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Jailed: Mother who bound and gagged addict daughter, 19, to stop her buying drugs

  1. Guttz
    A desperate mother has been jailed for 12 months after tying up her teenage daughter in a bid to stop her buying drugs.

    Julia Saker tried to stop 19-year-old daughter Tabitha leaving the family home after finding out she was an addict and was on her way to meet her dealer.

    Saker and Tabitha's ex-boyfriend Christopher Francklin - who spotted Tabitha climbing out of a window and shoved her back into her room - tied her arms together with tape and shoved a sock in her mouth.

    The pair were arrested in October last year after Tabitha dialled 999 and police heard her screaming as she was tied up and forcibly restrained.

    Saker was jailed for 12 months yesterday and Francklin for 18 months after Judge Adele Williams told them they had 'detained a young woman who was subjected to violence and humiliation'.

    Canterbury Crown Court heard how Saker, who is in her 50s and lives in Dover, Kent, was 'desperate' to save her daughter from drug addiction.

    Francklin, who is in his 20s, spotted his former girlfriend climbing out of the window of her home and forced her back into her room believing she was sneaking out to buy class A drugs, believed to be heroin.

    The court heard 999 evidence detailing Tabitha's screams as she was held back by the pair - repeatedly telling them she 'couldn't breathe'.

    The tape also revealed Francklin telling the 19-year-old that he would 'hit her hard' and also Tabitha begging her mother and Francklin to 'stop hurting her'.

    A belt was also used to restrain the teen by putting it round her neck and her arms were tied behind her back - causing her to suffer bruises and an injury to her jaw.

    When police arrived at the house they found Tabitha in tears and arrested her mother and ex-boyfriend, who both admitted a charge of false imprisonment.

    Both Saker and Francklin admitted tying the teen up and Francklin also admitted using violence by jumping on her in a bid to hold her down - telling the court he was trying to force her to give up drugs.

    Philip Hill, for Saker, said she had 'done her utmost for Tabitha' and she had 'acted with the best of intentions'.

    Nicholas Jinks, defending Francklin, added: 'Things escalated. It was a short incident which caused great distress and he accepts his responsibility.

    'There was no premeditation or weapons used and it was motivated by good intentions.'

    Judge Adele Williams told the pair it was a serious offence which subjected the victim to violence and humiliation, despite the fact they were trying to get her off drugs.

    'It was said you, Julia Saker were at your wits' end because of her drug-taking but you could have sought professional help instead of imprisoning her in this way,' she added.

    Last updated at 4:32 PM on 21st January 2011


  1. Phenoxide
    Hmm.. I could see a case like this causing a real divide of opinions.

    I feel quite sympathetic towards the mother and ex-boyfriend here. While they had no legal right to restrain her, you can understand that their intentions were far from being malicious. It does sound like things escalated out of control, but seeing as neither were charged with actual bodily harm I think the article is over-egging the violence aspect of it. It sounds more like she (understandably) got a bit hysterical after being jumped and restrained.

    Crazy stuff from the courts with the sentencing too. How is it in the public interest that these people are jailed for a few months? They're hardly a menace to society. Not sure what kind of message it sends when you actively punish people for making a desperate attempt to help a loved one, albeit in a totally misguided way. Another judge living in a fairytale world where "professional help" is summoned at the drop of a hat and immediately solves all of life's problems. I doubt the judge would be quite so collected if she was in the mother's shoes here.
  2. mickey_bee
    The whole problem here is about taking the law into your own hands.

    That is a crime.

    It doesn't matter that you were forcibly, violently restraining and attempting to imprison a 19 year old for her own good - you have no right to do so. Forcibly restraining and imprisoning an adult, or a child, be they your offspring or a stranger, is a crime. It's black and white.

    I do understand how hard it can be to live with an addict, and I could have sympathy for the mother if I knew her actions were truly with her childs' best intentions at heart, and there may well have been months of hellish behaviour on the daughter's part leading up to this.
    But either way, this is not her (the mother's) responsibility, much less so as her daughter was legally an adult at the time.

    As the judge quite rightly stated, if she really cared about her daughter, why didn't she get off her arse and do some research into treatment - because from personal experience swim know's there's a hell of alot of support out there for families of addicts, aswell as the addicts themselves.

    This sort of barbaric, and quite frankly dangerous action, (polydrug abuse amongst heroin addicts is common and withdrawal from benzodiazepines and/or alcohol can kill), holds no place in 21st century drug treatment.

    Traumatising an addict in this way, and trying to force them off drugs is simply ineffective and brutal - only the addict can decide when they are ready to quit, and until then they should be kept as healthy and safe as possible, and their families should make use of the numerous support services out there.

    These actions are simply wrong, and will do nothing but further delay this young woman's progression to a drug free life.

    EDIT: It's also important to remember phenoxide, that the little one can gain from this article is just that - little. It's impossible to determine from these few paragraphs of mediocre reporting that the mother and EX boyfriend were working together in the best interests of this young woman.....essentially, you can only place judgement on the facts that are given,- and those facts show that the actions of the mother and ex-boyfriend were completely illegal.
  3. Spucky
    AW: Re: Jailed: Mother who bound and gagged addict daughter, 19, to stop her buying d

    Do you ever spoke with Fathers or Mothers, Sisters and Brothers who lives and lost a Son/Daughter or Brother because of Addiction?

    I share your opinion but feel that this 12 and 18 Month Prison Term is wrong!

    Maybe i would do the same, depends on the Situation, hmmm :(
  4. mickey_bee
    I agree that many parent's feel helpless to help their children get off drugs. I really do.
    And again I must stress that it is impossible to make a relevant judgement about this case without knowing the full details....
    However, there is no suggestion of any run-up to this kidknap attempt other than a spur-of the moment argument. It really doesn't sound like either the ex-boyfriend, or mother, did anything in the way of attempting to exhaust the avenues available to them in addiction treatment.

    And believe me - they're out there! Sure, it's a hell of alot easier to gag a junkie and tie them to a bed, - but it doesn't solve the problem. And there is no evidence that prior to this brutal action either party attempted to solve the problem through the many channels available to them.
  5. Yail Bloor
    I have to agree with this, I believe the mother and ex comitted a crime and need to be punished. I'm surprised that I'm the first one to point this out, but stay with me here; picture this scene in your mind, granted an act of desperation, born of best intentions, but what exactly did the mother and ex plan on doing after the intensity of the initial scene had passed?

    • Would they have untied her and calmly talked to her, trying to sort out a rehab arrangement? Anyone think that would have worked, after the girl was forcibly restrained by those closest to her? I doubt it.
    • Would they have thrown her, bound-and-gagged into a car and taken her to a rehab center? If I'm not mistaken, a person cannot be forcibly admitted to a rehab facility without a court-order.
    • Would they have strapped her to the bed and forced a detox? I'm given to understand that this could potentially kill a person with a heavy enough addiction. I could be misinformed on that one, but none-the-less it would be cruel to force an addict to detox without allowing medical supervision/aid.

    So what exactly were they going to do after that hour, that day, that week? What was the longterm plan here? There wasn't one. The mother and ex acted foolishly, and without any regard to that harm the were causing. This girl, in a time were she needs trust and support, was violated by the best people to help her.

    Unless they had serious reason to think the girl was going to die (ie: suicide trip) that day, they deserve the sentance. Some of the worst things in the world have been done with the 'best intentions'. These laws are in place because people as a society are unfit to regulate there own actions, and this girls mother and ex just proved it.
  6. mickey_bee
    Got to agree, laws are there for a reason - and while some, (well, a fair few), are in my book definetly up for negotiation, you should never take the law into your own hands, *especially* when that has detrimental or traumatic effects on other individuals.

    Again, I understand the mother and ex-boyfriends' distress - if that was what caused this - but regardless of that, they had no right to do what they did.

    She was legally an adult, it was illegally forced, brutal kidknap. Doesn't get much more open and shut than that, whether they did exhaust the family treatment options available to them or not - but it really doesn't sound like they did.....
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