Suffolk man offers £40k to son's killer so grandchildren can grow up together
A Suffolk man has offered £40,000 to his son's killer so his grandchildren can grow up together in the UK.
Ian Simpson, 70, who lives in Hartest, near Bury St Edmunds, has been embroiled in a bitter custody battle for grandchildren Alice, six, and Jack, eight, since his son's murder in 2017.
Mr Simpson's son Michael, 34, was working as an executive for retailer Next in Shanghai when he was stabbed to death by his estranged wife Wei Wei Fu - who was jailed for life for the murder.
The couple had split two years earlier and Michael was with his new girlfriend when Wei Wei attacked him in his Shanghai flat.
Michael's new partner was also stabbed and left with lifelong injuries.
MORE: Parents of British man murdered in China in fight to bring grandchildren home to UK
Following the murder, Jack and Alice were whisked away to live in rural Nanzhang in north-west China by their maternal grandparents.
Mr Simpson and ex-wife Linda flew to China in December last year for a custody hearing and were faced with an agonising decision to split their grandchildren up - or leave without either of them.
A deal was struck on Christmas Day and Alice was brought back to Suffolk after it was agreed the siblings would speak by video link every week and meet up once a year.
The calls have gone ahead but Jack's Chinese grandparents did not allow him to fly to the UK for a summer reunion with his sister.
Now Mr Simpson has written to the family offering to put £40,000 into an account for Wei Wei to support her after she is released from her life sentence - if Jack is allowed to leave China for the UK.
MORE: Suffolk man wins custody of granddaughter but grandson must remain in China
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Simpson said: "The reason the Fu family want to keep Jack is so he can look after his mother - that is the [traditional] Chinese approach.
"The earliest Wei Wei will get out is 2036 and Jack will be 27 by that time. We've said we will put money in Wei Wei's bank account and it will be worth double by the time she gets out, and that is the alternative to them hanging on to Jack."
A Just Giving page, started by a neighbour, has raised nearly £9,000 to help with the family's legal costs.
Speaking to the EADT last year, Mr Simpson said: "The support from the community in Hartest has been absolutely phenomenal as have some of Michael's school friends."