Sunday, February 25, 2018

2/25/2018 05:05:00 PM
British dad jailed in Thailand for 'abducting' son who 'asked to be taken away'

British dad's Thai jail nightmare after bid to bring back son 'snatched' by estranged wife

Jodie Smith last week tried to recover nine-year-old Joleon, allegedly snatched by his Thai-born mum, but was arrested at Bangkok airport.

Jodie jetted to south east Asioa to be reunited with son Joleon

A SCOTS dad is behind bars in Thailand after trying to rescue his “kidnapped” son.

Jodie Smith, 41, was held as he tried to fly out of Bangkok airport with Joleon, nine.

His distraught mum Lidia Smith, 67, said: “Our hearts are breaking.”

Lidia told of the family’s anguish after cops arrested the doting dad as he and lad Joleon prepared to jet home to Edinburgh.

He’s been charged with abduction and trespassing, leaving Lidia scrambling to raise over £5,000 to pay legal fees and get him freed.

The gran insists Jodie, 41, went to recover the boy in a remote village three months after ex Jintra Jummaimuang Smith, 31, snatched him.

Lidia, of Edinburgh, said: “He was taken by his mum Jintra out of Britain without our knowledge in November and Jodie just wanted to get his son back.

“She’s getting off scot-free and yet my son is languishing in prison — we have no idea of the conditions.

“Jodie has been beside himself ever since Jintra took Joleon away, wondering where he is and if he will ever see him again.

Jodie’s distraught mum Lidia is trying to get him released

“Losing my grandson has affected my health. Jodie tracked them down to a remote part of north Thailand via Facebook and he flew there when she refused to take his calls.”

Jodie has been in a cell in Sakon Nakhon Prison — 400 miles north of Bangkok near the Laos border — since Thursday, a day after he was held at the capital’s air hub.

Lidia claims Joleon was neglected by his mum in Thailand and sported injuries after he fell off a motorbike.

It’s also alleged he was being look- ed after by his aunt aged just ten.

He is being held in Sakon Nakhon

She added: “When Jodie got there he found his son alone in the street outside the house.

“Jodie rang me after being reunited with Joleon and he was so happy to have found his son. He even sent me a photo of the two together smiling — I thought everything was OK.

“Joleon ran up to his dad’s car and Jodie later told me on the phone, ‘You should have seen the look on his face!’ Joleon was crying as he was so pleased to see his dad and they hugged each other.

“Jodie discovered Joleon being looked after by his 10-year-old aunt and he had a nasty injury to his foot after falling off his mother’s motorbike. She was nowhere to be seen.

“As soon as Joleon saw his dad he asked to go home as he didn’t want to stay there. So they entered the house just to get Joleon’s passport.

“Now Jodie has been arrested at Bangkok airport. He and his son were taken in a van back to the north of the country and he has been put in a prison.

“This isn’t justice. I just can’t believe this is happening to us. I just want my son and grandson back. This is a living nightmare.

“I don’t believe that any father who loves his child would just stand by for the rest of his life and do nothing after his flesh and blood just vanishes — yet he is now being jailed for trying to find his son.”

Jodies ex Jintra, right, fled to her homeland with the pair’s son

Lidia pleaded with the authorities to resolve the issue — and get the pair home.

She added: “The only thing he is guilty of his loving his son.

“He just couldn’t bear not to ever see him again. I just hope that someone can help us.”

Carer Jodie, of Oxgangs in Edinburgh, met his estranged missus in 2006 when he travelled for a year.

Little Joleon is in the care of his aunt

She got pregnant after four months and they flew to the UK to have the baby, meaning Joleon was a British national. 

They then tried to marry in Thailand, but the official stopped the ceremony when Jintra admitted she was already wed under local laws to another Brit.

After she divorced him, the pair got hitched here.

The relationship started to turn sour when the boy was two.

They began co-parenting after splitting until November last year, but had a fall-out when Jodie refused to let Jintra take the boy to Thailand over the festive period.

Sean Felton, founder of charity Abducted Angels

He was stunned when she then fled to her homeland with Joleon, allegedly without his consent. Jodie and his mother went to Edinburgh Airport on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, desperate to meet them off the flight after learning Jintry was expected at her work here on January 1.

But they never appeared and Jodie then went to the city’s sheriff court earlier this month and won a temporary custody order which ruled the youngster should be returned home.

And after being blanked by his ex, he took drastic action and travelled to Thailand to rescue his son with Sean Felton, founder of charity Abducted Angels, who has also been arrested.

Speaking before he travelled, he said: “I loved Joleon from the second he was born. She asked me if she could take him away for Christmas, but it meant taking him out of school, so I said no.

“When she never told me dates, I assumed that was the end of it. She was due to have him for a few days, which meant I didn’t realise initially they’d left the country. But when she didn’t answer her phone to me I went round to her boyfriend.

“He dropped the bombshell that she had taken Joleon on holiday.”

Credits: ScottischSun


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