15 Oct 2008

Girl in custody dispute to be returned

8:10 am on 15 October 2008

A seven-year-old girl at the centre of a trans-Tasman custody dispute is to be returned on Tuesday afternoon.

Terry Thorne, who lives in Sydney, claims his daughter Caitlin was kidnapped by her mother Nicola Richards last week.

The girl was holidaying with her grandparents at their home in West Auckland at the time.

Mr Thorne accused Ms Richards of going underground, but on Tuesday morning she appeared at Auckland District Court to face two methamphetamine-related charges.

The child was not with her in court.

Ms Richards' lawyer, Chris Comesky, said Caitlin will be given to a suitable person in Auckland on Tuesday afternoon, and stressed that the girl was safe and well.