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Mum denies running away with her son
6:00pm Monday 16th September 2013 in News
A MUM has appeared in court to deny going on the run with her baby after being ordered to hand him over to social services.
Michelle Kelly, 28, appeared in Basildon Magistrates’ Court yesterday, after being arrested last month with her one-year-old son Jaden.
Kelly, of Mellow Purgess Close, Laindon, is alleged to have disappeared with the tot when he was supposed to have been taken into care.
An order had been made for her to hand Jaden over to Essex social services on August 16, but Bob Rowlingson, prosecuting, said by that time she had fled to Edinburgh.
She is alleged to have been on the run from August 16 until August 22.
Police eventually arrested her in Preston on August 23.
Kelly, who has two other children, spoke only to confirm her name and address and to plead not guilty to a charge of keeping a child in care away from lawful authority.
She was granted unconditional bail and will next appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on November 1.
Her mother, Julie Felton, 52, of New Waverley Road, grandmother Doris Pitcher, 80, of Crouch Street, and family friend Cathleen Ford, 62, also of New Waverley Road, all in Noak Bridge, travelled to the court to support Michelle.
Speaking after the short hearing, Michelle said: “I will fight for my innocence and my son.”
Mum Julie added: “If Michelle is found guilty she will appeal until it can be heard in Basildon Crown Court in front of a jury.”
Family friend Cathleen Ford added: “The family misses that baby like mad.”
THE Echo successfully challenged a gagging order preventing the identification of Michelle Kelly and her son.
Magistrates tried to ban naming one-year-old Jaden, under Section 39 of the Children and Young Person’s Act 1933.
However, they did not have grounds to do so.
The Echo argued against the order, saying Jaden’s details and photograph were already in the public domain, Jaden was too young to be adversely affected by any publicity, and it suppressed Kelly’s right to freedom of expression.
After five minutes considering the Echo’s case, magistrates’ decided they would not enforce the order.