Abductor father's freedom bid fails

News Shopper: Razwan Ali Anjum has failed in a bid to be released from prison Razwan Ali Anjum has failed in a bid to be released from prison

A former insurance salesman jailed after abducting his daughter more than three years ago has failed in a bid for freedom.

Razwan Ali Anjum was ordered by the High Court to reveal the whereabouts of daughter Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, after the little girl disappeared in November 2009 aged three.

He refused to comply with the order and was imprisoned after a judge concluded that he was in contempt of court.

Atiya, now six, was found in Pakistan in December and reunited with mother Gemma Wilkinson after being flown back to the UK.

Mr Justice Holman has ruled that Anjum should not be freed from prison yet.

Ms Wilkinson, a former charity worker, began legal action in an attempt to force Anjum to reveal Atiya's whereabouts. A number of judges have examined the case over the past three years and have imposed a series of jail terms after concluding that Anjum was in contempt.

He was serving a 12-month term imposed in October and would have been eligible for release on parole in April. Mr Justice Holman - who heard evidence at a High Court hearing in London - said that 12-month term should be cut to 10 months, following Atiya's discovery.

Lawyers said that would make Anjum eligible for release on parole in March.

Judges have heard that Anjum's "on-off" relationship with Ms Wilkinson ended in 2008 and that Atiya vanished after going to stay with her father the following year.

Anjum had said he was taking Atiya to Southport, Lancashire. Instead he took her to Lahore, Pakistan and told Ms Wilkinson she was "never going to see Atiya again".

www.justice.gov.uk/about/hmcts(HM Courts Service)

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