Woman who married man she had never met in person has kids taken into care
A Welsh woman who was married to a Somalian she had not met "over the phone" by an Imam a year after becoming a Muslim has had her four children taken from her care after a family court judge was told how she had planned to travel to Egypt when pregnant.
The woman, now in her mid-20s, had got to know the man via a website called "singlemuslim.com" seven years ago and married him weeks later, Judge Carol Atkinson heard.
Judge Atkinson was told that the couple were "not in each-other's presence" at the wedding.
Their relationship had been "on and off" and they had now separated, she heard.
Three of her children were taken into police protection in the summer of 2015 after social workers learned that she was pregnant and had booked seats for herself and the youngsters on a flight to Egypt without the man's consent.
Judge Atkinson has ruled that the four children, aged between six and eight months, should be placed in the care of their father, who is based in London and also in his mid-20s.
The judge said the woman would be able to stay in contact.
Judge Atkinson, who was told of mental health concerns, concluded that the woman was not able to offer the children good enough care.
She said the woman's parents had a "lovely home in Wales" which was "ready and waiting" for the youngsters.
But the judge, who analysed the case at a family court hearing in London, said the children wanted to be with their father - who had lived in the UK since he was a child.
And she said the grandparents ranked after the father when carers were being considered.
She said the man would get support from social services staff and was a "stable and calming" parent.
"The mother is a white British woman who was born and grew up in Wales. She became a Muslim in about 2008," the judge explained in a ruling on the case.
"The parents met online through a website called 'singlemuslim.com'. This was in 2009."
She added: "Within weeks ... the parents were married. They were married by an Imam over the phone and not in each other's presence; they had not met before their marriage."
Judge Atkinson did not identify anyone involved.