Suffolk

Michael Simpson Shanghai murder: Grandparents fight for custody

Ian Simpson with his grandson Jack Image copyright The Simpson Family
Image caption Ian Simpson, from Hartest, Suffolk, with his grandson Jack

The parents of a man killed by his Chinese wife have been told they can have custody of one of their grandchildren, but not both.

Ian and Linda Simpson, from Suffolk, want eight-year-old Jack and Alice, six, to live with them after their son Michael was murdered in March 2017.

The couple, who are in China for a court hearing, said they do not want to "split the children".

Weiwei Fu is serving a life sentence for stabbing husband Michael to death.

Since the murder, Jack and Alice have been living with their Chinese grandparents, unaware of what has happened to their mother or father.

At the time of his death, Michael Simpson, originally from Wimborne, Dorset was going through a "fairly acrimonious" divorce from his wife.

Image copyright The Simpson Family
Image caption Michael Simpson with his children Alice and Jack
Image caption Ian Simpson spoke to BBC Look East from Xiangyang where he and his wife are attending a court hearing

Mr Simpson from Hartest told BBC Look East that the judges were not giving them "a lot of choices" and were "pushing very hard" for them to agree to the "compromise".

He told how they had "fought against" the idea of splitting the children since it was first mentioned last July but were "struggling" with the practicalities of life as it is now.

"The family have let us see the children once in 21 months," he said. "We cannot call them, we cannot send them gifts, we cannot send them cards... they won't speak to us."

Image copyright The Simpson Family
Image caption Michael Simpson was going through a "fairly acrimonious" divorce from his wife before he was killed

Mr Simpson said he was concerned his "lovely" grandchildren were "forgetting their father" because it was "very evident" the Fus never mentioned him.

"Weiwei, when she was visited by the judge in jail, said she wanted the children to have a better life than she had," he said.

"We can give them a better life - and the Fu family have admitted that's true."

More on this story