The mum and dad of a British businessman who was brutally murdered by his estranged wife in China have offered his killer £40,000 so their grandchildren can grow up in the UK together. Next executive Michael Simpson, 34, was with his new partner when Wei Wei Fu stormed into his Shanghai flat and stabbed him in the neck while his children slept. His parents Ian and Linda have been battling for custody of their grandchildren Jack and Alice ever since the murder in March 2017. Days after the killing, Wei Wei’s parents took the children 600 miles from Shanghai to the city of Nanzhang and forbade them from speaking to Ian and Linda for a year. After agreeing to pay them more than £9,000 they won custody of Alice on Christmas Day, along with a promise she could speak to Jack via video link every week and meet up once a year.
While the weekly calls have been honoured bicycle repairman Fu Shi Bao, 61, and Hu Dei Xiu, 55, have not been holding up all of the court agreement. They refused to let him leave their home in northwest China to see Alice over the summer, prompting Ian and Linda to offer a final sum to reunite the siblings. The pair from Suffolk made the difficult decision to offer 350,000 yuan (£40,200) into an account to support Wei Wei after she is released from her life prison term in exchange for Jack being allowed to leave China. Michael had been left to raise his and Wei Wei’s children two years before he was killed. His girlfriend at the time was also left with lifelong injuries when Wei Wei attacked her.
Ian and Linda’s legal battle has already cost them £100,000. The Fu family at one stage demanded more than £60,000 for custody of both children before agreeing to release Alice. They had previously rejected an offer of £10,000 and a declaration of forgiveness – which could have halved Wei Wei’s minimum 20-year sentence under Chinese law – in exchange for both children. Ian, 70, told the Mail on Sunday he wrote to the Fu family making the £40,000 offer after being advised legal action to force them to comply with the court agreement could cost more than £25,000. Even then, there is no guarantee they would stick to the deal.
He added: ‘The reason the Fu family want to keep Jack is so he can look after his mother – that is the [traditional] Chinese approach. ‘The earliest Wei Wei will get out is 2036 and Jack will be 27 by that time. We’ve said we will put money in Wei Wei’s bank account and it will be worth double by the time she gets out, and that is the alternative to them hanging on to Jack.’ While offering so much money to the woman who murdered his son has been extremely difficult, he says the welfare of Jack is at the forefront of his mind. He said: ‘If money is what it takes to bring Jack to Britain and reunite him with Alice, that is what we have to do.’