A women who fled the UK to Cyprus with her children who were under the protection of social services has vowed never to return with them.
The father of one of the children is pleading with Amelia Warnes to “bring my son home safely” but speaking from Cyprus the 23-year-old told ‘The Argus’ she wants her sons to grow up as Cypriot citizens.
Charlie Clift, four, and Kaiton Warnes, two, were subject to child protection arrangements after social services became concerned for their welfare following an incident in which Mrs Warnes stabbed her husband Jason in what the pair describe as an accident in the family home in Eastbourne in October 2013. Mr Warnes is Kaiton’s father.
Police dropped the case but while on holiday three months later Amelia got a call from her sister, saying social services had told her Amelia would be “in big trouble” when she got back.
“To me that meant they were going to take my kids away,” Amelia told the newspaper from her North Cyprus home.
She said that she and her husband decided there and then to stay in Cyprus with the boys.
“We figured we’d lose our children if we went home so we decided to stay. If that brought us one, or two, or ten more years with our children it would be worth it.”
However this April a court convicted her parents John and Lita Clift of conspiracy to abduct a child.
The court concluded that the thousands of pounds they transferred to Amelia during January 2014 was evidence of their involvement in premeditated plans to emigrate with the children which the couple denied.
Charlie’s father Dominic Burt, 25, of St Leonards, rang social services when he heard Amelia had taken his son out of the country last January.
“It really hurts me what she’s done, I was filled with sadness. She’s robbed me of a future with my son.” he said yesterday, and called for Amelia to return with Charlie.
In response Amelia said: “When I made the decision I contacted him eight times and offered to help pay for his flights to see us.
“I said we’d get a legal agreement signed here, I offered to put him up for one week every three months.”
The boys’ identities were revealed on Tuesday when a judge gave permission for the private case to be reported in the hope that the publicity would help find the boys. However, Amelia is adamant that she will not return.
She told The Argus: “I no longer consider the UK home, the UK government has let me and my family down so much.
My ideal world would be if the whole thing got dropped, then Dom and I can agree visitation between us like adults. I want my sons to grow up here, be citizens here, and I want them to do National Service here. I think it will turn them into responsible, respectable men.”