Child abductor handed new jail term


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The Independent Online

A former insurance salesman who abducted his daughter on her third birthday more than two years ago and refuses to reveal her whereabouts was today handed a fourth consecutive jail term by a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Moor said Razwan Ali Anjum, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, was in contempt of a High Court order instructing him to give details of five-year-old Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson's whereabouts.

The judge imposed a 12-month prison sentence at a High Court hearing in London and said Anjum, who is in his late 20s, would not be eligible for release until he had served at least six months.

Judges have previously imposed jail terms of two years, 12 months and 12 months in the hope that Anjum would provide information so that Atiya could be re-united with mother Gemma Wilkinson, who is in her 30s and also from Ashton-under-Lyne.

They have re-jailed Anjum as each sentence neared its end. Anjum was due to complete half of his last sentence tomorrow but Mr Justice Moor said he could not be freed.

Ms Wilkinson, a former charity worker, took legal action in an attempt to force Anjum to reveal Atiya's whereabouts. Today's hearing was the latest stage of that litigation.

One judge has previously described the case as "as bad a case of child abduction as I have encountered".

Anjum, who represented himself at today's hearing - flanked by prison guards, indicated that Atiya was in Pakistan or Iran but said he did not know her exact whereabouts.

Mr Justice Moor said he was sure Anjum was lying.

"I am certain that he is in contempt," said the judge. "It is absolutely absurd for him to suggest that he does not know the whereabouts of his daughter and he cannot contact her. I am certain he is lying."

Judges have heard that Anjum's "on-off" relationship with Ms Wilkinson ended in 2008. In November 2009, Atiya vanished after going to stay with her father.

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

He had referred to Ms Wilkinson as "only or merely her birth mother", judges have heard.