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Polish woman fears Christmas jail stay over interview contempt claims

A Polish woman says she fears that she will spend Christmas in jail after being accused of breaching a family court judge's order by talking about her teenage daughter to a Polish journalist in Polish.

The woman, who lives near Oxford, is scheduled to appear before Judge Simon Oliver at a family court judge in Reading, Berkshire, on Friday.

Court listings indicate that social services bosses at Oxfordshire County Council have accused the woman of being in contempt of court and asked for her to be committed to prison.

Former Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who campaigns for improvements in the family justice system, has raised concerns about the case.

Oxfordshire council bosses have said they cannot comment.

The woman says her daughter has been taken into foster care following investigations by social workers.

She says she has been ordered not to identify the youngster if she talks about the case.

The woman said council bosses began committal proceedings after she was interviewed by a Polish television reporter in Polish.

She said her interview had been broadcast in Poland and on the internet.

Mr Hemming, who has offered the woman support and advice, says the timing of the court appearance is cruel - and he says the case raises free speech issues.

A council spokesman said: ''This is a matter before the court and it is not appropriate for us to comment at this time.''

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