Mother who disappeared with her sons during court hearing drugged them and falsely accused their father of sexually abusing them, judge reveals
- Samantha Baldwin went missing on March 27 with her sons aged six and nine
- Police found them 10 days later at Sherwood Hideaway holiday park in Notts
- Judge Jeremy Lea said Miss Baldwin falsely accused their father of sexually abusing them
A mother who disappeared with her sons during court hearing and hid with them in £1,000-a-week holiday park had falsely accused their father of sexually abusing them, a judge has said.
Samantha Baldwin and her two sons Dylan, six, and Louis Madge, nine, went missing on March 27.
They were then found 10 days later after a member of the public notified Nottinghamshire Police the trio were staying at Sherwood Hideaway holiday park near Ollerton, Nottinghamshire.
During a lengthy police investigation and family court trial, it emerged Miss Baldwin, 40, gave her children substances to induce positive results for sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs to implicate the father.
A judge has issued a statement in court today saying Samantha Baldwin, above, accused her sons' father, David Madge, of sexually abusing them before she disappeared
Her two sons Louis Madge (left) and Dylan Madge (centre) disappeared with their mother and were found ten days later. Judge Jeremy Lea (right) has said an allegation issued by Miss Baldwin about their father was not true
Louis (left) and Dylan (right, pictured with Samantha) were seen on CCTV footage before the police issued their missing person appeal
Statement from the father, David Madge, via his solicitors
A statement issued to the media today from David Madge's lawyers said:
'I would like to thank the police, the media and members of the public who assisted in the safe recovery of (his sons).
'I did not speak to the press during the search on the advice of the police and could not speak about the family proceedings due to the restrictions of the Court.
'I wish to thank the Court for its judgment given today. I have fought for two and a half years for this. It is a huge relief that the truth, with evidence thoroughly tested by the Court, can now emerge. I hope, with the conclusion and findings out in the open, that those in the media who are able to publish the facts continue to act responsibly and sensitively with all involved.
'My reputation and that of my family and friends has been wrongly and unfairly tarnished with the most distressing and false allegations. The effect of this on [his sons], however, has been much greater and we now have to focus on piecing our lives back together.
'The Court order with regards to press restrictions was made to protect the privacy of the children and their right to a safe and happy childhood. The overriding priority now is to try and restore a sense of safety and stability to the lives of [his sons]. Everything else is secondary to that.'
Now Judge Jeremy Lea has said that Miss Baldwin had accused the boys' father, David Madge, of sexually abusing them, before disappearing with the two boys.
However, this was found to be false.
In the statement, issued a statement at Nottingham Magistrates Court today, Judge Lea said: 'In December 2014, the mother alleged that the father had sexually abused his sons.
'The father adamantly denied that he had done so. The police investigated.
'Given the seriousness of the allegations, all contact between the father and his sons stopped.'
The Judge added there was a fact-finding hearing in February 2017 to decide whether or not the allegations were true, which took 12 days, and gave his judgement on Monday, March 27.
However, in the middle of delivering his judgement, Miss Baldwin left the court.
He said: 'It is now apparent she picked up her sons from an unknown location and disappeared with them. This put her in breach of the court order.
'In my judgement, I found that the father had not perpetrated sexual, physical or emotional abuse against the boys as alleged by the mother or at all and that the allegations made by the mother were false.'
He added that Miss Baldwin 'genuinely believed he had done so, but that her belief was irrational' and the evidence of abuse was 'unreliable'.
Judge Lea said: 'I also made a finding in order to prove her case against the father the mother had caused the boys to ingest substances that would give rise to a positive testing for benzodiazepine products (sleeping pills) and zolpidem (a sedative for insomnia).'
'It is not uncommon in contested family proceedings that one side, and occasionally both sides, are of the opinion that the judge's decision was wrong.
The 40-year-old was found 'safe' with two boys in this cabin after a 10-day police hunt for the trio
The four star luxury cabins, which cost more than £1,000-a-week to rent, are nestled in Sherwood Forest and come complete with hot-tubs and woodland views
'It is open to such a party to ask the judge himself or the Court of Appeal to give permission to appeal against the decision. What is not acceptable is for a party to attempt to obstruct the court's decision by removing children, as I am satisfied that this mother did.
'There was understandable concern given my findings as to what the mother might do. I made a recovery order, empowering the police to find and keep safe the children. I authorised the release of the names of the mother and the boys to assist the police to find them.
Chief Superintendent Helen Chamberlain previously said they had received a tip-off about the location on Wednesday night, with the boys found on Thursday morning
The boys were located in 'secluded accommodation' outside Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, police said
'The mainstream press and media gave some very helpful coverage - as a result, a tip-off from a member of the public enable the police to find the boys. They are now in the interim care of the local authority.
'I now have to decide what care arrangements have to be made in the best welfare interests of these boys. They could not immediately return to their father. I'm very concerned as to the impact of continued press and media intrusion into their lives. They need to be protected from much of what has been inaccurately reported about their parents and about what has happened to them.
'I delivered this judgement in open court to summarise my principle findings. Any reporting should be limited to the facts set out in this judgement.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4398648/Samantha-Baldwin-falsely-accused-sons-father-sexual-abuse.html#ixzz4dsPaZsFI
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