The child, a girl, was 5 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. The parents were not married. They had lived together in England until July 1991. On 21 July 1991 the mother took the girl to Ontario.
On 25 September 1991 the High Court awarded custody to the father, ordered the mother to return the child and continued an order of 15 August that the child be made a ward of court.
On 26 February 1992 the mother succeeded in an application to have the wardship discharged. On 4 June the father successfully appealed this order.
In June 1992 the father travelled to Canada to have a period of access with the child. On 28 June 1992 he secretly took the child back to England. In so doing he breached an undertaking he had given to the Canadian court, which was also seized of custody proceedings.
The mother then initiated proceedings for the return of the child.