China court date set for custody battle of murdered British man's children
PUBLISHED: 19:30 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:33 06 December 2018
A Suffolk man embroiled in a bitter custody battle to bring his grandchildren to the UK from China where his son was murdered says it will be "heart-breaking" to lose the case.
Ian Simpson, from Hartest, near Bury St Edmunds, will fly to the Far East on December 17 before the custody hearing on December 20, which will take place in Nanzhang in central China.
The mother of the children, Weiwei Fu, was jailed for life in July after she stabbed her estranged husband Michael Simpson to death at his flat in Shanghai..
Mr Simpson’s son Michael, 34, was working in the country as an executive for retailer Next.
The children – Jack, seven, and Alice, six – have since been taken to live in a rural Chinese town by their maternal grandparents.
Mr Simpson, 69, and his ex-wife Linda – Michael’s mother – have been fighting for months to get their grandchildren back to the UK following their son’s murder last year.
“It’s mixed feelings really,” Mr Simpson said. “On the one hand we know it’s coming to an end - it’s been around 21 months.
“But it’s also very nerve-racking as there is no appeal following this decision.
“It’s been very frustrating and very emotional as it’s been such a long process to get to this point.”
Mr Simpson said he will be hiring a translator in Shanghai who will make the trip to rural China for the hearing as there are no translators available in the province.
If no deal can be agreed on December 20 in the evidence exchange process then the case will enter into a court session the following day.
“I think we’ve got a lot on our side,” Mr Simpson said. “All the paperwork is there, but it’s not good getting your hopes up because we know that it could all go against us.
“To lose would just be heart-breaking, devastating and horrendous.”
Mr Simpson added that it may be another month following the hearing before a final decision is made.
“My lawyers have indicated that it is likely that we will not hear for at least a month.
“But we’re still fighting.”
A crowdfunding page started by a neighbour of Mr Simpson’s has raised more than £4,500 to help with legal costs.