I can make perilous rescue mission to Ukraine to save my little girl after 'extraordinary' Brit judge let me walk free

A MUM desperately trying to rescue her daughter from war-torn Ukraine was allowed to walk from court today after a landmark court ruling on "grounds of humanity".

Olga Khomenko, 34, who pleaded guilty to a charge of taking her daughter out of the UK without consent, wept as the extraordinary two-year suspended sentence was read aloud.

It means the doctor can now begin a perilous mission to reach her daughter and elderly mother from the Kyiv region – where they are currently sheltering from Putin's artillery fire.

Opening sentencing Judge Michael Kay said: "This is a very unusual sentencing exercise, I would be surprised if they had ever taken place before."

At St Albans Crown Court, he added: "This extraordinary case that the court is faced with is one where a mother is in this country and her daughter is in Ukraine.

"I cannot begin to understand what is happening on the ground in the Kyiv region.

"It is a desperate situation and one where only desperate measures can be taken.

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"I have never known a sentencing where the issue of saving a child in a foreign country has been a factor.

"It is a decision I'd be amazed if any court has ever made before. These are extraordinary times.

"The criminal justice system has to have simple humanity.

"So simple humanity guides me that the only appropriate sentence is one of two years that will be suspended for two years."

As Putin began his invasion, Olga appealed to the court for her passport to be returned and she was granted a 72-hour bail window to attempt to rescue her child last week.

After Olga tragically failed to reach her in time she returned to the UK to plead guilty and beg the courts to allow her back to Ukraine.

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She begged to embark on her mission once more, despite a likely custodial sentence.

The court heard how the relationship between Olga and her ex-husband Vuri Yasylkivskyy, also a Ukrainian national, broke down shortly after their daughter was born.

Olga took their daughter to Ukraine in February 2017 without Mr Yasylkivskyy, consent where she has remained ever since.

Olga was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant in 2019 as she landed in Paris on her way to a medical convention in Chile and was deported to the UK, where she has been awaiting trial.

Defending Stephen Vullo QC said: "I am going ask your honour to pass a sentence that is merciful. Merciful not just to Miss Khomenko but also to her daughter.

'HUMANITY WINS'

"This engages an article two right of the daughter, her right to life.

"She is in a war zone in Kyiv which is within earshot of missiles raining down.

"So your honour, videos were sent out and you have a video from her daughter asking for her mum to come and, it is heartbreaking, but you can hear the bombs.

"What would be vital is for her mother to be at least at the border. Then if a safe corridor opens up then that could facilitate an escape.

"But when Miss Khomenko last went to the border last week she was confident that when she is at the border she will find someone heading back to Kiev.

"She is hopeful she may be able to find some way east into the county.

"There is a matter of war in Ukraine and Miss Khomenko is the only one who can take the daughter out of the country."

Olga was sentenced to a two year suspended sentence and is making her way to Gatwick airport to travel to Poland.

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