Paedophile suspect flees to Europe with kidnapped children

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The Independent Online

Detectives have become increasingly worried about Jacob Sears, three, and his two-year-old sister, Shauna, since they were kidnapped 12 days ago. They have called in Interpol and an international arrest warrant has been issued.

The children were last seen when they visited their mother, Paula Sears, 28, under the supervision of a social worker. Ms Sears, of Bagillt, north Wales, locked the social worker in the house while she was talking on the telephone, and drove off with the children in the family car.

She then met up with their father, 32-year-old Kevin Jones, who was due to appear before Mold Crown Court next Monday charged with serious sexual assault on another child.

The kidnapped children were the subjects of an interim care order.

Police said a camper van that Mr Jones had hired in Yorkshire, and which has now been reported stolen, had been seen near Euro Disney outside Paris and filmed by closed-circuit television cameras at Dover in the 48 hours after their disappearance.

Police said the couple were seen buying tickets for a ferry to France. It is feared they may have travelled further into Europe without having enough money to live on. Sergeant Rob Evans, of North Wales Police, said: "We are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of the children.

"We are uncertain of the parents' financial position and are concerned they may not be able to provide for the children.

"We would urge anyone who may have been on holiday and seen the family to contact North Wales Police as soon as possible.

"We desperately need to locate them to ensure that the children are safe and well."

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Ms Sears for kidnap and false imprisonment, and Mr Jones for being in breach of bail.

The family's white Vauxhall Astra car was found abandoned in Flintshire, north-east Wales, four days after they disappeared.

Flintshire County Council took the unusual step of releasing the family members' names and photographs in the hope of tracing them.

Relatives, who described Ms Sears as a devoted mother, said she had recently been reunited with Mr Jones after a separation. Ms Sears father, David, 45, of Holywell, said: "I just wish she would get in touch. I am really worried about her and the grandchildren.

"I've been trying her mobile constantly but the line is dead, yet she never leaves her phone switched off.

"I divorced Paula's mother when she was very young and it's only in the last few years that we have really got to know each other.

"She knows exactly where I am if she needs help and I am appealing to her to get in touch."

Ms Sears is described as 5ft 4ins tall, of large build and tanned. She has shoulder-length mousey-coloured hair, which she usually wears in a pony-tail.

When last seen she was wearing baggy grey jogging trousers and a dark grey baggy T-shirt.

Mr Jones is 6ft 1ins tall and of stocky build. He has brown/green eyes and short, light brown hair.

A spokesman for Flintshire County Council said: "We are concerned about the welfare of the children and continue to work with the police to establish their whereabouts.

"Our employee [the social worker] has been the subject of a serious criminal action. We are pleased that the officer in question has coped extremely well with her ordeal and she has our full support. In all of the circumstances it would be wholly inappropriate to contemplate any disciplinary action against her."