Mom pleads guilty to kidnapping baby 20 years ago

Patricia O'Byrne, with her back to the camera in this January 2012 file photo, pleaded guilty...

Patricia O'Byrne, with her back to the camera in this January 2012 file photo, pleaded guilty Friday to abducting her daughter two decades ago. (Toronto Sun files)

Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:37 PM ET

A B.C. woman admitted Friday that she kidnapped her daughter 20 years ago and blamed her own traumatic childhood.

Patricia O'Byrne, 55, pleaded guilty to abduction in violation of a custody order by taking her then 20 month old daughter in May 1993 from Toronto.

She and her daughter, now 21, lived under assumed names on Vancouver Island until a tip led BC and Toronto Police to arrest O'Byrne in 2011.

The daughter's name is covered by a publication ban.

Crown attorney Michael Callaghan said he is seeking a custodial sentence of up to 18 months to deter other like-minded parents from breaking court orders.

In his agreed statement of fact, he said O'Byrne suffered sexual abuse as a child and witnessed her mother being physically abused. Neither crime was reported.

Callaghan said it is unlikely that the mother, a first time offender, will be back in court again.

The father Joe Chisholm, who won sole custody of the child once O'Byrne disappeared two decades ago, searched for his daughter for years - pursuing leads across Canada and Europe. Court heard he does not want the mother to be imprisoned and hopes there can be "reconciliation," not retribution.


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