The child, a girl, was 5 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. She had spent most of her life in England. The parents were divorced and the father had been granted access in several different orders.
On 25 April 1984 the child had been made a ward of court and consequently she could not be removed from the jurisdiction without the leave of the court.
In April 1989 the mother took the child to the United States of America.
The Lord Chancellor’s Department informed the father that his return application could not be processed until a declaration had been made that the removal was wrongful.