22 Dec, 2023 @ 17:03
1 min read

Alex Batty speaks: British teen who was kidnapped from Spain says it is ‘surreal’ to be home as he reveals details of his six years living off the grid around Europe

Alex Batty, the Oldham school boy who was just 11 when he was kidnapped from Marbella

ALEX Batty has broken his silence after being returned home some six years after he was kidnapped from the Costa del Sol. 

The 17-year-old was just 11 when his mother, Melanie Batty, and grandfather, David Batty, took him on holiday to Marbella before absconding to a remote community in France. 

Neither of them had parental or guardianship rights over Alex and a manhunt was launched when they failed to return to Britain. 

It only emerged this month that Alex had been taken to an ‘alternative community’ in southern France after spending years ‘wandering through Europe’. 

Alex Batty, the Oldham school boy who was just 11 when he was kidnapped from Marbella

The teen is now staying with his grandmother in Oldham, Manchester, after being reunited last weekend. 

In an interview with The Sun newspaper, he said: “Being back with my grandma feels quite surreal. Every time I go to sleep, I feel like I’m going to be waking up back in France. It’s not really kicked in yet that I am back in England.

“For the first few years, when I was in Spain, it was a vacation really, spending most days doing whatever I wanted, reading, drawing, going to the beach.”

He added that at around 14 years old he began working odd jobs in construction and decoration, saying he had a ‘non-existent social life.’

The teen never went to school but said he learnt languages and maths and computing after finding a textbook. 

Alex
Alex Batty says he is glad to be back home with his grandmother in Oldham

Alex said his mother is ‘anti-government’ and ‘anti-vax’, adding: “She’s a great person and I love her but she’s just not a great mum. I had an argument with my mum and I just thought I’m gonna leave because I can’t live with her.”

“I realised it wasn’t a great way to live for my future,” he added, “Moving around. No friends, no social life. Working, working, work and not studying. That’s the life I imagined I would be leading if I were to stay with my mum.”

Authorities are still searching for Melanie Batty, with France believing she may have absconded to Finland. 

Alex insisted that his grandfather is still alive, despite French authorities saying he had died six months ago, adding that he did not know where he was because he was ‘always moving around.’

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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