18-year-old kidnap case in court

Dec. 5, 2011 at 7:50 PM
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TORONTO, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A woman accused of leaving her Toronto husband to hide in British Columbia with her toddler daughter 18 years ago was remanded to police after court Monday.

A bail hearing for Patricia O'Byrne, 54, is scheduled for Tuesday.

O'Byrne, who was arrested in Victoria last week, arrived in Toronto Sunday evening. After police processed O'Byrne she was moved to the Vanier center for women in Milton, Ontario, where she was detained, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

O'Byrne's defense will be argued by lawyers Edward Greenspan and Todd White, who said he felt outrage his client was being detained.

"Around the world, around the country, people who are alleged to have committed this offense are released on bail routinely," White said. "They're presumed innocent. I don't see any evidence to think that she'd be a flight risk whatsoever."

Police allege O'Byrne took off from Toronto to British Columbia in 1993 with 20-month-old Sigourney Chisholm after a custody battle with the child's father, Joe Chisholm, the CBC said.

Chisholm spent 18 looking for Sigourney, now 20 years old, who allegedly had been living in Victoria with her mother -- both under assumed names: Pamela Whelan for the mother and Sigourney as Thea Whelan.

Joe Chisholm appeared in court Monday with his aunt and a family friend but did not speak to the media.

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