Mother and two foreigners get 10 to 16 weeks' jail each for bid to get her child back

SINGAPORE - The mother of a two-year-old who is the subject of a court case here and in England was jailed for 10 weeks on Monday for entering Singapore at an unauthorised landing place.

The woman had sneaked into Singapore with two foreigners at Raffles Marina last month in a bid to get her child back from her in-laws. The 30-year-old foreigner, who cannot be named, is undergoing divorce proceedings with her Singaporean husband. She was given custody of the child by the English court this year.

One of the other two foreigners, Adam Christopher Whittington, 38, who has British and Australian citizenship, was given a total of 16 weeks on three charges, while Australian Todd Allan Wilson, 39, the skipper of the catamaran, was jailed for 10 weeks for illegal entry.

Whittington, managing director of Child Abduction Recovery International, a non-governmental organisation, had seven charges in all. He pleaded guilty to three - entering Singapore by sea and not proceeding to the nearest immigration officer; using criminal force on the woman's 66-year-old father-in-law; and causing hurt to the 68-year-old mother-in-law.

The court heard that the woman had entered into a contract with Whittington's company in June this year to get her child back to London from his grandparents in Singapore.

As she had told Whittington that she could not enter Singapore through the usual immigration channels, Whittington made arrangements to charter a catamaran from an agent in Langkawi, Malaysia.

All three met in Langkawi on Aug 14. Five days later, they made their way to Singapore on the boat, arriving at Raffles Marina, which is not an authorised landing place, between 5pm and 9am.

After disembarking at around 6am, Whittington and the child's mother took a cab to a condominium where the child lived.

They waited for the elderly couple to come out of the flat. The mother grabbed the child from her father-in-law, who was arm-locked in the neck by Whittington.

A scuffle broke out at the lift landing between the couple and Whittington. When the grandmother held onto Whittington's bag strap to stop him from leaving, Whittington pressed the neck of the grandmother with his fingers.