THE parents and brother of a boy in care have been arrested following the youngster’s alleged removal from a residential facility in the UK.
Police are investigating the circumstances of the boy’s departure from the home, said by a social worker to have involved ‘coded language’ in conversations between the child and his mother.
The boy was sent to the UK home following a period in secure accommodation in Jersey imposed for what the Royal Court described as ‘a variety of criminal and antisocial behaviours’.
Last month, the court granted a new application made on behalf of Education Minister Inna Gardiner to keep the boy in secure accommodation for a further period of 28 days after it was revealed that he had absconded from the children’s home in the UK and returned to the Island, later refusing to board a plane to return.
‘So far as the minister is concerned it is very unfortunate that [the boy’s] placement has been disrupted with the assistance of members of his family,’ the Deputy Bailiff, Robert MacRae, said.
It was decided last autumn that the boy should be placed in the UK specialist facility but initial efforts to transfer him failed and, shortly before a further court hearing, the boy was involved in the removal of a motor vehicle from a St Helier car park, culminating in an accident which a police officer told the court could have resulted in serious injury or death to the child or members of the public.
The boy was finally sent to the UK home against the wishes of his parents and, although he had ‘generally done well’, he had not always wanted to be there, the Deputy Bailiff said in his judgment.
‘He went missing from [the home] for 40 minutes on 1 January 2023 and then again on 23 January 2023 and finally, with the assistance and, it appears, the encouragement of his parents, left [the home] for Jersey [later in the month]. His father and the elder brother were involved in [his] removal from [the home] and his return to Jersey. [His] parents and brother have been arrested and a police investigation is ongoing,’ Mr MacRae said.
Sitting with Jurats Andrew Cornish and Alison Opfermann, the Deputy Bailiff granted the minister’s application for a further one-month secure accommodation order.
He said: ‘The care plan, which we approved at the same time as granting the application for a secure accommodation order, provided that [the boy] would remain at home while arrangements were made for him to return to [the facility in the UK]; provided that the parents would not be advised of the return [there] and noted that both parents were subject to police bail conditions preventing them from contact with [the boy] without the express permission of Children’s Services.
‘Any contact between [the boy] and his family would occur in a secure place and be supervised.’