Couple admit illegally trying to take their children abroad after being caught at airport

Two parents have admitted trying to taking their children out of the UK in the face of a court order.

The man and woman from Teesside, who cannot be named for legal reasons, previously denied four charges of flouting a forced marriage protection order.

They were to stand trial at Teesside Crown Court this week.

But after lengthy discussions behind the scenes and a judge’s indication that the pair would not be jailed, they pleaded guilty.

The couple admitted breaching the order by “attempting to remove (the children) from the jurisdiction of England and Wales”.

They were stopped at the departure gate at Newcastle Airport on August 5, 2016.

It was alleged they tried to board a flight to Dubai with their children aged four to 15, with a connection flight booked to Islamabad in Pakistan.

The forced marriage protection order was imposed at Middlesbrough County Court in January 2016.

Such orders are imposed to prevent forced marriages or protect people in a forced marriage.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told them at an earlier hearing: “The prosecution case is that you knew perfectly well that you were not to take the children out of the country, for their safety, for their welfare.”

This week, the court heard the couple’s claims that they misunderstood or were misguided, thinking a social worker had indicated that it would be OK to take the children on holiday.

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