Tears from mum accused of taking her twins

COURT - CHILD STEALING
A 50-year-old woman is facing trial for the alleged conspiracy to defeat justice after she allegedly ignored family court orders and travelled with a child across state borders without permission. Picture: NCA News Wire / Glenn Campbell

A mother who allegedly took her twin daughters broke down in tears as she listened to allegations she’d made about child sexual abuse on her children in court.

The 50-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was seen becoming distraught during the fourth day of her trial in the Brisbane District Court on Thursday.

She had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to defeat justice, alongside a 61-year-old woman who also pleaded not guilty to the same charge on Monday.

The Crown alleges the 50-year-old woman took her twin daughters in April, 2014 while the 61-year-old woman allegedly fled Queensland with her six-year-old grandson in March 2018.

COURT - CHILD STEALING
A Queensland woman is facing trial for the alleged conspiracy to defeat justice after she allegedly ignored family court orders and travelled with a child across state borders without permission. Picture: NCA News Wire / Glenn Campbell

It’s alleged the two Townsville women were part of a wider group of co-conspirators, some who are yet to stand trial, which helped women facing legal battles in the Family Court Circuit.

The two women had previously made numerous allegations that the children had been sexually abused by their respective fathers.

The two women were ultimately arrested in NSW in May, 2018.

The jury heard on Thursday that police had found no evidence that any sexual abuse had occurred in either case.

Detective Senior Sergeant David Miles, who heads Townsville’s Child Protection Unit, told the jury he’d oversaw both investigations into the allegations of sexual abuse against the twins and the six-year-old boy.

Sergeant Miles said his officers had received complaints about the twins’ father allegedly sexually abusing the girls and an investigation was launched.

CHILD STEALING BRISBANE
Detective Senior Sergeant David Miles told the jury police found no evidence the father of the twins allegedly sexually abused them. Picture: Dan Peled / NCA NewsWire

The jury heard the girls spoke with police but ultimately the officers found the children’s evidence did not match the allegations made by their mother or any other party.

“My concern was there was no verification by (the 50-year-old woman) in relation to the things the children were saying and the children were doing and she was probably exaggerating what they were saying and in essence, coaching the children,” Sergeant Miles said.

“When they came into her care, she would do an examination of the children to look for signs of abuse.”

Sergeant Miles said investigators ultimately determined Queensland Police had a duty of care to the children to not create any unnecessary harm to them.

“The ongoing police investigation was doing irreparable harm to these children,” Sergeant Miles.

“At that time we had continuum of these notifications coming to us (about the allegations) and then the children not providing any credible disclosures to us.”

BRISBANE COURTS
The two Queensland women are facing trial in the Brisbane District Court. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

He added the investigation found the twins’ parents were going through “very untidy Family Law Court proceedings” at the time.

The jury heard a report filed at the time had found the allegations of sexual abuse had been “instigated by the mother for Family Law Court purposes … and there was suspicion the children were coached or the mother was present”.

During cross-examination of Sergeant Miles, where he was asked about specific details of the alleged sexual abuse, the 50-year-old woman became emotional and broke down crying while listening to the evidence.

COURT - CHILD STEALING
The 61-year-old woman (pixelated) had custody of her grandson when she took him from Queensland, a court has heard. Picture: NCA News Wire / Glenn Campbell

The jury was asked to leave for a few minutes before the trial continued about 10 minutes later.

The Crown also alleges the 50-year-old woman helped find accommodation in 2018 for the 61-year-old woman and her grandson, after they had arrived in NSW.

It’s alleged the 61-year-old woman was in a legal custody battle with her grandson’s father, who had put an application into the Family Law Court for custody during school holiday periods.

The trial continues before Judge Leanne Clare SC.