Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland woman arrested in Spain after 'going on run with daughter'

By Gerard Couzens

A woman believed to be from Northern Ireland has been arrested after sparking an international manhunt by fleeing to Spain with her five-year-old daughter.

The unnamed woman was held in the Costa Blanca capital of Alicante after allegedly going on the run with the child.

French authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant after the girl’s Senegalese-born dad reported her to police.

The youngster was said to be in the care of social services in Alicante on Thursday after being tracked down to an apartment in the city.

Her mum, arrested at the same address on Tuesday, was in prison near the Costa Blanca resort after an extradition hearing. 

She answered questions from a judge via video-link from a duty court in Alicante on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear if she had consented to extradition during the behind-closed-doors hearing - or tried to delay or stop her forced return to France by appealing.

The European Arrest Warrant was issued on July 28. Local sources said they believed the detainee was originally from Belfast but was travelling on an Irish passport.

The woman at the centre of the drama is understood to have told police she acted out of fear of her daughter’s father, who has been described locally as her husband.

She is not believed to have shown officers or court officials any proof at this stage to back up her claims or show she was a victim of domestic violence.

A Spanish Police spokesman confirmed the mother of a five-year-old had been arrested on foot of a European Arrest Warrant at an undisclosed address in Alicante.

He said: “The warrant was issued by authorities in France for crimes against people, in this specific case for abduction of a child.”

Full details of the case, including the circumstances in which mother and child fled France, were not immediately made available by Spanish authorities.

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