AN AYR dad is planning to camp out on an uninhabited island to raise awareness of a loophole in Scots law that he says has seen his children taken from him to live abroad.

Nathan Gilmour says he does not know where his seven-year-old daughter and four-year-old son are after his wife, Angelica Gilmour Gray, left the country with them in July 2019.

Mr Gilmour says their removal was against court orders, and that international authorities Interpol, the National Crime Agency and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office have been heavily involved with Nathan's case.

He has spent the last three years pleading with the Scottish authorities to take action, but says that as Police Scotland do not consider the children to be at risk, there is no recourse to bring them home. 

Mr Gilmour was a teacher for 12 years, but says he can no longer work due to the effect the situation has on his mental health.

He told the Advertiser: "There are several aspects to the story, including the role of PIRC [the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner] in some significant police negligence, a breach of child protection guidance by local authorities and a major lack of cooperation from senior ministers in Scotland. 

"Much of my efforts have been somewhat obstructed, however, by an unusual and outdated piece of Scottish legislation, and so I have started a national campaign to bring this to light and bring about change."

The couple separated in December 2017 and in April the following year, Mrs Gilmour Gray refused to allow Mr Gilmour access to his children, resulting in a court battle at Ayr Sheriff Court. 

Following a lengthy legal process, Sheriff Scott Pattison ordered Mrs Gilmour Gray to allow her husband access to the children. 

However, instead of taking them to their first meeting, she fled the country.

In England in Wales, there is legislation in place preventing a parent from taking children abroad without another parent or carer’s consent, and police will assist in finding and returning children. 

In Scotland, it is not a criminal offence unless there are certain court orders in place. 

Read more: South Ayrshire Youth Forum confirm first Pride Walk

Mr Gilmour has begun a national campaign to make people aware of the loophole and to step up his fight against it.

He now plans to spend a week living on Lady Isle, off Troon, to raise awareness for his cause.

He continued: "By camping on the small island on my own next week, I aim to raise funds for the national campaign whilst highlighting the loneliness and isolation experienced by left behind parents and by abducted children caused by the legal loophole in our Scottish abduction legislation.

"All funds raised will help with the costs associated with a judicial review of the outdated Scots law and help to uphold the rights of my own children. 

"My four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter are at risk, having been completely cut off from their father and wider family for over three years now.

"Crucially, they are being denied health and social care, an education, and a childhood here in Scotland, as well as the love and support of their own family.

"Their removal in 2019 has denied them their rights as Scottish citizens.

"Two young children are missing, yet no action seems to be open to me, other parents like me or any Scottish authority."

Both the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner and the Scottish Government have been approached for comment.

Mr Gilmour plans to camp out on Lady Isle from September 14-21.