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Man who fled Scotland with boy for 10 years jailed

[Press center2] time:2023-06-10 15:11:27 source:ABC News author:Press center5 click:99order

A man who abducted a young boy from Scotland and took him to Malaysia for 10 years has been jailed.

Scott Forbes, 62, admitted flying from Aberdeen with the boy in April 2012, and only returning with him last year.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard Forbes had concerns for the boy's welfare which led to his course of action.

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin told Forbes, of Broughty Ferry, that a custodial sentence was the only option and jailed him for 21 months.

She said the maximum sentence for the offence, under the Child Abduction Act, was two years.

Fiscal depute Brian Young said Forbes booked flights to Kuala Lumpur without the boy's mother's consent or knowledge.

The alarm was then raised.

A request for extradition was later refused.

There was some communication, but the mother eventually lost all contact.

Mr Young said that Forbes' plan was to stay away until the boy was 16, when he would return to the UK to face the consequences.

"It was clear this had been carefully planned," he said.

They returned in July last year, after telling police, and Forbes was arrested on his arrival at Edinburgh Airport.

Mr Young said the mother had been separated from her son for 10 years due to what happened, and found birthdays especially painful, before they were finally reunited.

Defence solicitor John Hardie said Forbes had acted in what he believed to be the interests of the child.

He had become concerned about the boy's mother's partner, the court was told.

Mr Hardie said Forbes "anguished" for many months over the decision that he eventually took.

The lawyer said the boy involved did not feel what happened had any negative impact on his life.

Mr Hardie said even more remarkable was the fact that the boy's mother had now forgiven the accused.

"She does not wish to see him in prison," he said, but he added: "It's a serious example of a serious offence".

Mr Hardie said as wrong and awful as it was, it had been a decision made with the best intentions.

"The real significance is the duration of the absence," he said.

Sheriff McLaughlin, describing it as a case of the "utmost" seriousness, said: "Custody is the only option here."

She said the harm caused must be "unquantifiable", with lifelong consequences from his actions.

The sheriff said she felt the maximum penalty seemed inadequate due to the length of time over which the crime was perpetrated and the pain it must have caused.

She reduced the two-year sentence by three months due to the guilty plea.

(editor-in-charge:Press center5)

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