UK: ‘I WENT THROUGH HELL’ – Brave mum Kerrie Shaw’s mission to rescue her kids from war-torn Iraq after their refugee dad abducted them Kerrie Shaw racked up debts and was kidnapped herself in her two-year mission to take back her two children

A BRAVE mum risked her life to rescue her children from war-ravaged Iraq after they were abducted by their refugee dad.
Kerrie Shaw went through “absolute hell” to snatch Daniella, now 13, and Makor, 12, back from the clutches of their Iraqi dad.



The heroic mum was kidnapped herself and held captive for a month on one of a string of dangerous trips to the devastated country.

She also racked up £10,000 in debt to pay for the five terrifying trips and claims she was left on her own to deal with the nightmare situation as UK authorities said they were powerless to help.

Kerrie has revealed her harrowing story for the first time as campaigners fight for new laws to protect child victims of parental abduction abroad.

The horror started in 2010 when refugee Akor Arf, 37, took their two kids – then aged five and six – to Iraq while Kerrie worked a shift in a chicken factory.

She told the Mirror: “I knew something was horribly wrong and before long I was hysterical.

“It wasn’t until they arrived in Iraq the next day that he called me to tell me what he’d done.

“I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. I felt like part of me had been snatched away. It didn’t seem real.”

Frantic Kerrie called police, social services and the British Embassy in Iraq but she says no one could help her find her children.

Four months after Makor and Daniella were taken, Arf promised to let Kerrie see them in Iraq but she was only given a couple of hours with them before they were cruelly snatched away again.

She travelled to the battle-weary country twice more and was tricked into meeting Arf – but was instead kidnapped for 29 days on the Turkish border.

It was only in December 2012 – armed with new passports and a plan – that she managed to take her Daniella and Makor back to the UK.

The cunning mum, who hadn’t seen her children for two years, snatched the teens while Arf and his family were sleeping to avoid the blistering Iraq heat.

But the ordeal wasn’t over as Arf bombarded her with abusive messages until she managed to get a court order in 2013 banning him from seeing the children if he returns to the UK.

If he breaches the order, authorities will have a mandate to help her.

Both the children, who couldn’t speak English when Kerrie rescued them, have almost forgotten their time in Iraq.

Kerrie said: “I have to focus on the fact I was one of the lucky ones and mine are here with me.”

Hampshire Police said no offence had been committed and that it had offered safeguarding advice to Kerrie.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was unable to comment.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Iraq please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)


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