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Llanelli mum vows to continue fight to keep kids

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: January 30, 2013

Jennifer Jones

A LLANELLI mum has vowed to continue fighting to keep her children in Britain despite losing her legal battle.

Sitting in London on Friday, a senior High Court judge decided against intervening to stop Jennifer Jones's two teenage children being sent back to Spain.

But following the decision, the 46-year-old told the Star she hoped to appeal this latest setback — and continue her legal battles in the Spanish courts.

"A mother's duty is to her children's happiness and safety, not to the law or a judge or a legal team," she added.

English teacher Ms Jones became embroiled in a tug-of-love dispute with her Spanish ex-husband Tomas Palacin Cambra, who lives in Majorca, over four of their children following the couple's divorce in 2008.

Mr Palacin Cambra, 52, was granted sole custody by a Spanish court, but following a visit to Wales last summer Ms Jones absconded with the four children — leading High Court judge Mr Justice Roderic Wood to put out a public appeal.

The group was found safe and well 24 hours later and while Mr Palacin Cambra flew to the UK to collect the children, the eldest Jessica, 15, and Tomas, 13, refused to go back. Since then Ms Jones has been fighting in the High Court to keep them in Llanelli — applying for an indefinite stay on the order.

But on Friday, Mrs Justice Theis rejected the appeal and said Ms Jones had "abdicated her parental responsibility for these children", saying they had been "fundamentally let down" by her.

In a written ruling, Mrs Justice Theis stated: "I reject the application for a stay and accept Mr Setright's submission that in the event that I decline to make the injunction the correct analysis is the return order should remain in place.

"The mother is to be deprecated for the position she takes.

"She has, in my judgment, abdicated her parental responsibility for these children and she will have to answer to them and their siblings in due course.

"In my judgment, the harsh reality is that both Jessica and Tomas have been fundamentally let down by their mother by her refusal to comply with the court order requiring them to return to Spain."

But she admitted there was "very little prospect" of the order sought by Mr Palacin Cambra working and said it would be a case of "implementation rather than enforcement". Despite the ruling, Ms Jones said she would continue to fight for all four of the children to live with her in Llanelli.

She said: "I'm just trying to get on with my daily life, that's my reaction. They were born here but they are in limbo.

"I'm disappointed with her (Mrs Justice Theis's) comments. I think they are not giving the complete picture.

"This is what my children want, at the end of the day. The judge hasn't asked me why I did what I did and why they want to stay here."

And she said she hoped to fight the order in the Spanish courts — despite not qualifying for legal aid.

She said: "I'm not the only one in this situation.

"I probably would have to raise funds. That's always been the bugbear.

"The only way you get justice is by having top lawyers."

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