ANGUISHED mother Lacey Plato says she’s heartbroken at her father’s arrest in Dubai.
Southsea civil engineer Steve Grant is unable to leave the Gulf state after being held at the airport more than five weeks ago as he travelled to Oman to see his abducted grandchildren.
My father has done nothing anywhere serious enough to be held without income and supportLacey Plato
He is accused of sending phone messages that amounted to threats to kill the youngsters’ paternal grandfather, who lives in Dubai.
Lacey’s daughter Aishah, 10, and son Faris, seven, were abducted from their Portsmouth home by their father Usama Al-Barwani in 2012.
He is in jail in the UK after returning to Britain last November and continuing to defy a High Court order to return the children, who are now being cared for by relatives in Oman.
Lacey said her father’s arrest in Dubai had hit the family hard after the trauma of having Aishah and Faris snatched from them.
‘We are in complete shock,’ she said. ‘My father has done nothing anywhere serious enough to be held without income and support.
‘He was only going to there to see the children to see that they are all right and to give them a video message from me as I have been stopped from contacting them since last November by my former partner’s family.
‘I’m so worried about them. All I get from Usama’s sister in Oman is that God is on their side and that the children know what’s true.
‘I rang their school there but was told that the children had been taken out of the school because I was dead.
‘At the High Court earlier this month, Usama asked to speak with me without barristers present and then just told me that he could get my father out of custody in Dubai “just like that” if he (Usama) was allowed to return to Oman. “Release me from prison and I’ll get your kids back” he told me. But I know that wouldn’t happen.
‘I just want them back and I want my dad back. It’s so hard – he can’t do anything and we can’t do anything for him.’
Mr Grant wants the British Embassy in Dubai to do more to help as he waits for police to complete their inquiries.