Mum on the run with son says she felt 'trapped' by court custody ruling

Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

The mother at the centre of a custody battle who is on the run with her three-year-old son has broken her silence to explain why the pair are in hiding.

Rebecca Minnock, 35, fled her home in Highbridge, Somerset, with son Ethan two weeks ago following a court order that he should live with his father, Roger Williams.

The Sun newspaper posted extracts of a telephone interview with Miss Minnock, in which she said she felt "trapped" after the judge's ruling.

She said: "I just lost all trust and faith in the system completely.

"I just 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."

Police previously appealed for help tracing the mother and child but could not reveal the circumstances behind their disappearance due to reporting restrictions in such cases.

But on Tuesday - in a highly unusual step - Judge Stephen Wildblood QC allowed the full facts to be reported to help find Ethan and reunite him with his father.

The judge had Miss Minnock's mother Louise Minnock, brother Marvin Shaw and sister Limmie Shaw arrested and brought before Bristol Crown Court to give evidence.

All three family members were released after swearing they did not know where Miss Minnock was and did not have any information which could lead to her and Ethan.

Judge Wildblood said he remained "deeply suspicious" they were withholding crucial details and warned further friends and family could also be arrested and interrogated.

Miss Minnock was last seen at Musgrove Park Hospital on 26 May and was due to attend a family court hearing in Bristol at 9am the following morning.

She did not attend the hearing and vanished with Ethan but later contacted her brother, Mr Shaw, from a withheld number stating they were "safe and well".

Police described Miss Minnock as 5ft 3ins tall and of medium build, with dark wavy shoulder length hair. Ethan is of small build with blonde hair and blue eyes.