Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth mother's bid to find abducted children

An 11-year-old girl who was abducted by her father four years ago and taken to the Middle East phoned her mother to say "I miss you", a court has heard.

Usama Al Barwani, from Portsmouth, was released last month after serving half a four-year sentence for abducting Aishah and his son, Faris, eight.

Their mother, Lucy Plato, has launched a separate bid to be reunited with her children, who she believes are in Oman.

Al Barwani indicated he would try to arrange their return.

Appearing before the High Court in London on Tuesday, Ms Plato told the judge she had received an unexpected call from her daughter, who told her: "I really miss Christmas, I miss cold weather and I miss you."

Her barrister Jonathan Evans suggested to the judge that Al Barwani be sent to prison for breaching the family court order by not returning the children.

But Mr Justice Hayden ordered the court be emptied so Ms Plato and Al Barwani could speak privately.

The judge said the discussions gave him "real hope" and he would reconsider the case again in the near future.

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