Will Andrew be home for Christmas?
In a rare move, the Family Court of Australia has issued a Section 121 Publication Order enabling the release of information about this international child abduction. The Family Court has also issued A Hague Recovery order and an Interpol alert.
Andrew Thompson, now aged four, was illegally abducted by his mother Melinda Thompson (also known as Melinda Stratton) from Australia in April this year.
Melinda boarded a Singapore Airlines flight in Sydney with Andrew and flew to Frankfurt, Germany. This is a criminal offence under the Family Law Act.
They were a no show on a booked return flight to Australia and have since disappeared. Melindas family has told police and others that they have no idea of their whereabouts and that Melinda had been researching safe havens in the weeks prior to the abduction.
The abduction took place shortly after an investigation by a leading Sydney child and family psychiatrist found Melinda has an underlying mental state that affects her judgement and her ability to parent effectively.
The Court has also ordered that in any publication a warning must be issued stating that no one is to approach Melinda Thompson and that any information should be provided immediately to local police and/or Interpol.
The Court issued the publication orders because of alarming concerns raised by the psychiatrist about the potential for harm to Andrew or for self-harm to the mother.
The Australian Government has conducted an extensive international search for the last seven months. Interpol has issued alerts in 187 countries and the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions has been activated.
Both Andrew and Melinda are Australian Citizens, travelling on Australian Passports.
Andrews father Ken Thompson said, The Family Court of Australia took the unusual step of issuing a Publication Order because of extreme concerns for Andrew and the absence of any information about his whereabouts for such a long time.
The emotional effects of international parental child abduction are known to be severe and life-long. Andrew needs to be reunited with his family, his friends, his home, and his culture, Andrews father said today. I am appealing to the media to raise public awareness in Australia and overseas about his disappearance so that he can be found safe and well and returned home as quickly as possible he said.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Andrew and Melinda should contact the Australian Federal Police on (02) 6126 7777. The Court has also suggested that in any publication a warning be issued stating that no one is to approach Melinda Thompson and that any information should be provided immediately to local police and/or Interpol.
For further information or to arrange an interview with Andrews father, contact: Robin Bowles 0418-102-732.