Four missing children found after judge orders search

An appeal was launched over Jessica, Tomas, David and Eva Palacin Jones on Tuesday
Image caption An appeal was launched over Jessica, Tomas, David and Eva Palacin Jones on Tuesday

Four children who went missing with their Welsh mother after a court order was made for them to return to live with their father in Spain have been found in south east Wales.

The four aged between eight and 14 went missing from the house of their mother Jennifer Jones in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, on Friday.

Their father Tomas Palacin Cambra lives on the Spanish island of Majorca.

It follows a hunt after a high court judge ordered "they must be found".

Image caption A search for Jennifer Jones and her children was issued on Tuesday

Jessica, Tomas, David and Eva Palacin Jones had been with their mother but should have gone back to live with their father, said High Court Judge Mr Justice Roderic Wood during his appeal for them to be located on Tuesday.

"I am very concerned about the children," he said at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

"They must be found. I ask anyone who knows where they are or might have seen them to tell this court or the local police."


He added: "This is the second time this mother has abducted the children from Spain.

"The last time she did so was in 2009."

Airports and ports had been put on standby.

Last week another High Court judge, Mr Justice Hedley, had decided that the mother had "abducted" the children from Spain, where they were in the care of their father.

She had been ordered to return the children to Spain by midnight on Friday 12 October but had not done so.

Ms Jones had been ordered late on Friday to attend a High Court hearing in London on Monday.

"The mother came to my court yesterday and argued through her barrister that the order of Mr Justice Hedley... should be set aside," said Mr Justice Roderic Wood.

"I declined to set that order aside.

He added: "I was also concerned that the mother might abscond overnight and so I, with a heavy heart, ordered that the children were to be immediately removed from the mother's care and placed in the care of the local authority for a short period of time so that they could be returned to Spain without delay.

"When the police came to remove the children very early this morning from the mother's house in Llanelli, Wales, they found the mother and the children had gone."


During his appeal, he said the children were missing.

"The mother removed them from her home in the middle of the night. Her and her children's whereabouts are unknown. I do not know the mother's intentions," he said.

Lawyers for the children's father said they feared the mother had gone "underground" with the four children.

They said he was "devastated" at losing his children, who are all bilingual and speak fluent Spanish as well as English with a Welsh accent.

Another hearing is due to be held before Mr Justice Roderic Wood at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday at 14:00 BST.