Alex Batty: Teen fears mum will be jailed over disappearance

Alex Batty and his grandmother Susan Caruana sit on a sofa while talking during an interview for Good Morning Britain
Image caption,Alex Batty and his grandmother Susan Caruana are worried about Alex’s mum and grandad getting jailed

By Paul Burnell

BBC News

British teenager Alex Batty, who was found in France after being missing for six years, has said he does not want his mum or grandad to go to jail over his disappearance.

He vanished in 2017 after going on holiday with the pair when he was 11.

The 17-year-old from Oldham toldĀ ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “That’s why I didn’t come home sooner – all I worried about was them getting locked up.”

His grandmother agreed: “That’s the last thing I would want.”

Susan Caruana, who is his legal guardian, said: “I don’t want them to go to prison.

“I used to think about Alex every single day and that was painful but now I won’t think that way any more.”

Greater Manchester Police said detectives had launched a criminal investigation into child abduction to understand the circumstances surrounding Alex going missing.

Alex had travelled to Spain with his mother and grandfather, Melanie and David Batty, for a pre-agreed week-long holiday to Marbella in Spain on 30 September 2017.

Melanie, Alex and David Batty
Image caption,Alex Batty, centre, disappeared with his mother, Melanie Batty, and grandfather, David Batty

He was last seen at the Port of Malaga on 8 October that year, the day they were expected to return to the UK.

The teenager was found last month walking in France after being picked up by a delivery driver who spotted him on a road in the foothills of the French Pyrenees, near Toulouse.

Alex said he was getting fed up with the “nomadic lifestyle” he was leading with his mum and grandad.

“We stayed in a lot of caravans. We stayed in a lot of houses, always up mountains hours away from any kind of village. One day I just thought ok I cant take this any more,” he said.

“I knew everything was in place for them to leave where we were so if I were to leave everything would be gone by the time the police arrived.”

Now living in Oldham with his grandmother Alex told how he was adjusting to his new life.

“I’ve had one friend in the past six years – everyone else has been a lot older than me so I’m very comfortable talking to adults but with children my age it is different,” he said.

He said his current ambitions were to go to college, get a part-time job and organise a night out for his 18th birthday next month.

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