Eight sought in abduction case

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The Independent Online
AT LEAST three people are expected to appear before the High Court today in an attempt to find Peter Malkin, who abducted his 12-year-old son in France.

Police across Europe are trying to find Mr Malkin, 54, a wealthy club-owner, his son Oliver, and a woman believed to be Mr Malkin's girlfriend. The three were seen in a hired VW Golf following the abduction on Monday. It was the third time Oliver had been snatched by his father.

Solicitors acting for Eliza Pridmore, 36, Oliver's mother, have sought orders for eight people to appear before Deputy High Court Judge Hugh Bennett QC. They include Tony Malkin, Mr Malkin's brother, Jeremy Warner and Len Wignall, the manager and former manager of the Bridge Place Country Club at Canterbury in Kent, owned by Mr Malkin. The list also contained the name of a woman believed to be Mr Malkin's girlfriend.

Gill Noury, of Ralph Haring & Co, solicitors acting for Mrs Pridmore, said those served with orders to appear faced arrest if they did not turn up. 'We can do nothing without orders from the court.'

Mrs Pridmore, who has two children by a second marriage, was said to be extremely upset by the abduction. The family had settled in Landevant, Brittany, following attempts by Mr Malkin to abduct Oliver. Mrs Pridmore is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Kent Police issued a description of Oliver at the time of his abduction. He is 4ft 6in tall, has short brown hair and an oval face, with grey-blue eyes. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans and a striped red-and-grey rugby shirt with a hood.

Mr Malkin's French-registered hire car failed to stop at a police checkpoint near the scene of the abduction in Brittany but has not been sighted since. He and Mrs Malkin were divorced in 1989 after nine years of marriage, and Oliver's custody has been the subject of several court actions. The couple were due to appear again early next year.

The boy was first kidnapped in 1990 after his mother remarried, and he was found at Mr Malkin's Churston Court Hotel in Brixham, Devon, five months later. He was snatched again seven months later and kept for 19 months, before police found him in an attic at Mr Malkin's club.

Police consider Mr Malkin 'obsessive', but do not regard Oliver as in serious danger. Ms Noury said Oliver's mother believed Mr Malkin would try to return to England.