The mother of an eight-year-old boy who is missing after being abducted by his father 24 days ago is “utterly devastated”, a judge said.
Rafael Jurado-Cabello, 43, previously kept Angelo Jurado-Marmolejo in Spain during a half-term visit in February 2017.
He returned the boy to his mother Karol Marmolejo, who he lives with full-time in the Whitehall area of Bristol, the following month.
Family court proceedings, which concluded last month, ruled that Angelo should continue to live with his mother and spend time with his father.
Mr Jurado-Cabello was banned from taking Angelo out of England and Wales and required to surrender his passport and Spanish identity card at the start of each visit.
But during the first visit on March 2, Mr Jurado-Cabello failed to return Angelo at 5.30pm that evening and both have not been seen since.
Judge Nicholas Marston told a public hearing at Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre: “This is a very serious matter.
“The oxygen of publicity is an advantage, not a disadvantage in this case.
“This is a case about a little boy called Angelo. I want to stress that although the parents are not from this country, Angelo is a little Bristolian boy.
“He has spent almost all of his life here. When his parents separated, he had a visit to his father in Spain and his father retained him there in breach of orders of the court.
“He was brought back two years ago. The father has lost two cases where he has attempted to persuade the court that Angelo should live with him.”
The judge said that Mr Jurado-Cabello had handed over “fake documents” when he collected Angelo at 11.30am on March 2.
“He then abducted his son and has disappeared,” the judge said.
“This is a clear contempt of court and in breach of a number of orders and is a criminal offence.
“The consequences of that for the mother are utterly devastating.
“The consequences for Angelo, removed from his home, his school, his friends, his familiar surroundings, are going to be traumatic.
“He is of course with his father but there will come a time when he will be wondering what on earth is going on.”
Speaking to the media, the judge said: “Any help that anyone can give in tracing where this little boy is is therefore very beneficial to the court.
“It is of benefit to the mother but most of all, it is of benefit to Angelo.”
The judge described Ms Marmolejo as “a loving, kindly mother” who had been left devastated by the abduction of her son.
He thanked Avon and Somerset Police for pursuing the boy’s disappearance with “vigour”.
Mr Jurado-Cabello and Ms Marmolejo are both Spanish nationals who moved to Bristol in 2012.
Copies of court orders stating that Mr Jurado-Cabello should return his son have been sent to him by email but he has not replied to them.
He is believed to have left the country.
His family live in Cordoba, Spain, and his girlfriend has links to Mexico.
Detective Inspector Matt Lloyd, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Our immediate priority is to locate Angelo and do all we can to ensure he is safely returned to his home in Bristol.”
Mr Jurado-Cabello is described as white, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 7in, and with black hair.
Angelo is white with short wavy dark brown hair, dark brown eyes and is 4ft 4in.
He was last seen wearing a zip-up fleece, dark trousers, red trainers and carrying a blue rucksack.
Anyone who sees father or son is asked to call 999 giving the reference 5219046310.
Anyone who has spoken to or been in contact with Mr Jurado-Cabello since March 2, or has information about where he and Angelo may be, should call 101.
Those abroad with information should call +44 1275 849996, Guardia Civil on +34 696 911659, or contact Avon and Somerset Police online.