Missing mum and child: "We're both safe"
PUBLISHED: 11:01 11 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:28 11 June 2015
A MOTHER who took her three-year-old son into hiding to avoid giving him up has broken her silence 16 days after she was last seen to say the pair are doing well.
Rebecca Minnock, from Highbridge, disappeared with her son Ethan on May 26, when she failed to appear at a court hearing in Bristol concerning an ongoing battle over his welfare. His father has since been awarded custody of the child.
A judge took the unusual step of lifting reporting restrictions on the case to help aid the search for the pair, which had begun as a missing persons appeal from Avon and Somerset police.
Her whereabouts are unknown but members of her family have since been arrested on suspicion of withholding information about her location. And yesterday (Wednesday), she spoke to The Sun to tell the newspaper the pair were ‘both safe and well’.
Ms Minnock said she had ‘lost all faith in the system’ after a judge ruled Ethan should live with his father, and that she knew she would ‘be in a huge, huge amount of trouble’.
She said: “I couldn’t bear to leave my son. I just felt trapped. I know I’m going to be in a huge, huge amount of trouble. I’ve even got family members into trouble but it’s my son and I need to put him first over myself or anybody else.
“We’ve got money, food and toys, we’ve got everything apart from our family at the moment.”
At a family court hearing on Tuesday, it was revealed Ms Minnock was last seen using an ATM from Asda in Caxton Drive, Highbridge, on the morning she disappeared, before being driven off in a black Ford Focus.
That evening, teams from Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) were dispatched to reports of a mother and son spotted camping on Berrow beach, but did not find them.
Ms Minnock is described by police as around 5ft 3ins tall, of medium build and with dark, wavy shoulder-length hair. Ethan has blonde hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting reference MP2189/15.