Prison for abduction of Aussie boys
David Landes · 10 Jul 2009, 15:55
Published: 10 Jul 2009 15:55 GMT+02:00
Ann-Louise Valette was arrested in April in Västmanland in central Sweden following a months-long plight by the boys’ father, George Pésor, to track down his sons.
Valette, 44, was convicted of arbitrary conduct with a child (egenmäktighet med barn) in Nyköping District Court, the Södermanlands Nyheter newspaper reports.
The boys, Frank, 11, and Andre, 9 failed to return to Australia to meet their father as planned last October following a visit with their mother in Sweden.
Valette had lost custody of the children in 2004, giving Pésor sole guardianship of the children.
An international warrant for Valette’s arrest was issued shortly thereafter, and Pésor then embarked on a personal quest to locate the boys, making several trips to Sweden and enlisting the help of Swedish law enforcement in the process.
The boy’s father, along with authorities in Sweden, suspected that Valette had enlisted the help of a Swedish women’s rights group called Föreningen Kobra ('The Cobra Association') to help her and her sons stay underground.
All the while, Pésor feared for the safety of his sons.
“I am really worried for the children, the mother is capable of anything,” he told the Brisbane Times newspaper in January.
Police finally arrested Valette following an extensive surveillance operation, allowing Pésor to be reunited with his sons.
In addition to sentencing Valette to prison, the court also ordered her to pay the boys and their father a total of 140,000 kronor ($17,700) in compensation.