The children, two boys, were aged 7 1/2 and 6 at the date of the alleged wrongful retention. The parents were divorced. On 17 February 1994 the parents entered into an agreement whereby the father was to be the custodial parent. In March the mother then returned alone to Wales, her State of origin.
On 7 July 1994 the boys travelled to Wales to visit their mother. They were due to return on 25 August. The mother refused to return them and on 24 August began wardship proceedings in the High Court.
On 14 October 1994 the High Court refused to return the boys although the trial judge affirmed that the appropriate court to deal with any further issues relating to the boys was the Illinois court.
The father appealed against this order.