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Child At Centre Of Custody Dispute Handed Back To Grandparents

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland, Oct 14 NZPA - The father of a girl at the centre of a trans-Tasman tug of love is trying to get to New Zealand to be reunited with his daughter.

Police today oversaw the handing back to her grandparents of seven-year-old Caitlin Thorne, who was allegedly snatched by her mother Nicola Richards in west Auckland last week.

Richards appeared in Auckland District Court today on drugs charges and after her appearance her lawyer Chris Comeskey said it had been agreed Caitlin would be handed over to a "nominated person".

Police subsequently oversaw the handing over of Caitlin to her grandparents, from whose property she was allegedly snatched.

Caitlin's father Terry Thorne, who is now based in Sydney, was trying to book a flight to Auckland to see her tomorrow.

He told TV3 tonight he managed to speak to Caitlin this afternoon.

"We couldn't say any words other than tears. She was crying, I was crying."

Richards told TV3 she had been arguing with Mr Thorne for some time about where Caitlin should live.

"She was taken from me 10 months ago and I haven't seen her since and he took her for the wrong reasons."

Both parents had legal custody of Caitlin when she was allegedly taken last week.

Mr Thorne said he had been granted custody of Caitlin after an interim parenting order was granted to him on Thursday.

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