Alex Batty: Missing British boy found in France to fly to London today | UK News

A British teenager found in France six years after he went missing will return to the UK this afternoon, a French prosecutor has said.

Alex Batty, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, never returned from a holiday to Spain with mother Melanie Batty, 38 – who does not have legal parental guardianship – and his grandfather David Batty, 59, on a pre-agreed trip when he was 11.

Prosecutor Samuel Vuelta Simon said the 17-year-old would take a direct flight from Toulouse to London in the late afternoon on Saturday.

Alex was found in the town of Revel, near the southern French city of Toulouse, early on Wednesday morning after leaving a spiritualist community in the Pyrenees mountains.

He had spent the last two years in different areas of southern France living in “spiritual communities” with his mother, but not in a sect, Toulouse’s deputy prosecutor Antoine Leroy said on Friday.

His grandfather died around six months ago, the prosecutor said, adding the boy’s mother might currently be in Finland.

He said the teenager knew the life he was living with his mother “had to stop” after she announced her intentions to move to the Scandinavian country.

Alex, who the prosecutor said was living a “nomadic” lifestyle, took part in a “meditation ceremony” when his grandfather died.

Read more:
Alex fled ‘because mum wanted to take him to Finland’
What really happened after he vanished?
Man who found him says Alex ‘wants to live normal life’

Alex’s mother Melanie Batty

David Batty is wanted in connection with Alex's abduction

Grandfather David Batty

‘He just wanted to live a normal life’

The French student who found Alex said the teenager revealed he had been kidnapped by his mother and had lived in a luxury house in Spain with around 10 people as part of a “spiritual community”, before moving to France in around 2021.

Alex said he had been hiking in nearby mountains for more than four days in an attempt to return to England, Fabien Accidini told Sky News.

He said: “After I called the police to explain the situation, when the cops arrived, that’s when I realised the whole story [was real].”

The student said Alex did not seem angry at being held in the “community” and said he had not been chained up – although it was unclear if he had been allowed to leave at any time.

“He didn’t have regrets [about leaving the community]… he just wanted to live a normal life, to see his grandmother again and to have a normal future, that’s the word that he used,” the student added.

Greater Manchester Police said he is now being “well cared for” by French authorities.

Recommended For You