Judge asks for publicity over boys' abduction

A High Court judge has asked for the media's help in the case of a mother whose two sons have been abducted by their French father.

Mrs Justice Parker said she had come to the very clear conclusion that she should grant an order for publicity sought by Dylan and Austin Girardeau's mother, Samantha Raw, 38

Mrs Raw had lived happily in Norwich with Dylan, 15, and 13-year-old Austin, since 2001, until they went on a visit to their father, Thierry Girardeau, in December 2008.

Mrs Raw's counsel, Teertha Gupta, told the judge in London that the boys, who are wards of court, had not set foot in England since nor had any meaningful contact with their mother for two years.

The couple were married in France in July 1996 but divorced three years later with Mrs Raw given custody of the children.

Back in England, the boys did well at school and had many friends, but continued to visit their father in the Vende, in western France, with their mother's support.

Although the father had initially refused to return the boys after visits in 2007 and 2008, she had continued to promote contact, recognising the relationship was important.

The judge said the children had not been returned in contravention of a High Court order and a similar order by a French court – neither of which had been enforced by the French authorities.