12 Aug, 2016 @ 10:15
1 min read

British mother told her child may never return from Costa del Sol after father fled with her there five years ago

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HAPPIER TIMES: Jan and Leonie
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A SCOTTISH mother has been told that her daughter may never be returned after the father fled to Spain with her five years ago.

Jan O’Hara, 28, had been in the middle of a custody battle with Christopher Stuart, 27, over their three-year-old daughter Leonie Stuart O’hara.

Christopher then tried to receive permission to take their daughter to live in Spain but his request was rejected.

Undeterred, he vanished with her anyway.

“I tried everything to get her back, but no-one knew were she was,” said Jan.

“No-one could help me, on every door I knocked it felt like there was no answer.”

Jan wrote to Nicola Sturgeon and The Scottish Government for help.

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IN SPAIN: Leonie

A letter in response read: ““If your daughter is found, there may be little prospect now of a return order being made by the Spanish courts, given Leonie appears to been living in Spain for more than five years now.

“However, it may still be possible to use the 1980 Hague Convention to try and establish contact between you and your daughter and we can explore that matter with the Spanish, though of course that will depend on whether they are able to trace your daughter.”

Jan has been left devastated and angry by the response, saying she feels the government is not doing enough.

“This letter just says to me that despite the fact Chris was told by a court not to take our daughter away, it doesn’t really matter,” she said.

“He just gets away with it and I’m here brokenhearted unable to hold her, speak to her or see her growing up.

HAPPIER TIMES: Jan and Leonie
HAPPIER TIMES: Jan and Leonie

“If this is the law, then it’s totally unacceptable. You can’t just allow people to take children away from their mothers.

“I want my girl back. I’m not even saying she should stop seeing her dad but I think she has the right to see me too.”

Christopher, who is originally from Derby, had been living in Cambuslang, Glasgow, applied to the court saying he wanted to move to the Costa del Sol for work and to live with his parents Keith and Cheryl Stuart.

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LEONIE: With dad Christopher

When his request was rejected, he moved with her anyway and has since posted pictures of her on social media.

Jan has vowed to bring her daughter home, who is now believed to be living in Malaga with dad Chris.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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  1. The story is all lies! she got refused custody by court. I know the family, and have seen the court papers, she has just had baby number 4 to father number 4. She also gets the dates she was “taken” from her wrong in three different publications. She knows exactly where her daughter is, but makes out she has no idea for the sympathy vote.

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