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British mum-of-two admits abducting daughters when she moved them to Alaska with new partner

Mirror logo Mirror 11/09/2018 Sam Blewett
a close up of a person: Indea Ford has pleaded guilty to abduction © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Indea Ford has pleaded guilty to abduction

A British mother has pleaded guilty to abduction charges after she moved her children to Alaska to live with her new partner without their father's knowledge.

Indea Ford, 34, admitted two counts of the charge at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday.

She was was jailed for three years and six months but is expected to serve nine months having already spent time in custody on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ms Ford, who previously lived in Maidstone, Kent, took her two children to the city of Sitka after she married an American following a breakdown in her previous relationship.

Appearing to be holding back tears as she appeared in court in custody, she entered guilty pleas to two charges of abducting the young children without appropriate consent on October 2 2015.

Recorder Gibson Grenfell QC said: "It's not an offence one often has to deal with."

Jennifer Knight, prosecuting, said: "Indea Ford and Erin Halil were in a relationship from 2009 until 2012. They have two children.

a store in a brick building: Isleworth Crown Court © Credits: PA Isleworth Crown Court

“Following the separation of Indea Ford and Eren Halil in 2012, relations between Miss Ford and Mr Halil broke down and a series of family court orders were arranged to determine the contact arrangements with the children.”

The court heard a family judge in Dartford ruled the children would be looked after by their father on weekends and half of the summer holidays.

Ms Knight said: “Each parent informed the other if they intended to go on holiday. Sufficient notice was to be given of such a trip.

“The order set out clearly that it was a criminal offence to remove the children from the jurisdiction without written consent of every person with parental responsibility of the children or the leave of the court.

“There has been an acrimonious relationship between Indea Ford and Eren Halil. The history of that relationship and the narrative given of it by Miss Ford was before the family court throughout.

“It was her intention to sever the relationship to the father and that is what she puts forward as her reason for taking the children to Alaska.”

Ms Knight said: “In leaving the jurisdiction without Mr Halil’s knowledge or consent, Indea Ford was in complete contravention of the court order that was made in October 2014."

Ford married Kenneth Ford in autumn 2014.

The father, 33-year-old Eren Halil, became involved in family court litigation in a bid to get the children back home to the UK.

The police became involved and Ford was extradited in April following her arrest in the city.

While under house arrest awaiting extradition Ford spoke to US media.

She said: “I have had more support in Sitka in this very short time than I’ve had my whole life, where I’ve been anywhere else.

"And this place feels like home, and my children’s home. My children are so happy here, and the difference in them is amazing.

"They’ve gone from timid, scared children that were just terrified of everything, to happy, outgoing, confident girls. The difference is just astounding. It’s truly astounding.”

An appeal to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reject the extradition appeal was rejected.

The children remain with their stepfather in the US state.

Ms Ford, supported by her parents in court, spoke only to confirm her particulars and enter the guilty pleas.

Prosecutors offered no evidence for a further charge of fraud in relation to a passport.

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