Thursday, November 16, 2006

The curious incidents of the children of Ireland.

It has been a strange old week in Ireland. Consitutions bandied about, adhered to, hidden behind, followed to the letter. We have seen one child being removed from her adoptive parents of two years and returned to her natural parents, we've witnessed a court rule that frozen embryos cannot be ruled as 'the unborn' and now we see another case involving a child, a child who also lived for a time with foster parents and was returned to his natural mother, a child who was subsequently snatched back from the mother and spirited away to Ireland.
I'm talking of course about Tim and Ethel Blake. For those of you not familiar with the case Tim and Ethel Blake from Cobh, both aged 60, are alleged to have deceived their own daughter and kidnapped their grandson in the US before bringing him back to
Ireland in July 2004.
The couple were on holiday in the US when Tim told his daughter he was dying of cancer and wanted to spend time with his grandson.
His daughter, although suspicious allowed her parents to meet the boy in a restaurant for two hours on condition they surrendered their passports to her.
But they took the boy out of the country and the passports they had handed over turned out to be duplicates.
Although the boy was returned in November 2004, the US authorities want Mr and Mrs Blake extradited to face charges of aggravated kidnap, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Their case on the extradition warrant is to be decided today. If they are extradited they will serve and minimum of sx years inn an state prison.
Six years is a hell of a long time when you are sixty.
But this is a messy case as it involves family. The boy's mother had forgiven the parents and pleaded for clemency, it would be fair to say all parties love the boy deeply. But kidnapping is still a crime. If they are not charged and allowed to go free what precedent does this set?
And is extradition even legal in this case? Their lawyers have argued that no official request for their extradition had been made by the US and that they were acting on an order of the Circuit Court here, which gave them custody of the then nine-year-old boy.
Mr Justice Michael Peart is set to decide on whether they should be extradited this morning.
In a strange week like this I just couldn't even guess how this is going to go.

UPDATE: The Irish High Court has ruled the pair, both aged 60, should not be sent to the US to stand trial.


Blogger Conan Drumm said...

With you on this... and I can't help thinking that if our politicians spent more of their well-paid time legislating, then the courts would not be faced with having to decide all these problematic cases...

11:05 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

A lot of these issues and gaping loop holes have been kicking around for years being deftly, avoided by many a government, what's that old line... chickens coming home to roost.

11:17 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure they may as well compromise and send wan of them to America to face the music, and let the other wan shtay home.

11:31 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

They're free... woo hoo!

1:25 p.m.  
Blogger Boliath said...

What the fuck? They gave their daughter duplicate passports - they planned this thing so that they had duplicate passports, flights etc.

I would wring their fucking necks if I was their daughter. They got off lightly, imo.

3:35 p.m.  

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