharing custody.

Because the mother claimed her ex-husband was sexually assaulting the girl, the Family Court ordered the girl should only visit a doctor agreed to by both parents.

The court ordered that the mother automatically lose custody if she breached the orders.

In November 2005, she snatched her daughter from a childcare centre after learning the father had taken her to his own doctor suffering from a urinary tract infection.

A month later the court granted the father full custody, so the mother put the child in the car and drove as far as she could - to Perth.

In April she was arrested by six Australian Federal Police agents.

Unknown to her, she was already pregnant to her new partner.

Judicial registrar Bill Johnson jailed her for six months but suspended the sentence from January 23, when she will be released on a two-year good behaviour bond.

She is due to give birth on January 27.
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets