The application related to children born in England in late 2007 to married Cameroonian parents. The family lived with the paternal grandmother. It was the mother’s case that she had been abused by both the father and the grandmother. In November 2008 the children went to Cameroon with the paternal grandmother. The mother submitted that whilst she had accompanied the children to the airport, the action was done without her consent and contrary to her wishes.
In or around the same time the mother sought advice from a voluntary agency with regard to her matrimonial problems, she did not raise the issue of the children at this time. In June 2009 the mother was advised by a solicitor that she would not be assisted by the Foreign Office in seeking the return of the twins. She sought and was refused legal aid.
In July 2009 the mother gave birth to a third child, but by this time the marriage had broken down and she went to live in a refuge. She issued legal proceedings relating to the third child in November 2009. In April 2010 the mother sought an order against the father that the twins be retuned forthwith.