A SOMERSET woman has appeared in court charged with child abduction.

The woman, who is not being identified for legal reasons, appeared at Taunton Crown Court today (January 14) and entered no plea.

She is alleged to have run off to Australia with her child following a domestic dispute with her husband.

The court heard the woman was sent back to the UK and is now living with the child in rented accommodation, separate from her husband.

During the brief hearing, Judge David Ticehurst encouraged the Crown Prosecution Service to "think very carefully" whether or not the case is in the public interest.

Defending, Patrick Mason said: "It is an onerous prosecution on this defendant. She is a perfectly decent, honest and caring mother."

The woman was released on bail and is due to re-appear on March 25.

The County Gazette was gagged from publishing the full story in relation to the charge by Taunton Crown Court this afternoon.

The court purported to make an order banning the identification of children involved with the proceedings.

The order was made without giving the County Gazette an opportunity to make representations.