June 12, 2015
News crews descend on town as 'mum on the run' speaks out

National media interest in the police search for a missing three-year-old boy and his mother from Highbridge continues with news crews covering the case oustside the homes of the pair's family this week.

TV crews have been reporting on the latest developments in the case in Burnham and Highbridge.

It comes as Rebecca Minnock, 35, has admitted that she's thought about handing herself in to police but can’t bear to give up her son, three-year-old Ethan.

She disappeared with him on May 27th after losing a custody battle with her ex-partner.

Police are urgently trying to locate the pair so the child can be reunited with his father Roger Williams, 39, from Burnham-On-Sea.

Miss Minnock told the Daily Mail newspaper that her son "needs his home, he needs his own bed", adding: "I know I can’t do this for ever."

She accepted her actions were wrong and that, when she is caught, Ethan would be "taken from me" but insists her son is "really happy".

Describing her desperation, the young mother said she had considered coming out of hiding. "It’s crossed my mind, it crosses my mind all the time, but then I look at my son and think I can’t do that," she said.

"I’ve read loads of people saying what a great mum I am and the people that know me have signed a petition and then you see the negative comments and it’s just so frustrating. I don’t see any way out."

"I do accept that what I’ve done is wrong, I’m going to be in a huge amount of trouble for this. It’s Ethan that I worry about."

She added: "We’re both actually doing really well. Ethan seems really happy at the moment. He’s missing my mum and his fish, he has five little fish, and he’s missing his nan’s dog as well. I know I’m going to get caught and he’ll be taken from me."

"People probably think I’m mad for what I’ve done but I’m really realistic. I know I can’t do this for ever, Ethan needs his home, he needs his own bed, he needs his pets around him, he needs to be mixing with his friends."

Police issued new photos of the toddler, pictured here, on Thursday as the search continued.

A court hearing heard how a family friend told police he would rather go to jail for ten years than give her up to the authorities.

Andrew Butt, 56, was found in contempt of court after a judge ruled he had told a "string of lies" to police and in court which had hindered the search for Ethan. He could be sent to prison or fined when he is sentenced on Friday.

Ethan had always lived with his mother since his parents separated in February 2013, and his father applied for contact the following month.

A two-year custody battle ensued, which ended when judges ordered the mother hand her son over to Mr Williams.

But Miss Minnock defied the court order and went on the run with Ethan on May 27th. Police believe Andrew Butt drove them from her home in Highbridge to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

His black Ford Focus was picked up on CCTV at the Asda store in Highbridge when Miss Minnock was seen withdrawing cash.

Cameras then picked his car up on the M5 and in Cheltenham. But he had told police the last time he saw Miss Minnock was the evening before he gave her the lift.

Detective Constable Anthony Davis told Bristol Crown Court that he detained Butt on Wednesday after serving him with a ‘collection order’ for the missing child. Judge Stephen Wildblood QC found Butt in contempt of court but said he would try to ensure ‘both parents’ in the custody battle have a relationship with Ethan in the future.


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