Brother and sister fail to persuade judge to let them stay in England

Madonna and Ritchie divorce

A nine-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister have failed to persuade a family court judge to let them stay in England with their mother rather than return to their lawyer father in America.

The boy told Mr Justice MacDonald that he "didn't like America that much", even though he had been born there, and preferred England.

He said he "didn't like America" because "you could buy guns in gun shops" and there was "drink-driving and lots of accidents".

His sister said she would also prefer to stay in Britain.

But Mr Justice MacDonald concluded that their mother had taken them from their home in Hawaii and kept them in England without the consent of their father.

He said they should go back so judges in Hawaii could make decisions about who they should live with following the breakdown of their parents' marriage.

Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling by Mr Justice MacDonald after a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this month.

The judge said no-one involved could be identified.

He said the children's father, a retired district attorney, was 70 and their mother 54.

They had married in New York State and lived in Colorado as well as Hawaii.

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