The three children were 3 1/4, 1 1/4 and 1 1/4 at the date of the alleged wrongful retention. They had lived in the United States of America all of their lives. The parents were both English citizens.
They had separated in November 1993 and agreed that the children should live with the mother following the separation. The mother travelled with the children to England to visit her family. The parties had agreed that the mother and children would return to the United States in February 1994. She did not return.
The father issued proceedings for the return of the children. On 24 March 1994 the High Court ordered return. The Court of Appeal allowed the mother’s appeal against the order for return and remitted the case to the High Court.