June 2, 2015
Source: Hull Daily Mail
A FATHER who abducted his three children and took them to war-ravaged Afghanistan following the breakdown of his marriage has been banned from entering the East Riding.
His estranged wife was reunited with her children last August, 18 months after they were snatched during the height of Britain’s battle with Taliban fighters.
The youngest child was separated from his mother when he was just two weeks old – the others were aged seven and two at the time of the abduction.
They were found by specialist lawyers employed to trace their whereabouts.
The family cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The father, a refugee, with British citizenship, was arrested by police on a return visit to the UK and he is now serving a five-and-a-half-year jail term for child abduction.
Now, Mr Justice Keehan, sitting at London’s High Court, has banned, indefinitely, the father – who is eligible for release in March – from entering the East Riding, where his estranged wife lives.
He said: “They need to recover from the trauma they suffered on being separate from their mother and primary carer.
“They need to recover from the care they received in Afghanistan, which has been referred to in terms of being less than loving and kind.”
When she was finally reunited with her children, the mother said: “I am overwhelmed with emotion. It has been the most terrible 18 months of my life.
“There have been many times when I have wondered if I would ever see my children again.
“Lots of times I have nearly given up hope but I knew I had to keep going. I do not know how to begin to thank the people who have worked to bring them home safely to me.”
Zoe Atkinson, of Hull-based Williams Solicitors, who represented the mother, said: “It is hard to imagine a worse pain than losing your children to abduction.
“There were real fears their mother would not see them again.
“The mother had no information as to the whereabouts of the children or who was looking after them, and her husband refused to divulge any information.
“As time passed fears grew as to the prospects of successfully recovering the children.”
Ms Atkinson said Williamsons contacted an American lawyer, Kim Motley, who works in Afghanistan.
“She agreed to take on the case and help our client ‘on the ground’,” said Ms Atkinson. “The work Ms Motley did in Afghanistan to help was outstanding.
“This has been a fantastic team effort from all concerned to find these children and bring them home where they belong.”
The children are reported to be settling back in their mother’s care well, said Ms Atkinson.
She said: “Parental abduction is, unfortunately, increasing and hopefully this story will bring some hope for other parents involved in similar desperate situations.”
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