Family on the run: Why the battle for Jade and Hannah is far from over
Last night, after 24 hours of intense negotiations had brought the Bramleys and the two girls home, it became apparent that a complex legal procedure awaited the middle-aged couple, who had been on the run since September, when they were told they could not adopt Jade, five, and Hannah, three.
The future of the two girls, both in the next few days and in the longer term, can only be settled with the agreement of Mrs Justice Hogg, who made them wards of court on Friday after an application from Cambridgeshire social services.
It will take several months for the adoption procedure to be resolved in the event that the Bramleys do, as expected, renew their bid to become parents. The Official Solicitor will represent the Bennett sisters.
An open letter from Liz Railton, director of Cambridgeshire social services , conceding that the Bramleys' case for adoption would be reconsidered, is believed to have persuaded them to come home. But last night Ms Railton said her department will still attempt to block the adoption. "Mr and Mrs Bramley have been made parties to these proceedings," she said. "This means every time any decision is made their views must be considered."
Immediate criminal charges against the couple are unlikely, but cannot be ruled out in the future, Cambridgeshire Police said before the safe return of the children. "We just cannot speculate on what the situation will be until we meet up with them and have a chance to question them," a spokeswoman said. "This has been an almost 18-week-long inquiry. We will need to talk to the family before a decision can be made."
In her open letter urging them to surrender, Ms Railton proposed that the courts should also decide what would happen to Jade and Hannah in the medium term while the adoption application was progressing through the legal system.
Cambridgeshire Police has been preparing for an early hearing to decide the girls' immediate future.
The intense media interest in the case is likely to continue, with pressure on the Bramleys to tell their story. In the last few weeks, the couple have been compared to other famous fugitives from Bonnie and Clyde to the fictional Thelma and Louise. The compelling, irresistible tale of how they strove to keep the girls they loved as their own children will not have failed to attract the attentions of film makers, either.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Ottawa shootings: Terror strikes Canadian capital as attacks leave one soldier and one suspect dead
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...
competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: A global entertainment busi...
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This new opportunity has responsibilities des...
£19200 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...