UK Desperate dad makes public appeal to find twin daughters abducted by ex
A desperate dad is making a public appeal to find his twin daughters abducted by his ex.
Care worker Peter Linney, 41, has not seen 13-year-old Georgia and Olivia since mum Michelle McGinlay took them against his will to South Africa in March 2016.
She and her bouncer boyfriend Pietro Confalone are now on the run with them.
The girls have been made wards of court in the UK and South African authorities have been hunting for the family after their visas ran out two years ago.
Peter, who has spent his £20,000 life savings trying to track them down, said: “I just want my girls back. I spend every waking moment thinking about them.”
His nightmare began shortly after he split from McGinlay, 42, in 2006, having the girls to stay with him every other weekend.
“But whenever she got a new bloke, she’d be difficult about me seeing the twins,” says Peter.
In January 2016 he got a call from McGinlay’s eldest daughter from a previous relationship warning him her mum and South African Confalone, 55, were planning to emigrate with the girls.
When he confronted the pair they claimed it was just a three-week holiday – but in an anonymous call from a man two days later he was told they had one-way tickets.
Frantic Peter got his lawyer to warn McGinlay she would be breaking the law if she took their daughters abroad without his written consent. A month later McGinlay made a second attempt, calling Peter from Heathrow demanding permission. Again he refused.
“She used my refusals to brainwash the girls against me,” he says. “She told them I was trying to stop them going on holiday. They hated me for that. She urged them to ring me and be nasty, calling me ‘the sperm donor’. It was so upsetting.”
In March, they were gone. Peter found the girls had not been at school for a week so he contacted police who discovered McGinlay and Confalone had got the girls on a Gatwick flight to Dubai.
Peter, of East Grinstead, Sussex, says: “I can only think they must have faked my signature on a forged affidavit.”
He got the children made wards of court. Since then he found out where his daughters were with the help of the International Child Abduction Contact Unit, but he believes the South African authorities bungled paperwork and failed to have McGinlay arrested.
The family then disappeared – and Peter says the only clues he now has to where they are come from McGinlay’s mum, Maureen.
“She has told me they’re in an area called Hartbeespoort, but Michelle won’t tell her the address.
“I have no money left to travel to South Africa to look for them myself. Until I find them, I’ll never be happy.”
Sussex Police say they are working on the case. A spokesman said: “Extradition proceedings have been considered but are not being carried out at this time in consideration for the welfare of the children.”
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