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Alex Batty says he's 'glad to be home' in first words since returning to UK

Alex Batty says he's 'glad to be home' in first words since returning to UK

The missing Brit has spoken out for the first time since he returned to the UK.

Alex Batty has spoken out for the first time since returning home to the UK six years after he went missing.

The 17-year-old disappeared in 2017 while on holiday in Spain with his mum Melanie Batty, 37, and granddad David, 58.

He was found last Wednesday (13 December), by Fabien Accidini who offered him a lift after spotting him roaming about in Revel in France, looking 'confused' and 'tired'.

The missing teen reportedly told the motorist that he'd spent three years in Spain and then two years in France, where he had been 'in a community, let's say something to do with spirituality, that he didn’t feel comfortable with.'

He is now back on home soil after six long years and has been reunited with his loved ones, including his grandmother and legal guardian Susan Caruana.

The lad arrived back in Oldham, Greater Manchester, on Saturday evening after being met by a family member and police officers at Toulouse airport, where he caught a flight to the UK.

On Friday (15 December), Toulouse Assistant Public Prosecutor Antoine Leroy discussed what Alex had told authorities.

He said: "When his mother indicated that she was going to leave with him to Finland, this young man understood that this had to stop.

"So he then decided to leave the place where he was with his mother and he went walking for four days and four nights.

"He was exclusively walking at night and sleeping in the day."

Fabien dropped him off at a police station where his true identity was then confirmed - news which left his grandmother 'thrilled' as she prepared to welcome him home.

Alex has spoken out for the first time since his return to the UK.

Alex is now settling back into life in his hometown and headed on a shopping trip with a relative earlier today.

Upon his return, he uttered his first words to reporters.

The teenager simply said: "I’m glad to be home for Christmas."

Alex is set to spend the festive season with his grandmother Susan, 68, who described hearing her grandson's voice again as 'like a dream' and 'unbelievable.

Greater Manchester Police earlier confirmed Alex returned home safely at the weekend after being missing since 2017.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Boyle said: "We are aware that the French authorities disclosed detailed information during yesterday’s press conference relating to what Alex may have been doing, and where he has been, over his years missing.

"GMP are yet to obtain any formal statements from Alex and therefore we cannot comment on this at this time.

"Speaking with him, at a pace that feels comfortable to him, will ultimately determine how this case is progressed and whether there is a criminal investigation to ensue.

The now-17-year-old said he was glad to be home for Christmas.

“Our continued focus is supporting Alex and his family in partnership with other local agencies to ensure they are safe, their wellbeing is looked after, and his reintegration with society is as easy as possible.

"We are yet to establish the full circumstances surrounding his disappearance, but no matter what, understand that this may be an overwhelming process.

"He may now be six years older than when he went missing, but he is still a young person. I would continue to ask for the community and media’s support in granting Alex and his family privacy as they look to move forward."

Alex, who left for his holiday in Spain on 30 September, 2017, was due to return to the UK on 8 October that same year.

Police opened an investigation into Batty's disappearance on the day he was supposed to return home, and it has remained open for the last six years.

Featured Image Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Topics: UK News, World News