Days after filing a police complaint against her estranged husband for allegedly kidnapping her 5-year-old son, Kollam-native Anna Mathews still awaits justice.
Anna first approached the police on January 1, after her son Samuel Charles went missing with her ex-husband, a British national on December 31, 2016. On January 7, the Fort Kochi police filed an FIR in the case.
Read: Kerala woman alleges son kidnapped by British ex-husband, police on hunt for duo
With their divorce case still pending in court, the Kerala High Court had granted their son’s custody to her husband James Peirce on December 26 for a period of six days. However, not only did James fail to return the child, but has now fled the country, Anna alleges.
“I was informed by the British High Commission in Chennai on Wednesday that James left for the UK from Kathmandu on January 5 along with the child. This, he did, using forged documents, as both Sam’s and James’ passports have been surrendered at the High Court. He used an Indian police report saying that his and Sam’s passports were stolen and a letter purportedly signed by me to obtain emergency travel documents from Kathmandu to the UK. They have ordered the London police to investigate into the matter,” Anna alleged in a Facebook post, and later reiterated in a telephonic conversation with The News Minute.
At the time of writing, TNM was not able to independently verify the claim, as an official e-mail to the British High Commission in Chennai went unanswered. When TNM reached out to the officials on phone, the delay in answering the query was attributed to "staff crunch."
Even as the state DGP Loknath Behera has assured all support to Anna - who now lives in Thiruvananthapuram - the local police in Ernakulam investigating the case seems to be oblivious to reports that James has managed to leave the country.
Though several media reports had stated the possibility of James leaving the country, Fort Kochi police concentrated their searches to Bhopal and Goa and has now hit a roadblock.
One of the investigative officers told The News Minute that a police team of four officers had gone to Goa recently to search for the father-son duo.
“We first traced James’ tower location to Bhopal. But when our team went there, we could not find them. After this, we again traced his tower location to Goa. However, our team was not able to find them there too. We are still investigating the case,” Sub-Inspector Antony said.
He feels that James would not have been able to travel out of the country, as his travel documents were surrendered at the court. Though the police had filed a case against James for disobeying the court order, section 363 (punishment for kidnapping) was later added.
The police said that another complaint has been filed by the owner of a homestay in Fort Kochi, where James had resided for the past six months without paying rent. A car that James borrowed from the owner has also not been returned, the police said.
Anna Mathews said that though the HC had granted visitorial rights to James in November 2014, he had not once visited Samuel for a year. With the hearing of their case slated on January 3, Anna feels that James' lawyer had deliberately stalled the court proceedings for two days.
"it was only on 5th that the lawyer appeared in court and said that James must have gone to Goa. I have now learnt that James flew out with my son on the same day. The DGP has assured all help possible to get my child back. We will fight the case legally and take every measure possible to get him back," Anna said.
Read Anna Mathews' Facebook post here: