A PREGNANT woman who had been told that her baby would be taken from her when it is born has been told she can keep her child.

Fran Lyon fled to Europe last month to escape the social services ruling - and now she has been told she is safe to be a parent after all.

Ms Lyon flew to the continent last month after Northumberland County Council ruled that her child would be taken from her 10 minutes after birth because they feared she was at risk of developing Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy - a controversial condition said to lead mothers to seek attention by harming their child or claiming it is ill.

Miss Lyon, who was studying neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh before her pregnancy, told the authorities about her past mental health problems, which involved self-harming, an eating disorder and treatment for borderline personality disorder.

She said social services gave her an "abusive" birthing plan which banned her from breastfeeding because she might ingest poison to try to hurt the baby and only allowed contact through supervised visits.

But a psychologists report to the council said that Ms Lyon, 22, would not be a threat to her baby, who will be named Molly, and that she should be allowed to keep the child if she returns.

The U-turn comes after a previous report said Ms Lyon should not be allowed to keep her baby because the psychological problems she experienced as a teenager made her a threat to her newborn.

Despite the change of ruling, Ms Lyon, originally from Hexham, Northumberland, said she had no intentions of moving back to the UK.

She said: "It is basically as close as you will get to them saying; 'sorry, we messed up.' "They have realised they would not have stood a chance if it was taken to court.

"I hit the roof when I found out. Because of them I have lost everything - my job, my home, I have sold everything.

"I literally own what I can carry. Apart from Molly, I've got nothing at all."

The original decision to remove the child was taken after a paediatrician Miss Lyon had never met said she was likely to suffer from a condition that would cause her to harm her child.

Despite other doctors saying she was fit to be a parent, social services refused to back down - until the latest recommendation was made by an expert from London.

Miss Lyon said she was now happily settled in a flat and had an excellent midwife.

She said: "They have said that if I go back, I would be allowed to go into a mother and baby unit with Molly and I would be allowed to breast feed.

"But there is no way I am coming back. Why on Earth should I? You think of the damage they could have done to Molly if she had arrived before I made my decision to leave.

"They simply shouldn't be allowed to do this, put somebody through this, and then turn around and say they were wrong.

"They have destroyed so much and I am not going to allow them to destroy me any more."

Molly is due to be born early next month and Miss Lyon said she had spent much of the past few days shopping and preparing for the new arrival.

A Northumberland County Council spokesman said: "Unfortunately we are unable to comment on individual cases. However, we can say that child protection recommendations are always subject to review.

"We would never put a child protection plan in place without current and appropriate grounds for serious concerns. We are concerned that Miss Lyon's whereabouts are still unknown.

"We urge her to urgently get in touch with us, or a medical adviser, so we can be sure that she and her unborn child receive the help and support they both need.

"It is crucial the authorities wherever she is have relevant information from us to do this."