Minnock's mum and partner jailed for lying over missing mum
grandmother of missing Ethan Williams and her boyfriend have been
jailed for contempt of court after lying about the toddler's disappearance.
Stephen Wildblood at Bristol Crown Court said on Friday he "could
not possibly" avoid imposing a prison sentence on Louise
Minnock, 52, and Andrew Butt, 56.
Minnock's daughter, Rebecca Minnock, 35, fled her home in Highbridge
with three-year-old Ethan two weeks ago.
pair vanished on the day Miss Minnock was due to hand her only
child over to his father, Roger Williams, following a court order.
has defied orders by Judge Wildblood to come forward, as well
as direct appeals from police and family members appearing before
Minnock and Mr Butt were jailed for 10 and 28 days respectively
for lying to police and withholding "crucial" information
which would find Ethan.
Wildblood told Butt: "Yesterday I said that I was in no doubt
that you know precisely where Rebecca Minnock and Ethan Williams
went that day because you conveyed them both to their destination
in your motor car that morning."
you have admitted taking mother and child to Cheltenham but you
have continued to lie about where in Cheltenham you took them."
know how important it is that Ethan and Rebecca Minnock are found.
They cannot remain in hiding for ever and you know that they will
found in the very near future."
the meantime Ethan is not receiving the stability and care that
he should. Further, you know how serious it is that orders have
been made for Ethan to live with his father and that those orders
are being thwarted by Rebecca's deliberate disobedience, a disobedience
that you have assisted."
are also well aware of the injustice that is being occasioned
to Roger Williams, Ethan's father, and the consequent hardship
that is being caused to him and others."
was found to be in contempt of court during his evidence yesterday
and asked to be sworn back into the witness box to change his
long distance lorry driver swore an oath on the Bible unlike
yesterday when he chose to affirm before admitting that
he had been helped Miss Minnock flee with Ethan.
met Miss Minnock the night before her disappearance and the pair
hatched a plot for her to flee with her son instead of attending
a family court hearing.
said 'I've got no choice'," he told the court.
collected Miss Minnock and Ethan on May 27th and drove them to
the Asda store in Highbridge where she withdrew £300 at
claims to have dropped Miss Minnock and Ethan at a junction in
Whaddon Road in Cheltenham without knowing where they were going
judge said: "You have deliberately withheld a vital piece
of the investigative jigsaw; you did so because you know that
that piece of the jigsaw would be of material assistance in finding
court, Butt's solicitor Iona Philips read a letter he had written
to Miss Minnock before being taken to the cells.
read: "Becky you need to seriously look at the situation.
It's only going to get worse not just for you but for all of us.
But there are some very good people who will help and support
you. I have been with them today and I know. We have made our
point. You have got our support. Come home."