Heartbroken mum Lacey Plato today made a desperate plea to David Cameron: ‘Help me get my abducted children back.’
She wants the Prime Minister to intervene personally after her son and daughter were illegally taken from their Portsmouth home by their father.
Lacey has endured a year of anguish since Usama Al-Barwani managed to get Aisha, eight, and her five-year-old brother Faris out of the country and take them to Oman.
Now, having suffered a crushing blow in a court fight to have them returned, Lacey believes that only pressure from the UK government will see her children being able to return home to her.
She said: ‘I would just plead for help from Mr Cameron, both as Prime Minister with the influence that he could possible have, and as a parent. These are my children. They are very young and they want to be with their mum.’
Lacey has been to Oman four times since their father took the children there just over a year ago.
He had been Lacey’s partner for six years and they lived together in Dubai.
But when the relationship broke up she returned to England with the children.
‘He agreed this was best for them,’ she said. ‘He came to visit them twice, but the second time he took them to the Omani embassy in London and said their British passports had been lost.
‘He was given emergency travel documents and took them straight to Oman.
Helped by her father Steve Grant, of Emsworth, Lacey obtained a judgement from the High Court in London that the children had been taken out of the country illegally and that Mr Al-Barwani should return them.
But, safe from the court’s jurisdiction in Oman, he has failed to do so.
The family thought they had at last secured justice when last May they discovered Mr Al-Barwani’s mother was making one of a number of regular visits to Portsmouth, where she had lived for many years.
Lacey tipped off officials of the High Court, who found her at a property in Copnor and seized her passport.
‘The judge said that the children would have to be returned before she was free to go, because by caring for them in Oman, she was aiding and abetting their father,’ said Lacey.
‘But she argued that she was not looking after them and that her human rights were being breached.
‘When a new judge took over the case this month, he allowed her to have her passport back and she went straight back to Oman.’
Now Lacey is pinning her hopes on a new effort by the government to secure the return to children, who are British citizens, from a country with which it has huge trade links. Britain’s ambassador in Oman has already been told by the country’s foreign minister that he will not intervene.
Lacey is pinning her hopes on persuading Mr Cameron to act personally despite coolness from No 10.
It says the issue is a matter for the Foreign Office, which in turn says it can only provide ‘appropriate consular assistance’.