Four sisters at the centre of a bitter international custody dispute will arrive back in Italy early tomorrow morning.

Last night the girls were dragged into police cars before being taken to the airport and deported.

WARNING Viewers may find some the images in this report distressing.

Matthew Gharakhanian reports.


The emotional impact on the four young sisters was obvious last night.

As Federal Police officers took the girls away from their Sunshine Coast home and their disraught mother.

Chris Turnbull is an expert in family law and he says the highly-charged emotions have the potential to affect the four girls long term.

Chris Turnbull, Partner in Family Law Groups Solicitors: “There is plenty of evidence to show that children’s exposure to conflict, between their parents more generally, and specifically when there is media involved, has a very serious impact on their mental health.”

Yesterday, the Family Court Judge ruled there was no reason why the mother could not go with her daughters to Italy.

Chris Turnbull, Partner in Family Law Groups Solicitors: “The mother, if she wants to, she can get on a plane to Italy herself today and apply in an Italian court for those kids to live with her.”

But today the mother said she fears being prosecuted and victimised if she returns.

After the emotional scene of the airport in the early hours of this morning, the question that remains to be seen is how the family will cope with adjusting to their life in Italy in the foreseeable future.

Matthew Gharakhanian, QUT News.