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Mum who ran away to escape custody row hands herself in

After almost three weeks in hiding, a women who went missing with her three-year-old son amidst a bitter custody battle has handed herself over to police.

Rebecca Minnock, who was in Oxford, gave herself up to officers tonight, after telling the Daily Mail she had run away because she felt "trapped" by a judge's decision to award full custody to her son Ethan Williams' father.

ITV News reporter Peter Smith has the story:

  1. National

Police thank public for help in search for mother and son

Police have thanked members of the public and the media who helped in the search for missing mother Rebecca Minnock and her three-year-old son Ethan Williams.

Miss Minnock, who had been staying in the Oxford area, has now handed herself over to officers.

This is the news we had been hoping for and I am grateful to Becky for coming forward.

Both Becky and Ethan will now receive the support they need and the appropriate welfare arrangements will be made.

I would like to thank the public and the media for their assistance throughout this investigation.

– DCI Marie Wright, Avon and Somerset Police

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Runaway mum: I felt going into hiding was my only choice

A mother who went on the run for almost three weeks with her young son has said she had felt "trapped" by a court's decision to award custody to the boy's father.

A judge had ruled Ethan Williams, three, should live full time with his father Roger Williams, and that Rebecca Minnock should only be allowed supervised contact after she made a series of false allegations against her former partner.

Rebecca Minnock handed herself in tonight Credit: Daily Mail

A child psychiatrist, a social worker and a court-appointed guardian all agreed with the judgement - but, on the morning of a court hearing on May 27 when Mr Williams was due to take on full custody, Miss Minnock went into hiding.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said:

It was a huge decision, I did feel trapped at the time. I just looked at my son that morning and I just couldn't hand him over. I just felt that was all I could do at the time, was run away.

My only regret would be the trouble that my family have gotten into, and all the time, the police effort and time that I've wasted.

Obviously, everyone has been concerned, but we've both been absolutely fine.

– Rebecca Minnock

Family and friend of missing Somerset mum face jail

Two people face jail tonight in the latest twist in the story of the Somerset mum who has gone on the run with her 3 year old son.

Rebecca Minnock left Highbridge with three year old Ethan more than 2 weeks ago, after a ruling the boy should live with his father.

Family friend Andrew Butt has been jailed for 28 days, and Rebecca Minnock's mother Louise Minnock for ten days, after they both lied about the toddler's disappearance.

Andrew Butt today told the court the plan was to keep her away for as long as possible to generate maximum publicity.

Last night, Rebecca contacted the Daily Mail by phone and had this to say about her situation.

We're both fine - we're both actually doing really well, yeah Ethan seems really happy at the moment.

People probably think I'm mad for what I've done but I'm very realistic, I know I can't do this forever. I'm going to get caught.

I've seen that my mum's been in trouble and my brother and sister, and i just....I would never tell anyone where we are.

– Rebecca Minnock

Missing mum friend tells court "maximum publicity" was plan

Rebecca Minnock disappeared with three-year-old Ethan after losing a custody battle with his father. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A family friend of the mother from Somerset who has disappeared with her three-year-old son is in court today charged with contempt.

Andrew Butt has told the court that he helped 35-year-old Rebecca Minnock escape with three-year-old Ethan. Our reporter Caron Bell is there.

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'I know I can't do this forever' missing mum tells paper

Rebecca Minnock has admitted that Ethan should be back home. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

The Somerset mother on the run with her son has told a national newspaper she knows she can't stay a fugitive forever, but she can't bear to give up her child.

Rebecca Minnock from Highbridge disappeared with three-year-old Ethan after losing a custody battle with his father.

"People probably think I'm mad for what I've done but I'm very realistic, I know I can't do this forever."

"I know it's not practicable, Ethan needs his home, he needs his own bed, he needs his pets around him, he needs to be mixing with his friends."

– Rebecca Minnock speaking to the Daily Mail
Rebecca disappeared with Ethan after losing a custody battle with his father. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Yesterday a friend of the family was charged with contempt of court after the judge found he had been "utterly untruthful" about his knowledge of their whereabouts.

REPORT: family friend tells 'string of lies' about missing mother's whereabouts

Rebecca Minnock and her three year old son Ethan have been missing for over two weeks.

A family friend of a mother from Somerset who has gone into hiding with her son could face jail after a judge ruled he'd told a 'string of lies' about their disappearance.

Rebecca Minnock ran away with three year old Ethan Williams more than two weeks ago, after a judge ruled that the boy should live with his father.

In a phone interview with a national newspaper, she said she's lost faith in justice and is putting her son first. Katie Rowlett reports:

Missing mum tells newspaper she 'felt trapped'

Becky Minnock and Ethan Williams were last seen on May 26.

A mother who has gone missing with her son has been in touch with a newspaper to say they are both safe.

Becky Minnock, 35, and three-year-old Ethan Williams were last seen on Tuesday May 26 in Taunton. She was due to attend a court hearing in Bristol the following morning but failed to turn up.

She told The Sun newspaper she did what she did out of desperation.

"We're both safe and well and he's very happy. I've just lost all trust and faith in the system completely, and I just couldn't bear to lose my son. I just felt trapped.

"I know I'm gonna be in a huge, huge amount of trouble; it's even got other family members in trouble, but it's my son and I need to put him first, over myself or anybody else."

– Becky Minnock
A judge has ruled that three-year-old Ethan should live with his father. Credit: Rebecca Minnock

A judge has ruled that Ethan should go to live with his father.

Police have widened their search for the pair. There have been possible sightings of them in Cheltenham and Birmingham.

Police widen search for missing mother and son

Police have widened their search for a missing mother and her three year-old son.

Becky Minnock and Ethan Williams were last seen on Tuesday May 26 in Taunton. She was due to attend a court hearing in Bristol the following morning but failed to turn up.

Yesterday reporting restrictions which had been imposed at Bristol Magistrates Court were lifted to allow the police to continue their search for missing Becky and her son, as concern grows for her welfare.

There have been several possible sightings of Becky and Ethan in Cheltenham and Birmingham.

It is fairly unusual for a court to lift the reporting restrictions, allowing us to act as their agents and continue the search for Becky and her son.

Since they were last seen in Taunton on May 26, we have reports that they have been spotted in the Cheltenham area and more recently in the Birmingham area of the West Midlands.

We are keen to hear from Becky or anyone who knows her whereabouts to contact us

– DCI Marie Wright

Becky is described as a white woman, aged 35 years, about 5ft 3ins tall of medium build. She has dark wavy shoulder length hair.

Ethan is a white boy, three-years-old of small build with blond/fair hair and blue eyes.

Becky does not drive and regularly uses public transport.

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