The child, a girl, was 16 months at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. She had lived in both Canada and England. The parents were not married.
On 19 September 1989 the Supreme Court of Ontario granted interim custody to the mother, interim access to the father and ordered that the child not be removed from Ontario without leave of the court. On 28 September 1989 the mother took the child to England.
On 6 December 1989 the father applied for a return order.