British Police Seek Mother of Abandoned 11-Year-Old Daughter
Feb. 13, 1993
LONDON (AP) _ Police said Friday they were looking in Spain for an actress who left her 11-year-old daughter home alone in London while she went on vacation.
The mother, Yasmin Gibson, has had minor TV roles. Her daughter, Gemma, attends a theater school and took part in filming a commercial Friday.
The two occupied a luxurious, two-bedroom apartment, news reports said.
The case recalled one involving an American couple accused of abandoning their two daughters, aged 4 and 9, and flying to Mexico for a vacation.
The British girl's plight came to light when she went to an elderly neighbor for help, a Scotland Yard spokesman said.
The Social Services Department in the west London district of Hammersmith and Fulham said the neighbor contacted the agency in the middle of the night on Feb. 1. Spokeswoman Louise Raisy said the girl was taken to a children's home run by the department.
High Court judge Sir Kenneth Hollings made Gemma a ward of the court Friday and ordered news reporters to stay away from her.
The Evening Standard, which broke the story, said the mother planned to be gone three to four weeks. The newspaper said it apparently was not the first time Gemma was left alone by Gibson, a single parent.
Sir Robin Phillips, headmaster of Ravenscourt Theater School in west London, said Gemma should be able to continue her dance and acting studies.
He remarked, ''Loads of parents and staff have offered to take her in. She is a very popular little girl.''
According to the British news agency Press Association, Gibson could face a criminal charge of willfully neglecting her daughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.
The American couple, David and Sharon Schoo of St. Charles, Ill., pleaded innocent Thursday to 64 charges of neglecting and beating their two girls. They were arrested Dec. 29 when they stepped off the plane from Mexico.