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Llanelli mum who took kids on run fails in appeal for custody

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

Jennifer Jones

THE Llanelli mother who went on the run with her four children to stop them being sent to Spain with their father yesterday lost an Appeal Court battle to be reunited with them.

Two of the children Jennifer Jones went into hiding with have already gone back with their father, Lieutenant Colonel Tomas Palacin Cambra, to Majorca.

And Ms Jones burst into tears as she learnt the two others who have been kept in foster care pending a decision on their future must also go back to their father.

Lord Justice Thorpe, sitting with Lord Justice Elias and Lady Justice Black, dismissed the mother's appeal against an order last month that they should be returned.

A High Court judge must now make a new order for their return and that is expected to happen later this week or early next week.

Spanish courts granted Colonel Cambra custody of the children when his 12-year marriage to Ms Jones ended in 2008.

But they came to stay with Ms Jones at her home in Llanelli in June for a summer holiday and did not return.

Ms Jones lost an appeal after taking four of her children from their father to Blackwood, Gwent.

All four children started at schools in Llanelli while Ms Jones began legal proceedings in the family court to gain custody in a bitter battle.

In October the Family Division of the High Court ruled the children should be returned to their father.

When Ms Jones failed to return them back to Spain, Mr Justice Wood ruled the children should be taken from her home by police and social services.

But when they arrived Ms Jones and the four children had packed up and gone.

They were found in Blackwood, 60 miles from her home, within 24 hours.

English language teacher Ms Jones and her partner John Williams, 48, a builder, were held in custody and the children taken to foster carers.

In October the 45-year-old was spared jail after being found guilty of "flagrant breaches" of court orders to return them.

But she may yet face prison after the judge — whose order she defied — sent the papers to the Attorney General.

Mr Justice Roderic Wood said it would be for the Attorney Dominic Grieve to decide whether or not to bring contempt proceedings against her.

Ms Jones has since lost an appeal in the Spanish courts against their order that the children stay with her ex-husband. But she has another appeal in Spain pending.

After the eldest daughter, aged 16, told the court through counsel that she wanted all the children kept together, Jones's former husband invited her to bring the other two children back at his expense and he would try to resolve the dispute in the Spanish courts.

In October, the 52-year-old father flew over from his home in Majorca with his eldest daughter to collect all of the children.

But they flew back only with the two youngest children, while the two older ones remained with foster carers as the court decided their future.

Ms Jones met Colonel Cambra when he was a young soldier while she was teaching English in Spain.

They were married in 1996 and lived in the Canary Islands and Ibiza but frequently returned to Llanelli to stay with Ms Jones's family.

The family were in the process of building a luxury home in Catalonia in 2008 when Ms Jones and the children returned to Llanelli.

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