Australian Dad Jailed in Japan After Attempting to Abduct His Children

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

What To Do If Your Partner Abducts Your Children Overseas – From The Experts

Recent media reports around the world including those from BBC, SBS and, have highlighted the case of Sydney journalist Scott McIntyre 46, who has finally been released from a Japanese jail after being accused of trespass when he entered a unit block trying to track down his children in Japan.

Mr McIntyre, was given a six month jail sentence to be suspended for three years after he tried locating his children who had been living with their Japanese mother whom had denied any access or communication with him after the breakdown of their marriage last year.

Scott McIntyre – Source: SBS

The Australian man reportedly engaged local family lawyers however, he was not having any success in his attempts of arranging contact to visit them at a secret location.

Following typhoons in Japan last year, he took it upon himself to track them down to a unit block where he followed a tenant into the building, straight past the secure intercom system. He was subsequently arrested for trespass and refused bail, spending six weeks in a Japanese prison before receiving his suspended jail sentence.

Daniella Ruggero, Accredited Family Law Specialist – Quick Tips – Act quickly where there are child abduction risks and see an Accredited Family Law Specialist. An expert may be able to take preventative measures like place the children on the airport watch list if your partner won’t surrender the child’s/children’s passport. – The Hague Convention is a treaty that provides a lawful process for the retrieval of Australian children that have been abducted overseas. An application can be made. – Avoid taking the law into your own hands, particularly in a foreign country. Mr McIntyre told media outlets that he has not seen his children for over 250 days.

“Unfortunately this is not an uncommon scenario in today’s society, particularly in Australia with our high rate of multiculturalism,” says Daniella Ruggero, Accredited Family Law Specialist at VRT Lawyers.

“When a marriage deteriorates where one party is from outside Australia or has significant ties to another country, that places the parties at significant risk of a child abduction case”. Daniella Ruggero, Accredited Family Law Specialist

While the Vizzone Ruggero Twigg Lawyer Family Law Team do not know what legal advice Mr McIntyre received, it is important to note that Japan is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

“What us family law lawyers call the Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty between Australia and a large number of countries that agree to a lawful process to determine the lawful retrieval and return home of children in abduction cases such as this,” explains VRT Partner Daniella Ruggero.

The Attorney-General has released figures which show that in the financial year 2017-2018 there were 143 Hague Convention applications by Australians which resulted in 66 successful retrievals.

“While clearly there is more that can be done to lift the success rate, the most critical thing that anyone can do is act quickly. As soon as you have concerns that you have a child that is at risk of being abducted or has been abducted, you should engage an Accredited Family Law Lawyer who will do all things necessary,” says Daniella Ruggero.

“That can include placing a child on the airport watch risk to stop them leaving Australia in the first place, a Hague Convention application if they have already been abducted, or we can even have dual proceedings in countries. For example, VRT Lawyers have coordinated dual cases in the Singapore High Court at the same time as the Family Court of Australia,” explained Daniella Ruggero.

Our team here at Vizzone Ruggero Twigg Lawyers specialise in Family Law matters. Our partners Lisa Ruggero Salerno and Daniella Ruggero are both Accredited Family Law Specialists who can help you with all family law matters. To make an appointment for either our City or Mascot offices, call 9264 7244 or email

Lisa Ruggero-Salerno, Partner

Daniella Ruggero, Partner

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