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Gran and boyfriend jailed for contempt over missing boy

By Claire Hayhurst

Published 13/06/2015

Missing: Ethan Williams
Missing: Ethan Williams

The grandmother of missing Ethan Williams and her boyfriend have been jailed for contempt of court after lying about the toddler's disappearance.

Judge Stephen Wildblood at Bristol Crown Court said he "could not possibly" avoid imposing a prison sentence on Louise Minnock (52) and Andrew Butt (56).

Mrs Minnock's daughter, Rebecca Minnock (35), fled her home in Highbridge, Somerset, with Ethan (3) two weeks ago.

The pair vanished on the day Miss Minnock was due to hand her child over to his father, Roger Williams, following a court order.

Mrs Minnock and Mr Butt were jailed for 10 and 28 days respectively for lying to police and withholding "crucial" information.

Judge Wildblood told Butt: "You know how important it is that Ethan and Rebecca Minnock are found.

"They cannot remain in hiding for ever and you know that they will found in the very near future.

"In the meantime Ethan is not receiving the stability and care that he should.

"Further, you know how serious it is that orders have been made for Ethan to live with his father and that those orders are being thwarted by Rebecca's deliberate disobedience, a disobedience that you have assisted."

Butt was found to be in contempt of court during his evidence on Thursday and asked to be sworn back into the witness box to change his account yesterday.

The lorry driver swore an oath on the Bible - unlike Thursday when he chose to affirm - before admitting that he had been helped Miss Minnock flee with Ethan.

He met Miss Minnock the night before her disappearance and the pair hatched a plot for her to flee instead of attending court.

Butt collected Miss Minnock and Ethan on May 27 and drove them to the Asda store in Highbridge, Somerset, where she withdrew £300 at 8.17am.

He claims to have dropped Miss Minnock and Ethan at a junction in Cheltenham without knowing where they were going next.

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