A FATHER whose children were abducted by their mother and taken to Zambia is hoping to have them home for Christmas.
Ken Spooner has been fighting for more than four years for the return of his two boys, Devlan and Caelan.
Now a final decision could be made in the week before Christmas.
Mr Spooner is waiting for judges in the African country to make a ruling on an appeal by the boys mother, Zanetta Nyendwa. It comes after Mr Spooner was awarded custody of Devlan and Caelan in September last year.
The Zambian court is set to break for Christmas on December 17, but before the festivities start senior judges will take a week to work through outstanding cases – including Mr Spooner’s.
In October 2008, Miss Nyendwa took the boys, who were aged just four and two at the time, on a family holiday to Zambia. She has never returned.
Zambian authorities rejected the validity of an English High Court Order demanding the children be returned home, but after a protracted legal battle awarded Mr Spooner custody of the children pending an appeal.
But despite that decision the children still remain with Miss Nyendwa.
Miss Nyendwa lodged an appeal seven months ago, but the court has still not returned a verdict. It was expected the decision would take about three months.
This week, Mr Spooner told the Citizen: “My lawyer tells me that the judge is likely to make a decision in the week before Christmas.
“It the appeal is rejected then the boys could be home for Christmas. That would be perfect.”
Next weekend, Mr Spooner is set to attend a British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) organised discussion group for left behind parents in London.
The FCO is looking for suggestions as to how it can improve its service for victims of international parental child abduction.
Mr Spooner is keen for people to let him know what issues they would like raised. He can be contacted via this newspaper’s Justice for Ken Facebook page.