Mother appeals to husband to bring children back from Libya

Libya children pic released to PA Zakaria (l) and Aisha were taken out for the day by their father on 29 September

Related Stories

A mother-of-two has appealed for her Muslim husband to bring their children back home after he took them to Libya claiming the UK was "too Western".

Priscilla Micalleff, 30, said she felt "lost and empty" without daughter Aisha, aged four, and son Zakaria, aged one, living in their Birmingham home.

She said husband Jamal Dgham had become increasingly devout. He took them out on 29 September but did not return.

She later received a text from him saying: "Thank God we are in Libya".

A court order was made last month stating that 35-year-old Mr Dgham return the children to the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

'Need their mother'

Last week a High Court judge gave permission for the case - held in private in the Family Division of the High Court - to be made public in the hope that publicity will help secure the children's return.

Ms Micalleff, a Catholic, told BBC News that she desperately missed the children but believed they are living at their grandmother's house in Libya.

She has spoken to them several times by calling the property but has been unable to have direct contact with her husband.

"I think about them all the time," she said.

Priscilla Micalleff Priscilla Micalleff said she is lost without her two young children

"They are very young and they need their mother.

"I feel lost and empty. Even though they are with [their] family, they don't know what the children are like and what they need.

"My daughter sounds sad and she cries when I speak to her."

The couple, who met in Malta and married in 2001, were about to separate when Mr Dgham took the children.

'Like a slave'

They first came to the UK in 2008 before returning again to live in 2010.

He had previously told his wife he wanted his children to be raised as devout Muslims and came to the UK believing there to be more mosques and because he felt the religion was widely recognized.

But he gradually changed his view and said he believed the UK was too western and he did not want his children to be influenced that way, Ms Micalleff said.

"I was happy for the children to be brought up as Muslim and I encouraged some things but he really changed... it was like I was his slave," she said.

"He would put pressure on me to convert, so much pressure.

"I had no reason to think he would do this."

Ms Micalleff's lawyer, Pam Sanghera, said there was no legal duty on Libya to help return the children.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

22 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    News on the hour 12:57: BBC WM

    A girl is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a car on Wolverhampton ring road yesterday.

    We'll have more in our 13:00 bulletin.

     
  2.  
    Bell dedicates ton to grandfather 12:51:

    Warwickshire and England batsman Ian Bell dedicated his return to form to the memory of his grandfather William, who died earlier this month.

    ian bell southampton 214

    Bell scored his first Test century in almost a year to lead England to 569-7 declared on the second day of the third Test against India, who closed on 25-1.

     
  3.  
    Diesel cars could face charges 12:40:

    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said that unless action is taken cities such as Birmingham could face dangerous levels of pollution from vehicle exhausts by 2030.

    exhaust

    Now cities around the UK are considering brining in low emission zones to force out older diesel vehicles that are responsible for higher levels of fumes.

     
  4.  
    Bike brake pierces girl's leg 12:30: Birmingham Mail

    Fire crews had to remove part of a bike's handlebars that had become embedded in the leg of a six-year-old girl in a freak accident at a Shard End park.

     
  5.  
    Slow traffic on A456 12:19:

    BBC Travel News says there's slow traffic on the A456 Manor Way eastbound in Halesowen between Grange Road Roundabout and the B4043 Manor Lane junction in the roadworks area.

     
  6.  
    Walsall properties to be cleared 12:06:

    Work started yesterday on the demolition of derelict properties in Walsall as part of a multi-million pound project.

    walsall demolitions

    The Albion Tannery, a three-storey building, together with an adjacent unit, number 7 Hatherton Street, will be flattened to help promote the site as a development opportunity, the council says.

     
  7.  
    News on the hour 11:57: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    The ICC, cricket's governing body, has said Birmingham-born England batsman Moeen Ali cannot continue to wear his "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" wristbands during the third test against India. Listen live

     
  8.  
    Former MEP dies 11:41:

    Former West Midlands Labour MEP Christine Oddy has died, aged 58.

    christine oddy

    Ms Oddy won the seat in 1989 and retained it in 1994. Five years later she stood as an Independent following a dispute with the Labour Party.

    She died on Saturday from cervical cancer, the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition says.

     
  9.  
    Grateful parents ink thanks to hospital 11:39: Birmingham Mail

    Grateful parents have inked their thanks to a Birmingham hospital - by having tattoos paying tribute to the care their children received.

     
  10.  
    Erdington meeting streamed 11:29:
  11.  
    Boys in Collymore racist abuse probe 11:18:

    Four teenage boys have been spoken to by police for making racist and threatening tweets to ex-footballer Stan Collymore.

    stan collymore

    Mr Collymore said he had been racially abused and sent death threats via Twitter between January and May.

     
  12.  
    ICC warns batsman 11:06:

    England batsman Moeen Ali has been warned not to wear wristbands showing support for Gaza during the third Test with India any more.

    moeen ali gaza wristbands

    The Birmingham born batsman, 27, wore bands saying "Free Palestine" and "Save Gaza" on the second day's play in Southampton.

     
  13.  
    News on the hour 10:59: Chris Blakemore News editor, BBC WM

    Solihull has been named as a hotspot for young adults still living with their parents despite having jobs.

    It's being claimed nearly two million young adults in England aged 20 to 34 are struggling to leave home because of rising rents and high house prices. Listen live

     
  14.  
    Your views 10:52: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

    Tell us what you think about the service for Birmingham and the Black Country.

     
  15.  
    Children blamed for blaze 10:38: Express and Star

    Fire crews called to tackle a blaze at remote farmland in Wall Heath near Kingswinford found two cans containing the hazardous substance propane in the debris.

     
  16.  
    Doctor Who comes to Birmingham 10:19:

    Doctor Who is preparing to take to the stage with live music and a cast of 100 actors and singers - and Daleks.

    Doctor Who live

    The show will tour the UK and will be visiting Birmingham in May next year. Tickets will go on sale on 1 August.

     
  17.  
    Girl injured in ring road crash 10:08:

    A 15-year-old girl was seriously injured in a crash on Wolverhampton's ring road last night.

    The teenager was crossing the Ring Road at the Waterloo Road junction, at about 16:30, when she was struck by a Volkswagen Golf.

    Police are appealing for witnesses.

     
  18.  
    News on the hour 09:56: Chris Blakemore News editor, BBC WM

    The MP for Meriden, Caroline Spelman, has asked the transport secretary to stop flight path trials being carried out by Birmingham Airport.

    The airport's been testing two new flight paths since May as part of the new runway extension.

    She says there are real problems for local people. Listen live

     
  19.  
    Airport response on flight path 09:48:

    Birmingham Airport says in a statement that the new flight path, to the south of the airport, is required as a result of the runway extension which is now open.

    It is aware of a petition circulating in the community and is recording and responding to all correspondence received.

     
  20.  
    Villa buyer could be imminent 09:39: Birmingham Mail

    A new owner of Aston Villa could emerge "within a month" following a close season of intense behind the scenes negotiations with potential buyers, it was claimed today.

     
  21.  
    Top Headlines
     
  22.  
    Government lobbied over flight path 09:22: BBC WM

    The government is being lobbied to force Birmingham Airport to stop flight trials over Balsall Common.

    People living there say the noise is making their lives a misery after the tests started in May and, in some instances, planes are flying too close to their houses.

    Caroline Spelman, the MP for Meriden, is asking the transport secretary to stop the trial.

     
  23.  
    Police hunt screwdriver attackers 09:06:

    Two capped men lashed out at a Birmingham shop-keeper with a screwdriver when he refused to serve them alcohol.

    screwdriver attackers

    The pair attacked a member of staff at Aston's Express Convenience Store in Birchfield Road just before 23:00 on 29 May.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Con Phil Langstone on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

     
  24.  
    News on the hour 08:55: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    A West Midlands MP is calling for an end to flight path trials carried out by Birmingham Airport.

    We'll be hearing from Caroline Spelman, MP for Meridan, in the 09:00 bulletin on BBC WM.

     
  25.  
    Bell puts England in strong position 08:44:

    Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell returned to form with a first hundred in almost a year as England dominated the second day of the third Test against India in Southampton.

    ian bell

    Bell made 167, sharing century stands with Gary Ballance and debutant Jos Buttler, who dazzled on the way to 85 from 83 balls.

     
  26.  
    City launches hunt for housing developer 08:33: Birmingham Post

    Plans for a major housing scheme in south Birmingham have taken another significant step forward after the city council cabinet agreed to open the tender process to build more than 300 homes.

     
  27.  
    Footage of officer flung from van 08:23:

    West Midlands Police has released this dramatic footage of the moment a Birmingham police officer was flung to the ground as he tried to stop a getaway van.

    police screen grab

    Detectives are appealing for help to solve the case.

     
  28.  
    Birmingham tunnel delays 08:12:

    The planned tunnel closures in Birmingham city centre are causing delays in both directions.

    See BBC Travel News for more information.

     
  29.  
    Cloudy later 08:03:

    After some morning sunshine, it will turn increasingly cloudy from the northwest. Though most places will remain dry, the odd spot of rain is possible.

    weather

    Late in the day, the cloud may tend to break allowing sunny spells to return.

     
  30.  
    Good morning 08:00: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel throughout the day for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    You can get in touch by emailing locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.