Ongoing custody battle

29 June 2014

On 2nd July a High Court judge, Mr Justice Roderic Wood, ruled that a father who refuses to reveal the whereabouts of his six year old daughter will be returning to jail for being in contempt of court.

The father, Tamar Salama, married Naomi Button in 2006 and they had a daughter Elsa the following year. Their relationship however did not last and they separated in 2009. On a family visit to Sharm El Sheik in December 2011 Salama snatched his daughter and placed her with his Egyptian family. Elsa has not been seen since and Salama refuses to disclose details of her whereabouts.

The courts of England and Wales have given an order for the return of Elsa to her mother, and the Egyptian courts have awarded the mother custody of Elsa. However, because Egypt is not party to the 1980 Hague Convention there is no requirement for the Egyptian courts to assist in locating Elsa. Her whereabouts consequently remain a mystery as the father refuses to disclose any details as to her location.

Mr Salama was initially jailed for being in contempt of court in January 2012 after the court found that he had enough information to assist in locating his daughter and he refused to supply such information under oath. In January 2013 a judge ruled that he should remain in jail for continuing to breach orders. On 2nd July 2013 Mr Justice Roderic Wood refused to believe Mr Salama’s evidence that he did not know the whereabouts of his daughter and that his family had moved homes and closed ranks on him. He was given a further six month jail term for being in contempt of court.

If you would like more information on the preventative steps that can be taken to protect your child then please contact Steven Payne for an initial free 30 minutes appointment by calling 01245 228106 or email