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Parents of British man murdered in China in fight to bring grandchildren home to UK

PUBLISHED: 20:22 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:16 03 August 2018

Ian Simpson with grandson Jack Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE SIMPSON FAMILY

Ian Simpson with grandson Jack Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE SIMPSON FAMILY

Archant

The parents of a British man murdered in China are fighting a bitter custody battle to bring their grandchildren back to the UK.

The mother of the children, Weiwei Fu, was jailed for life last month after she stabbed her estranged husband Michael Simpson to death at his flat in Shanghai in November.

The pair had met while Michael, 34, was working as an executive for retailer Next.

The couple’s children – Jack, seven, and Alice, six – have since been taken to live in a rural Chinese town by Weiwei’s parents.

Now Michael’s parents – Ian Simpson, who lives in Hartest, near Bury St Edmunds, and his ex-wife Linda – are fighting to get their grandchildren back to British shores, where they say they will have a better quality of life and education.

Michael Simpson with children Jack and Alice Picture: SIMPSON FAMILYMichael Simpson with children Jack and Alice Picture: SIMPSON FAMILY

The couple have tried to reach a deal by promising to pay regular visits to China and stay in contact.

They were also prepared to offer official ‘forgiveness’, and not pursue a civil claim, in exchange for custody of the children.

But despite the fact ‘forgiveness’ could have seen Weiwei’s sentence cut in half – no deal was done.

Mr Simpson, 69, who moved to Hartest three years ago from Colchester, said the children are unaware their father is dead and their mother has been jailed for life.

Michael Simpson with children Jack and Alice Picture: SIMPSON FAMILYMichael Simpson with children Jack and Alice Picture: SIMPSON FAMILY

“They haven’t told them what’s happened,” he said.

“The anger I have is directed at her family for the way they have behaved. I don’t really feel anything towards her.

“There have been so many false dawns and we’ve been close so many times.

“It really does wear you down. Every morning I wake up and check emails for updates.”

Ian Simpson with grandchildren Jack and Alice Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE SIMPSON FAMILYIan Simpson with grandchildren Jack and Alice Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE SIMPSON FAMILY

A custody case is expected to be heard in September.

A crowdfunding page has been started by a neighbour of Mr Simpson’s to help with legal costs.

He said: “The support from the community in Hartest has been absolutely phenomenal as have some of Michael’s school friends.

“My cycling club – Boxford Bike Club – have also been superb. It makes you feel very humble.”

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