Hartest man hopes for result soon in battle to bring grandchildren home from China
Hartest resident Ian Simpson is expecting to find out if he can get custody of his two Chinese grandchildren next month.
Mr Simpson, a retired IT consultant, his ex-wife Linda, and his wife Diana, have been fighting a legal battle to bring their young grandchildren, Jack, seven, and Alice, six, back from China to live in Suffolk.
Places at Hartest Primary School have been promised for the children.
The legal case centres around the fate of the children following the murder
of Mr Simpson’s son
Michael, who was living in Shanghai at the time, and who was stabbed to death by his estranged wife Waiwai Fu.
Last month, Mr Simpson was in China to hear his former daughter-in-law get life imprisonment, and she will serve at least 20 years he said.
He described attending the court as “incredibly upsetting”.
He said: “Linda and myself were shattered after that. We both said she’s not going to make 20 years. She looked awful, had lost a lot of weight and had got tics. We could hear her screaming as they took her away. Her family didn’t even turn up.
“We couldn’t believe the family let her go down.”
A custody hearing, to decide the fate of Michael’s two children, is due to take place in September.
Mr Simpson, of Brockley Road, said: “The last 16 months has been like a roller coaster ride. We go forward, and then it feels like we come crashing down, then we go forward again. “
He said some good news in the case was that the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart when he visited China recently.
This effectively allows Foreign Office civil servants to liaise with Chinese officials at a higher level than was previously the case.
But there are worries over where the custody court hearing will take place, and whether the case will be treated fairly, said Mr Simpson.
“The paperwork was delayed because we had to send more information, which has cost a further £2,500.
“I am still fearful about the paperwork and whether the court will accept it,” said Mr Simpson.
“But we have a lot of people turning up to the hearing, including the press, so we hope that will at least give us a fair hearing.
“They will take about a month to make a decision but that decision is final; there is no appeal.”
Mr Simpson and his family and friends have faced the the mammoth task of having to raise thousands of pounds to cover fees.
His neighbour set up a Just Giving page to raise £10,000 towards the costs at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jack-and-alice
Mr Simpson’s son Michael was a director at high street retailer Next and had gone to work in China nine years ago to oversee expansion of the company’s retail network. He met and married Waiwai Fu, a store worker.
Following their separation, Michael began another relationship only for the
pair to be attacked in their home. Michael was killed, and his partner was severely injured.
Mr Simpson has agreed to demands to bring the children back to China every two years if he gains custody of Jack and Alice.