Michael Simpson murder: Grandparents agree custody deal in China

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Simpson familyImage source, Andrew Simpson
Image caption,
Michael Simpson with his children Alice and Jack

The parents of a man killed by his Chinese wife have agreed a custody deal to bring their granddaughter to the UK.

It means they must leave the girl's brother with his maternal grandparents in a remote city in north-west China.

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

The couple, who are in China, said judges there were "pushing very hard" for them to accept the "compromise".

Ending a legal battle of nearly two years, they also agreed to pay a financial settlement of nearly £10,000 to the family of their son's murderer.

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

The couple, from Hartest, said they did not want to "split the children" but were now hoping to return home with Alice in the new year.

Last week, Mr Simpson told BBC Look East the judges in China were not giving them "a lot of choices".

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

Weiwei Fu is serving a life sentence for the murder of Mr Simpson, originally from Wimborne in Dorset, who died at his flat in Shanghai in March 2017.

He had moved to China while working as an executive for the retail chain Next.

An inquest in Bournemouth heard he was stabbed to death during a "heated argument" at the time when he was going through a "fairly acrimonious" divorce from his wife.

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

Image caption,
Ian Simpson spoke to BBC Look East from Xiangyang where he and his wife have been attending a court hearing