Lucinda Connell, the North East’s best family and children lawyer, of Major Family Law, divorce and children law specialists, comments: The High Court has ruled in Leicester City Council v T [2016] EWFC 20 that the 3 children of a Leicester woman who tried to take them to Isis-controlled territory must live with their grandmother. The mother was arrested at Birmingham Airport having checked in 9 suitcases on a flight to Munich. The mother’s initial account had been that she and the children were taking a holiday to see their father in Munich from where they were to travel on to France.  Information located in the mother’s luggage however showed an itinerary which contradicted this and revealed onward travel from Munich to Istanbul where she had booked accommodation with the children and her husband for 3 nights. Her husband is believed to be in Chechnya with a terrorist group.  Following examination of electronic devices and mobile phones at the family’s home, there was an indication that the mother had been in conversation with a large number of people known to be linked to Islamic State. One particular individual is known to be a prominent member of Islamic State.

Mr Justice Keehan said that returning to the mother’s care would not be in the best interests of the children, aged between 4 and 12 years. Instead, he ordered that they remain in the care of their maternal grandparents. No specific order was made in respect of contact.