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Facebook and a Ferrari helped find son

Staffordshire | News | Published:

It was a plan born out of desperation, involving a false identity, a bright red Ferrari and a 6,000-mile mission to the Far East.

It was a plan born out of desperation, involving a false identity, a bright red Ferrari and a 6,000-mile mission to the Far East.

But as desperate dad Sean Felton cuddled his three-year-old son Jobe back home in Staffordshire, there was no doubt it had been worth it.

He posed as a rich American playboy to trace his estranged wife and be reunited with the boy.

Mr Felton used Facebook to carry out his ploy then flew to Thailand where his wife had fled with Jobe six months earlier.

The 43-year-old from Norton Canes, had set up a false account, pretending to be a mega-rich Ferrari-owning American, under the alias Matt Young as he contacted her via the social networking site.

His Thai wife Saowapak - also known as Kim - fell for his attention and accepted him as a Facebook friend.

This led to an emotional confrontation and Jobe being handed back to Mr Felton.

Mr Felton's ordeal all started on March 26 this year when Saowapak 'Kim' Felton, 30, took Jobe to Thailand.

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He said: "I came back from work to our home and she and Jobe weren't there."

Initially Mr Felton thought he would never see his son again as police were powerless to act. "We got in touch with everyone, the Commonwealth Office, the British Embassy, my MP, everyone was involved but couldn't do anything," said Mr Felton.

Then one restless night he decided to look for her on Facebook. After a frantic search, he was surprised to see her listed among a long list of other Saowapaks. "I couldn't sleep that night and so I set a false account up and requested to be friends," he said.

On the fake Facebook identity, Mr Felton pretended to be wealthy American and used a picture from the Google website, showing a man standing beside a red Ferrari.

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Once he had access to her profile, Mr Felton made contact with some of Saowapak's Facebook friends.

He requested to be online friends with two French men who he hoped would be able to provide the information he needed. They emailed him back with his wife's address at a remote village in Chiang Rai.

The self-employed painter and decorator's next move was to hire a solicitor who went with Mr Felton to the High Court to get legal custody. Mr Felton was awarded the right to have full custody of his son, although he was anxious this would stand for nothing when he arrived in Thailand.

He then flew to Thailand and eventually police drove him to a remote village where he was taken to a 'hut on stilts'.

"I opened the door and he was just there on his own sitting by a wall, and then it all went a bit emotional," said Mr Felton.

Jobe had had all his hair cut off and had chipped teeth, but was otherwise healthy.

Mr Felton met his wife in August 2005 while he was on holiday in Thailand. After marrying in a Buddhist temple, the couple set up home together near Cannock.

After returning to England with his son two weeks ago, Mr Felton said: "My feet haven't touched the ground since. It's hard work because he doesn't speak English and he isn't used to English food. The first night we got back he ran upstairs to get all his toys - he remembered where they all were.

"The other night I was looking at him and I couldn't believe he was there."

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