Missing mother comes forward after new plea

Rebecca Minnock and Ethan
Rebecca Minnock and Ethan
Have your say

A MOTHER who has been on the run for more than two weeks with her three-year-old son has handed herself in to police after saying “her time has run out”.

Rebecca Minnock was voluntarily met by police at a hotel in the Oxford area after making contact with them.

She vanished with Ethan Williams on the day she was due to hand him over to his father, Roger Williams, after losing a custody battle.

Police have been searching for the pair and earlier on Friday made a direct appeal to her to give herself up. Detectives said they were “grateful to Becky for coming forward” and that both mother and child would “receive the support they need and the appropriate welfare arrangements will be made”.

Shortly before she handed herself over, when asked by a reporter why she was preparing to surrender, she replied: “I feel my time has run out now.

“I’ve heard today my mum’s been taken to court. I know it’s not fair to Ethan to keep running with him. He needs to go home. He needs his routine back.”

Earlier her mother Louise was jailed for 10 days for lying about the pair’s disappearance while the elder woman’s partner Andrew Butt got 28 days for telling police a “pack of lies”.

The 35-year-old said in the interview filmed by a national newspaper the Mail that she was hoping the authorities would be “sympathetic” with her case and was “hoping somebody will be able to help us to get this case looked into again”.

Her mother Louise, 52, was convicted of contempt of court for hiding the fact they were driven to Cheltenham. The driver, Andrew Butt, 56, was jailed for the maximum 28 days for contempt.

Earlier Butt, Louise Minnock’s partner, told Judge Stephen Wildblood QC at Bristol Crown Court he had lied about his role in events.

He admitted driving Rebecca and Ethan from Highbridge, in Somerset, to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire on May 27. That morning, a family court had ruled Ethan should live with his father, Roger Williams.

Butt claimed he did not know where Rebecca and Ethan had gone after he left them in Cheltenham.

But the judge told him he did not believe him and was satisfied both had committed “a serious contempt of court”. He told Louise Minnock she knew her daughter and Ethan had been taken to Cheltenham but had “obstructed the inquiry” by withholding that information.

The judge, at Bristol Crown Court, said he “could not possibly” avoid imposing a prison sentence on the pair.

Rebecca Minnock fled her home in Highbridge, Somerset, with three-year-old Ethan two weeks ago.

The pair vanished on the day Miss Minnock was due to hand her only child over to his father, Roger Williams, following a court order.

She has defied orders by Judge Wildblood to come forward.