Justice for Ken: Lonely Christmas without my boys

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A MAN whose children were abducted to Zambia says Christmas without them will be ‘among his darkest moments’.

Ken Spooner, 47, will be spending his third festive season without little Devlan, five, and Caelan, three, since their mother took them on an agreed family holiday to see her parents in October 2008 – and never returned.

Mr Spooner, who was speaking after he was acquitted of attempting to re-abduct his two boys, has called on the British Government to intervene in his case.

And just yesterday city MP Mark Lancaster revealed he has brokered a meeting with foreign office minister Henry Bellingham on the issue.

“These are my darkest moments. Not being able to be with my children, they are my life,” Mr Spooner said.

“Not being with them at Christmas, New Year, their birthdays, Father’s Day, is awful.

“I have had to get good at burying my emotions.”

This year will be spent with family in Holland, with the hope that Miss Nyendwa will allow him to speak to the boys on Christmas Day.

Mr Spooner has spent more than £200,000 attempting to have the boys repatriated, but despite managing to obtain a High Court Order making them Wards of the English Court they remain in Zambia.

That’s because the Supreme Court of that country ruled early this year that the English Order had no jurisdiction over there and that Mr Spooner must make a similar application under common law through the Zambian Courts.

But his battle has been put on hold for the past three months while he has been forced to face trumped up charges of conspiracy to commit a felony amid accusations he conspired with a maid, Febby Siamasamu, to steal Devlan and Caelan’s passports.

Those accusations were thrown out of Lusaka Magistrates’ Court last Thursday, with Judge Fides Hamaundu calling them a ‘frame up’.

Now Mr Spooner, who returned to England on Saturday in an attempt to earn enough money to carry on his fight, wants the British authorities to intervene.

The government says its hands are tied as it cannot be seen to intervene in the affairs of a sovereign state, but the former Great Linford resident – who has been forced to sell his home and move all his possessions into storage to fund legal costs – said something needs to be done to prevent the problem of international child abduction.

He said: “I am finally back in England, to re-group and to find a way of getting some finances.

“Not only is it very nice to be home, but I wanted to reach out to the government in some way that would lead towards new legislation being introduced to stop children being abducted from this country to another.

“The Zambian legal system is based on English law, and what becomes law here is often introduced the following day there.

“I am sure there must be a way to repatriate my children other than through the Zambian courts. After all my children are wards of the English court and once they are back here the Royal High Court of Justice will determine their future as neither myself or Zanetta have custody of the boys.

“It is wrong that one parent can take their children from the other and to a foreign country without the British government being able to act on behalf of their citizens.

“To keep a child away from the other parent is parental alienation, which is in effect child abuse and anyone who abuses their child in this way should be dealt with by the law.”

And just yesterday he was handed a boost with the news that Mr Bellingham would be willing to talk to him about the issue.

Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster, who has been backing Mr Spooner’s cause, said: “The next positive step is getting Ken to meet the minister.

“Child abduction is a major problem. The international community has started to address it, but clearly what needs to be done is to place international pressure on those countries that haven’t signed the Hague Convention to do so.”

But Ken fears that if the government is unable to intervene it could take him another two years to fight his cause through the Zambian courts.

He has already lodged an application for a common law order, but that hearing won’t start until February or March; and he believes any results would then be subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“From experience it is likely to take another two years,” he said.

“There is a very big struggle to come, but I feel that having survived the last two years, including constant intimidation and provocation, threats to my life, being thrown in jail and being framed, I believe I can survive anything.”

And Ken had some good news on Friday when, after a year without contact with his boys, he was allowed to see them for half an hour.

“It was wonderful,” he said.

“As soon as I got out of my car my children spotted me and came running up. They were very excited and were hugging and kissing me.

“They were so happy and it was beautiful to see. I was just happy that they still knew me.

“It was almost as if it was yesterday we had last seen each other.

“I feared a year in a child’s mind is a long, long time, but the bond I have with them was still there.”

> Milton Keynes Citizen launched it’s Justice for Ken campaign after Mr Spooner saw the English Order overturned in Zambia.

We are calling on the British government to intervene in any way it can to help bring Devlan and Caelan hope so that a court in the land of their birth can decide their future.

Hundreds of people have already signed a petition asking David Cameron and the coalition to take steps to enforce the legitimate High Court order and bring the boys home as soon as possible.

It is this newspaper’s intention to present the petition to Parliament in the New Year.