Four children taken from social services care found in Spain

Four children, allegedly abducted by their parents from the care
of Shropshire social services during a routine contact visit in
February, have been found safe and well in Spain.

The children, aged between three and 12, have now been brought
back to the UK after an international police search. Their parents,
Sharon Richards and Stephen Hayward, from Shrewsbury, are being
held in prison in Madrid awaiting extradition.

In a joint statement, Shropshire social services and West Mercia
police said that the children were finally traced to an address in
southern Spain after a 10-week search, and that a team from social
services travelled to the country to bring the children back.

John Weeks, Shropshire’s director of social care and
health, said: “This outcome has been achieved by superb
co-operation between social services and the police.”

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