Taken By The State

Case 2: Waking up to cops in the kitchen

Child C is aged 10 at time of police removal

Child C was taken from his mother’s kitchen early one morning by two police officers.

At the time, the 10-year-old had refused to stay at his father’s place over the weekend, in violation of a parenting order from the Family Court.

“On this particular weekend, the eldest son was going away to school camp,” the boys’ aunt said. “His mum had volunteered to go ... and the younger son was going to his dad’s.”

But on the Friday afternoon before his mother was due to leave, Child C ran from school to her house - dodging his father’s after school pick-up.

When his mother found out what happened, she returned home as quickly as possible.

“He [had] decided that he didn’t want to be with dad on the day that his dad was meant to be picking him up from school, so he ran home ” the aunt said.

Her sister, who arrived home to find her youngest son already there, felt completely helpless in the situation.

Child C was adamant he would not stay with his father, the aunt said. And even though the parenting order was in place, his mother did not want to force him to leave as he was already quite distressed.

“That’s where I got involved,” the aunt said. “I ended up looking after [Child C], and my sister only stayed overnight [at the camp] so she could get back and try and sort things out,” the Aunt said.

Despite this, his mother knew police involvement was inevitable.

“She said to me: I’ll be back before Monday, but I know that they’re going to get a court order [to take him],” the aunt told Newsroom.

As predicted, Child C’s father and his lawyer applied for a warrant to enforce the parenting order, and remove Child C. On Monday morning, the family were confronted with two uniformed officers - while the boys’ father waited at the end of the driveway.

It was awful, the aunt said. They basically woke up to find cops in the kitchen, she said.

Her nephew pleaded and cried not to be taken.

“It was really interesting watching his body language,” the Aunt said. “He literally stayed in the kitchen, behind the breakfast bar, and wouldn’t come out of there because he didn’t want to go.”

“The police [explained] this is the law, you’ve got to be with your dad, and the judge has said you’ve got to go.”

Child C’s mother also tried to settle him by explaining the situation.

“He was upset, but acted very maturely.”

Eventually, the officers coaxed him out by telling him they would take him for a ride in a police car, the aunt said.

* See Newsroom's investigation here
* Read Case 1: Snatched from school
* Read Case 3: Pried from home with a crowbar
* Read: The legislation behind uplifting children

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