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I want to find him, confront him, I want to know how he could do this to me, to our kids. And yes, I WILL call the police; EX WIFE OF PS53m SECURITAS ROBBERY 'MR BIG' IN CYPRUS TO TRACK HIM DOWN; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: Matthew Bell

BITTER Therese Lupton has made a 4,000-mile round trip in a desperate bid to track down ex-husband Sean - who is wanted by cops probing Britain's biggest ever cash heist.

The builder did a runner seven years ago after being arrested over a brutal PS53million armed raid on a Securitas depot.

He left Therese and their two teenage children penniless - and his heartbroken family have not heard from him since.

At first legal secretary Therese feared Lupton, 47, had been murdered.

Then friends told her he had been seen enjoying a wild champagne lifestyle in Northern Cyprus.

But British police who went there failed to find him - so Therese, 53, decided to try to run him to ground herself with their son Jordan, now 21.

Armed with a picture of the distinctively boss-eyed Brit to show locals, Therese planned to find his hideout, confront the man she was married to for 22 years about deserting his family - and shop him.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday People, she said: "I want to find Sean and ask him, 'Why did you leave us like that? Why did you not even try to keep in touch with your children? "How could you have done that to your own flesh and blood?' I just want an answer - then I'll call the police.

"Either he gets caught or we find out what's happened to him."

Therese divorced Lupton after finding out he wasn't dead and had, without a word, simply abandoned her and their kids Jordan and Jasmine - 14 and 17 at the time.

She said: "I thought he was a nice good family man and a good husband.

"Obviously I didn't know him as much as I thought."

Vanished

Jordan added: "It's been the worst time of our lives but we're still here and we're stronger than we were before.

"Dad walking out meant mum had to stay strong and keep us together.

"But he'll be looking over his shoulder for ever, always on the run."

More than PS30million of the haul from the Securitas raid in Tonbridge, Kent, in February 2006 has never been found.

Lupton was arrested in a dawn raid at his home in Whitstable, Kent, nine months later accused of plotting to commit robbery.

But two weeks later he left his home one morning telling Therese he was off to work - then vanished.

For a while she thought Lupton might have been murdered for "knowing too much" about the robbery or for upsetting gangsters involved in laundering the loot.

Then friends in Whitstable said he had been seen living a champagne lifestyle of glamorous women, fast cars and swanky nightclubs in Northern Cyprus, which was created after Turkish troops invaded the holiday island in 1974 and has no formal extradition treaty with Britain.

They pinpointed Lupton to a house in Lapta, a village in the mountains near the popular Mediterranean resort of Girne, the Turkish name for Kyrenia.

In 2008 British police went to the island after a mobile phone linked to Lupton was used to call numbers there within an hour of the Securitas robbery.

Records showed the same mobile was also used many times on the island after the robbery.

But the officers failed to find any trace of Lupton because they were looking in the wrong place, according to Therese.

She told the Sunday People: "A team of detectives from Kent Police concentrated on the town of Kyrenia, where they thought they might find him.

"But I don't understand why they seem to have given up looking for him.

"Surely they want to find him to try to recover some of the stolen PS53million."

Therese went on: "We chose to go to Lapta because associates of Sean's in Whitstable have told us he's there.

"My son and daughter have had people walk up to them in bars in Whitstable and say to them, 'I've seen your dad in Lapta' or others said they'd heard he was there. These are some of the people who knew Sean in the days before he went missing and moved in his circle of friends.

"There's one particular businessman from Whitstable who has connections in Northern Cyprus - he's a Turkish Cypriot who moved to work abroad.

"Other people have told us Sean was living in one of his houses in Lapta.

"The people telling us this have no reason to lie and don't know what other people have said."

On their trip to Lapta, which is 16 miles inland from Kyrenia, Therese and Jordan stopped locals in the street and showed traders, shop and bar owners a photograph of cross eyed Lupton and asked them if they recognised the unmistakable Brit.

Several confirmed they had seen him in the previous months.

And a number told the pair he had been working locally as a builder.

One woman shopkeeper, who asked not to be named, said: "He has been living in a house in the mountains above Lapta. I have seen him here in the last six months.

He has been in the village, not often, but I recognise him from his picture because of his eyes. I am sure of it."

And a man who owns a local hardware store recalled: "He came into my shop sometime last winter to buy materials. I remember him because of his eye."

Therese said: "We went round looking at some of the properties where Sean might have been living but we never saw him at any of the sites.

"I suppose it's possible he might have been alerted we were there and deliberately hid from us.

"But I'm now going to tell the police what happened when I went to Lapta, how I showed Sean's picture to local people and they recognised him.

"I want them to follow up what I've found out."

Meanwhile, Therese said she's now trying to pick up the pieces of her life after it was wrecked by Lupton's selfish flit.

She told how he left her with debts totalling PS17,000 which forced her to sell the family's three bedroom home as well as her treasured jewellery.

She has also had to battle stress related illness while she struggled to convince a county court Lupton was missing so she could divorce him for deserting his family.

Therese said: "I'm sure for a long while after Sean disappeared the police thought I was living the life of Riley and that somehow I was still in contact with him and getting loads of money off him from afar.

"But that was such along way from the truth. He left us broke. We ended up on the scrap-heap and I couldn't afford to pay the mortgage.

"But I had to struggle on, wait four years before I could get a divorce on the basis that my husband had disappeared and then sell my 50 per cent share of the property.

"I struggled to work because of the stress I was under.

"I was worried that the gangsters I thought he'd upset might come after me and the kids as well.

Hooker

"And I was sure the police were keeping me under surveillance in case I was secretly in contact with Sean the fugitive.

"I lived under a huge cloud for so long in my life."

Then Therese was horrified to learn from detectives that cheating Lupton had been seeing a hooker for years even before he did his runner.

She said: "He'd spent over PS8,000 on her and bought her a new car.

"All of this came as a complete shock to me.

"Before then I thought we'd been happily married."

But Therese said the biggest hurt is the way he has turned his back on Jordan and Jasmine, now 24.

She went on: "He's had nothing to do with them, not even sent them a birthday card from anywhere in the world which might not necessarily lead to us finding him.

I would like him to be man enough to show his face to speak to Jordan and Jasmine.

"He callously walked out of their lives seven years ago - that shows him deep down to be a really weak man."

Therese added: "My life will never be the same.

"It's affected my health, my children's health, our whole life and the way we live. It's always there.

"We've had to put up with people - not just the police - pointing at us and suspecting us of somehow being involved in the robbery, saying stuff like 'You know where he is, you know where the money is.' But I don't." I'll never forgive him."

scoops@people.co.uk

He's weak.. but he should be man enough to face children

CAPTION(S):

FAMILY: Dad Lupton in 1997

QUEST FOR A COWARD Jordan and his mum in Cyprus and, right, they hunt for Lupton

BOSS-EYED: Fugitive Sean Lupton
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2013
Words:1478
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