Woman given suspended sentence for defying care order

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A woman has avoided jail after being handed a suspended sentence for keeping away a child from care without lawful authority.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons because of an order preventing the identification of the child, previously had connections to the West Norfolk area.

The defendant appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and also pleaded guilty to charges of assault by beating and theft from a shop.

The defendant and some of those in the public gallery wore T-shirts bearing the child’s name and picture.

The court heard the woman refused to disclose the location of the child after an interim care order was placed on the child by a family court.

The court was told the defendant and her partner prevented the child from being taken into care from April to August.

The defendant was handed a four-week prison sentence, suspended for a year. She was ordered to pay a total of £220 for all three offences. Her partner, who was sentenced at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, got a 12-week prison term.

The Lynn News appealed against the application for an order to restrict reporting of the case, but the order was upheld.

Mark Leslie, editor of the Lynn News, said: “It seems bizarre, we were prevented by the magistrates from reporting for our readers a well-known case in full when the public gallery is packed with people wearing T-shirts with the child’s name and picture on.”