A dad who left his two daughters in Libya after taking them from their mum and home in Wiltshire, will remain in jail.

Mohammed El Zubaidy had his appeal against a jail sentence rejected, after leaving the girls, who are from Pewsey, with relatives in Libya eight years ago.

Sir Jonathan Cohen handed El Zubaidy a year-long jail term at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court, London, in December 2022.

It was the fifth time he has been jailed for breaching orders made by the High Court.

The judge concluded that El Zubaidy had breached orders made during a legal battle with estranged wife Tanya Borg, who is in her 40s, and was in contempt.

Three judges have now dismissed an appeal against the sentence following a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mohammed El ZubaidyMohammed El Zubaidy (Image: Pa/Tanya Borg)

El Zubaidy, also in his 40s, argued that the sentence imposed by Sir Jonathan was “manifestly excessive in all the circumstances”.

Lord Justice Bean, Lord Justice Moylan and Lord Justice Lewis disagreed, and said Sir Jonathan had not made any “error”.

They have outlined their decision in a written ruling.

Ms Borg has been fighting to get Angel El Zubaidy, now 22, and her 11-year-old sister, Maya, back home to Pewsey since El Zubaidy left them with his mother in Tripoli, in early 2015.

Despite being granted custody of both girls, Ms Borg has been unable to get her daughters back and has not seen them since a trip to Tripoli in 2019.

In November 2021 her lawyers said the girls and their grandmother disappeared after a Libyan judge summoned them to a court hearing.

El Zubaidy previously told the court he does not know where the children are.

Ms Borg had taken High Court action in London and her eldest daughter has been classified as a “vulnerable” adult by judges.

Orders were made to reunite Ms Borg with her daughters and Sir Jonathan described the case as “about as bad” as it was “possible to imagine”.

Four other judges had previously handed El Zubaidy jail terms, of 12 months and two years, after also concluding he had breached orders aimed at getting his daughters back home to their mother.

Ms Borg had complained, earlier this year, that he was still in breach of orders and asked Sir Jonathan to impose a fifth jail sentence.

Ms Borg and El Zubaidy had met two decades ago, judges have heard. She was born in Malta, and he was born in Libya.