The application related to a child born in California on 14 July 2004. The parents, who were first cousins, had been born in Afghanistan but had emigrated to North America as children, the father to California, the mother to Toronto. Their marriage in July 2001 had been arranged by their families. The marriage was characterised by the father’s domestic violence against the mother.
Following a serious assault on 10 November 2008, the mother left the matrimonial home with the child to stay with her parents-in-law. On 14 November 2008 she flew to Toronto with the child to live with her parents. The father applied for the return of the child.