Judge warns of damage done to child victims of parental ‘abduction’

A High Court judge has warned of the damage done to children who become victims of “abduction” after finding themselves at the centre of parental disputes.

Mr Justice Francis said youngsters taken from one parent by another parent could suffer “untold harm”.

The judge, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said parental “abduction” of children was a “scourge”.

He raised concern when handing a delivery driver who had taken a child to Bulgaria a 15-month jail term.

Georgiev had taken the child to relatives in Bulgaria during the summer of 2022 without the agreement of ex-partner Yordanka Goranova, the judge heard.

Ms Goranova had begun legal action in the Family Division of the High Court in a bid to get her child back.

Judges had ordered Georgiev to take steps to ensure the child’s return.

Ms Goranova had then alleged that Georgiev had breached orders and was in contempt.

“Child abduction is a scourge on the children who are subjected to it,” said Mr Justice Francis, after considering Georgiev’s case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

“It causes untold harm.”

He added: “The father has, I am sure, caused untold psychological harm to (this child), who is separated from him and from mother.”

Mr Justice Francis said the child at the centre of the dispute could not be named in media reports of the case.

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