IN US: Ms Geldenhuys.
IN US: Ms Geldenhuys.

Daughter watches her mum go to jail for kidnapping her

SAMANTHA Geldenhuys watched a judge in the US sentence her mother to jail yesterday after she pleaded guilty to her kidnapping.

Ms Geldenhuys, of Maroochydore, was abducted by her mother as an infant more than 20 years ago and grew up on the Sunshine Coast.

Fighting back tears, she told a judge she had had a good life even though she didn't know her birth father while growing up.

"I was loved beyond belief," Ms Geldenhuys, now 21, told US District Judge Richard Gergel after her mother, Dorothy Lee Barnett, pleaded guilty to parental kidnapping.

Barnett, 54, also pleaded guilty to two counts of falsifying passport applications.

Judge Gergel sentenced Barnett to 21 months in prison followed by two years of supervised parole.

She is expected to be released in a few months because she gets credit for time served since her arrest in November, 2013.

Barnett was tracked down in Australia, where she had been living under another name since 2007. It was the first her daughter knew of her past.

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