Heartbroken Sheffield mum issues desperate plea for return of abducted son
A heartbroken mum has issued a desperate plea for her abducted son to be returned to his home in Sheffield.
Tina Kayani’s son Cole Louise Saheb, who turns three next Friday, was abducted by his father and taken to Iran in March of last year.
The youngster, from Fox Hill, was snatched by 39-year-old Farokh Mahmodpour Saheb during a contact visit.
Farokh, who was known as ‘Freddie’ and used to work at the Godfather takeaway on Upwell Street, Grimesthorpe, Sheffield, and at Kebab and Pizza House in Swinton, Rotherham, has sent photographs of Cole to the Tina since he kidnapped him but refuses to say where the pair are living.
In menacing WhatsApp messages sent to Tina, 40, her ex has warned she will not see her son again until he is 18.
In one cruel message, at the bottom of a picture of her beautiful, smiling, curly-haired son, Farokh simply wrote ‘bye bye’.
And in another he told devastated Tina he had changed his and Cole’s names.
Mum-of-three Tina reported her son’s abduction to South Yorkshire Police on the day he disappeared and has sought help from her local MP Gill Furniss, who has a meeting with the minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss the case next week.
She has also been in touch with the charity Reunite, which specialises in parental child abduction cases and the movement of children across international borders.
But with authorities so far unable to trace young Cole and his father and, with Farokh ignoring court orders to return the child to Britain, Tina said she feels ‘helpless’ and at times suicidal.
Farokh lived in Sheffield for 15 years and spent six years in a relationship with Tina before they split when she became pregnant in late 2015.
He returned to Iran before Cole was born, leaving Tina to give birth and raise their son single-handedly for the first four months of his life.
He eventually returned to Sheffield and was granted contact visits through the courts, with a ban on him leaving the UK with the tot.
But, somehow, he managed to get a passport for Cole and took him out of the country without Tina’s consent.
Left with just her memories of Cole and photographs she sporadically receives from Farokh, Tina said she was desperate to hold her son again.
“The ironic thing is that when I became pregnant Freddie did not want the baby and even offered me £1,000 in cash to have a termination. I threw the notes back in his face. I had the scan pictures, I would have felt like a murderer, I could never have done that,” she said.
“At the time, I thought we had the perfect relationship but looking back I never knew anything about him – I never knew where he was from, he told me very little about his family and he had secret conversations in his own language, so when he took Cole I had no idea where to start looking.
“I was worried about him taking Cole, which is why the court paperwork said he could not leave the country with him, but he ignored that and found a way.
“I am absolutely devastated at what he has done and am worried at how long it is taking for me to get Cole back. I am worried that he will not remember me, that he will not speak our language, what lies his dad might have been telling him about me.
“Although Freddie sends the odd photograph and I can at least see that Cole looks happy and cared for, he needs to be back here with his mum. Children need their mum.
“The length of time it is taking is absolutely agonising and so frustrating because all I can do is sit here and wait for news and hope that his dad does the right thing and bring him back home, but the longer this goes on, I know that won’t happen.”
She said Cole was a ‘happy and smiley’ toddler who lit up a room.
Wiping away tears as she remembers the 20 months she spent with her beloved son, she said: “I’ve been robbed of this precious time with my son – I don’t know if he is talking, if all his teeth have come through, if he is at nursery, if he is still cheeky.
“Freddie was like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I knew nothing about him. It is like he has just vanished into thin air but he did say in a letter that he left me that he had been planning this for a year. He hoodwinked me all along.
“I am depressed, I have anxiety and my hair is falling out through the stress of all this. It has affected my entire family. It is like we are stuck, we can’t do anything but wait for some kind of development and all we have is hope that one day Cole will be brought back home.”
She is urging anyone who knows her ex to get in touch to help the authorities track her son down.
“He lived in Sheffield for 15 years and worked in takeaways so lots of people will know him. I am begging them to come forward if they have any information or clue which could help me find my son,” Tina pleaded.
Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP Gill Furniss said: “This is a tragic case and I cannot imagine the suffering Tina is going through during this deeply difficult time.
“My team and I have been in touch with Tina and her legal representatives and I am doing everything I can to raise the matter at the highest level in Government.
“I am meeting the minister next week to discuss this with him and I will continue to fight to bring Cole back home and reunited with his mother as soon as possible.’’
A Foreign and Commonweath Office spokesman said: “Our staff are assisting the mother of a British child who was taken to Iran by his father in 2018.”
The family is hoping to set up a crowdfunding page for help to pay for legal fees in Iran and is looking for a volunteer to run Facebook and Twitter accounts to publicise the abduction.
Anyone able to help Tina and her family with their campaign for Cole to be brought back home should contact [email protected]