The children, three girls and a boy were 9 3/4, nearly 8, 4 1/3 and 5 2/3 respectively at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. They had lived in France, England and Australia. The parents were married and had joint rights of custody. There were frequent separations and reconciliations during the course of the marriage.
On 28 November 1991 the family went to Australia after the father had obtained Australian visas for the family.
In early December 1991 the mother and the two youngest children returned to England to arrange for the furniture in the former family house to be shipped to Australia.
In January 1992 the mother returned with the children to Australia. The marriage became violent and on 7 July 1992 the mother took the children to a women’s refuge in Australia.
On 15 July 1992 the mother took the children to England.
On 15 July 1992 the father obtained an injunction against the removal of the children from Australia.
On 10 September 1992 the father’s return application was commenced in England.