'Come home Grandad'- youngster’s heartbreaking plea for missing man Richard Gibbons to return home for Christmas

Bournemouth Echo: PLEA: Layla Fossey has written to Father Christmas asking for the return of her grandfather, Richard Gibbons, who went missing in April. Pictured with mum Sandra PLEA: Layla Fossey has written to Father Christmas asking for the return of her grandfather, Richard Gibbons, who went missing in April. Pictured with mum Sandra

TOPPING the list to Santa from Richard Gibbons young grandchildren this year is one simple wish – Grandad.

From the youngest grandchild to the eldest child, all the much-loved missing Poole man’s family want is to have him back with them for Christmas.

“I miss him and I want him to come home,” said Layla Fossey, seven. “That would be the best Christmas ever.”

Distraught wife Sandra – who had been with him for 25-years – had to face the couple’s 21st wedding anniversary alone on December 12. The 54-year-old went missing from home eight months ago and the family has issued a heartfelt plea for him to return.

“Layla said she wasn’t looking forward to Christmas because Grandad isn’t going to be there,” said her mum Sandra. “She was always with him. She saw him every day.”

“The kids think Santa can find him,” said middle daughter Rachel Fossey.

Her children Shannon, 10, Daniel, six, and Courtney, five, are among the grandchildren pleading with Santa to find him and send him home.

Richard, who has six children aged 23 to 37, and 14 grandchildren aged nearly two to 20, also has two great-grandchildren, a boy and a girl, born since he disappeared.

The rock-music loving grandfather left his Alderney home by 7am on April 18 and has not been seen by his family since. But they have never stopped searching for him or given up hope that he will return.

They have set up a Facebook page to spread the word far and wide and hopes were raised recently when there was a possible sighting at Yeovil.

“We had real hope, especially when they said the man was homeless,” said Rachel. But a photo of him revealed it was not her Dad.

“My Dad is so poorly,” she said. “He’s really not well. He had a breakdown and three serious seizures. He’s really not himself at all.”

He is believed to have travelled on a Wareham to Dorchester bus on the day he left. He is 5ft 7ins tall, of slight build and has mid brown shoulder length hair and was wearing a dark grey Superdry jacket, black or blue jeans and black plimsolls.

“Come home Dad,” urged Rachel.

Anyone with any information should contact Dorset Police on 101.

Also still missing this Christmas and joining Richard Gibbons on the Missing People website is Neil Dryden, last seen on April 23 1985.

He was 25 when he went missing from the Spyway mental health nursing home at Langton Matravers. Neil suffered with a brain inflammation that caused epileptic fits and had been at the home, closed in 1991, for four days when he disappeared.

Posters were put up seeking information about him at the Larmer Tree Festival in Dorset in 2006.

His mother Mary never gave up hope. “It would be lovely to think he was alive and living with a family and had children of his own,” she told the Echo in 2001.

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