Lauren Etchells is now on £10,000 bail and is battling a bid to extradite her to Canada. She denies child abduction charges following her break-up from her from her former wife Tasha Brown
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A UK mum who fled from Canada with her two children after a split – then tried to smuggle them into Jersey in a dinghy – says she is ready to face an extradition battle.
Lauren Etchells, 36, is now on a £10,000 bail and under electronic curfew in Humberside after her case hit headlines around the world.
She is battling a bid to extradite her to Canada and denies child abduction charges following her break-up from former wife Tasha Brown, 47, of Vancouver Island.
Lauren told the Sunday Mirror: “The children are just absolutely fine, happy and healthy. And I am ready to fight this.”
The ex-school teacher’s escapades began after a bitter split from Tasha in 2016. The couple had a 19-month-old daughter through a sperm donor – but Lauren then fell for a businessman and they had a son together. She flew from Canada to Gatwick in 2016 with both young children, sparking the Canadian police inquiry.
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Then the family disappeared for three years until July 2019 when locals on Channel Island Jersey spotted Lauren with her children and her parents trying to land a 13ft dinghy on the shore after a voyage from France.
Lauren was arrested with her mum Angela and dad Brian, both 70, who had intended to drop their daughter and her children off.
All three were arrested for child endangerment, and later charged with making false representation, under the island’s immigration laws.
They were given six-month suspended sentences for child endangerment, and fined for breaking the immigration laws by Jersey Magistrates Court.
The child endangerment convictions were later set aside on appeal.
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Lauren, originally from South Shields, Tyne and Wear, remained on Jersey with her parents until December last year when she decided to travel to the UK.
She handed herself in to police in order to fight the legal bid to extradite her to Canada. Lauren, who has had to surrender her passport, said: “The convictions were overturned by the Royal Court in Jersey on about five different counts.
“I turned myself in when I came to the UK. I am prepared to fight this.
“From my personal perspective, all I can say is how the children are doing and also that the convictions were overturned.” She appeared before Westminster magistrates to face the extradition charge, with a full hearing due in October. Lauren denies the abduction charges against her. She will claim she was the only person with legal parentage, guardianship and custody of her daughter de ella at the time she left Canada.
Humberside Police later confirmed: “She was transferred to appear in court in relation to Extradition Act offenses on December 15.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.