Couple jailed as police hunt for their baby

Police hunting for the newborn child of a paedophile said last night that they believed the baby was being kept in Thailand.

Police hunting for the newborn child of a paedophile said last night that they believed the baby was being kept in Thailand.

The six-week-old infant's parents, Andrew Milton and his Thai-born wife Sakunna, were each jailed for six months on Thursday for refusing to reveal its whereabouts. However, following interviews in prison, officers said they now believed the baby was with a member of its mother's family in Thailand.

Social services have been granted permission to take the child into care because Milton, a 38-year-old businessman from Wellington, Somerset, is believed to pose a grave threat to its safety.

In a dramatic confrontation at the High Court in Taunton, Judge Cotterill had told Mrs Milton, through an interpreter: "Your husband is a paedophile. The court considers your husband to be a great danger to children." The judge explained that she might be allowed custody of her child if she cooperated with the authorities.

When the 23-year old continued to withhold information, Judge Cotterill jailed the couple and then took the unusual step of identifying the child by naming its parents yesterday. He also issued a Section 50 order which means that anyone with information about the baby must contact the police or face prosecution themselves. Milton is not believed to be on the Sex Offenders Register or to have been convicted of a previous paedophile offence.

Judge Cotterill made his statement that he was a paedophile in a civil court, which can reach a judgment based on the "balance of probabilities" rather than "beyond reasonable doubt". The court had heard evidence that police officers had found pornographic CD-roms and e-mails relating to Milton's sexual exploits with young females on previous visits to Thailand during a search of his home.

Milton was described by a neighbour, who asked not to be named, as a quiet man. She said: "I've seen him around a few times with his wife and he seemed quite a nice chap, but he kept himself to himself."

Fears were first raised about the baby when Mrs Milton, who is only believed to have lived in Britain for seven months, was reported missing during her pregnancy in May. Following a police appeal, and reports that the couple had gone into hiding, the Miltons returned to Wellington at the beginning of July without their baby.

However, police have found a photograph of the mother with a baby and are working on the assumption that the child, aged about six weeks, is alive.

Judge Cotterill has granted Somerset County Council two orders to help their investigation into the Miltons. The first gives them access to travel-company records to discover if the couple have returned to Thailand since the birth of the child. The second allows them to examine computer equipment seized from their home in Wellington from where Mr Milton runs a furniture business.

Abuse of young boys and girls is rampant in Thailand and the country is a favourite destination for Western paedophiles. In November a Briton, Robert Errol Woods, was jailed for 42 years by the Thai authorities for abusing homeless boys but other Britons have escaped punishment by paying off their victims' families.

Suggested Topics
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?