A Perth woman has avoided being sent to jail but must undergo counselling as part of a suspended prison term after she was charged with taking her children from welfare authorities.
The 34-year-old mother, “forcibly” removed her two boys, aged three and 11, from child protection officers during a supervised visit with the children in February 2015.
Under a court order made four mothers earlier, the boys were in the care of the Department for Child Protection (DCP).
The woman managed to evade authorities for close to 36 hours, before Police located the children at a house in Perth’s south east.
The court heard that the the woman’s actions were “impulsive”, driven from a need to spend some “normal time” with her children.
In handing down his decision, District Court Judge Laurie Levy said the offences were heightened in nature, as the woman was in the company of a number of men at the time of the incident, and the DCP officers were violently pushed and shoved before removing the children.
The Judge further explained that whilst immediate terms of imprisonment to be imposed for such offences was “common”, in this case a suspended jail term was the best course of action.
He did however, order the woman to undergo counselling as she did not seem to accept the need for DCP to be in her children’s lives.
“Until she acknowledges the need for DCP’s intervention and accepts it, she’s not going to move forward,” Judge Levy said. “The interests of your children are a significant factor in this case and prison would be a backward step for their lives,” he told the woman.
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