Disappointments thwart mother’s efforts to get justice

Lacey Plato, who is fighting for the return of he son and daughter, abducted to Oman by their father.
Lacey Plato, who is fighting for the return of he son and daughter, abducted to Oman by their father.

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A mum has been thwarted every step of the way in her costly year-long battle to get her children back to England.

Lacey Plato’s daughter Aisha and son Faris were taken from their Portsmouth home by their Omani father last summer and taken to the Gulf state.

In desperation she has urged Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene personally and put pressure on the Omani authorities to have the children, who are British citizens, returned to England.

Oman is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on international child abduction and so despite a High Court order that the children be returned, Interpol is powerless to arrest Usama Al-Barwani there.

‘We have tried to take action in the Omani courts but because the children have an Omani father, under that country’s law they are regarded as Omani,’ said Lacey. ‘I was advised the best I could get was visitation rights and, after five years, some form of joint custody with me having to stay in Oman and not leave.’

In her four trips to Oman, Lacey has managed to see the children twice, the last time in January.

She is able to talk to them on Skype, with their father present. ‘They tell me that they want to come home,’ she said.