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June 27, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Winnipeg mother Sandra Giesbrecht was caught and arrested by Winnipeg police on Friday (Global News, 6/25/16). After 2 ½ years of attempting to deny her two children access to their father, Jacob Giesbrecht, and repeated efforts by family court judge Cathy Everett to rein in her “disturbing” behavior, Sandra opted to abduct the children, Montana and Joshua, ages 11 and nine respectively.

That happened last Monday. Five days later, she was apprehended by Winnipeg police. Sandra attempted to flee on foot, but she was caught, arrested and charged with two counts of Abduction and Flight While Pursued by a Police Officer.

Oddly enough, Montana and Joshua are now in the custody, not of their father, who is their primary custodian according to Everett’s order issued in April, but of Children and Family Services. Presumably, CFS’s next move will be to reunite the children with Jacob.

This is the best possible news about this case. As the recent study of abducted children out of Australia shows, the shorter the time an abduction lasts, the less the chance of serious mental/emotional problems later in life. These kids have been gone five days and apparently never left their home city. That likely means they’ll not suffer unduly for the irresponsible and abusive actions of their mother.

The only thing remaining to be seen is what Judge Everett will do in response. What should happen is that Sandra receive closely supervised visitation with the kids and nothing more. She should also be required to undergo therapy for her alienating and abusive behavior. She should also receive some sort of punishment from a criminal court.

When I first wrote about the case, I speculated that she must have had help in carrying out her crime. At this point, that looks to have been incorrect. My guess is that, if Sandra had had help, she’d have been more effective at evading the police.

For now though, this awful case seems to be at an end.

 

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National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

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#parentalchildabduction, #childabuse, #SandraGiesbrecht

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