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Custody tussle for girl goes to court

A MOTHER cried in court yesterday as she pleaded to be given custody of her four-year-old daughter.

She accused the girl's father of snatching the girl from her in a supermarket and hiding her for nearly a year.

The father told Xuhui District People's Court he wanted to keep the girl. He loved his daughter and was able to provide her with a good life.

The mother, surnamed Sun, is a Chinese American and the father, surnamed Li, a Chinese Canadian.

Sun told the court that Li hadn't allowed her to see the girl since she was taken from her.

The couple started living together in Shanghai in 2004 and broke up in October 2007. Their daughter was born in March 2005, when Sun was 41 and Li was 50. Sun married an Englishman at the end of 2007.

On January 20, 2008, Sun had taken the girl to Li's house from kindergarten with her husband. But an argument broke out between the two men and Li was injured.


Li said he hadn't seen his daughter since that incident until July when he saw the family at a supermarket in Changning District's Gubei area.

Li, with several other men, rushed into the supermarket and grabbed the girl, the court heard.

In tears, Sun told the court that she had not been able to see her daughter since that day.

Li told the court he worked for a few companies at the same time and had a satisfactory income. He also owned property which gave him a monthly rental income of 10,000 yuan (US$1,460). He said Sun had never worked and had lived on his income during their cohabitation.

Sun said there was no evidence that Li had a stable income. She said she was a senior public relations officer and showed evidence to that effect.

Sun also questioned Li's love for their daughter.

"He didn't love my daughter. He didn't buy her any gifts and never accompanied her to play," Sun said.

Sun said Li was addicted to watching pornographic videos and had forced her to pose for indecent pictures when they were living together.

Li accused Sun of having affairs with different men during the time they lived together.

The court didn't announce a verdict yesterday.


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