As ‘kidnapped' Alex Batty turns 18 today, he reveals plans for the future after years on the run

Alex Batty turns 18 today, and has given an update on life in the UK since his return.

Alex Batty 18th birthday
© Greater Manchester Police
Alex Batty 18th birthday

Alex Batty shocked the UK when he turned up after having gone missing 6 years ago on holiday with his family. He was ‘kidnapped’ by his own mother - who was not his legal guardian - and lived a ‘nomadic life’ in Spain and France before one fateful day brought him back to the UK. Alex, at age 17, had decided he wanted a normal life and ran away from a rental home in the French Pyrenees, leaving his ‘hippy’ lifestyle and mother behind. Speaking about their relationship, he explained:

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She’s a great person and I love her but she’s just not a great mum.

The teen reportedly walked through mountainous terrain for four days before being found by a delivery driver in the middle of the night. The driver let him use her phone to reach out to his grandmother Susan Caruana through Facebook. Now, Alex is back in the UK and has spoken about his experience as a youngster on the run as well as his surprising plans for his new life.

Alex Batty’s experience on the run

Alex Batty disappeared while on a trip to Spain with his mother and grandfather in 2017, when he was only 11 years old. He has since said that the worst thing about life on the run was the fact that he missed out on having a ‘proper education’.

Alex spent some time living with a couple, Frédéric Hambye and Ingrid Beauve, who released a statement in December. They spoke about their time hosting Alex, who went by Zach:

As time went by, we considered him part of our family, and we think he appreciated the stability and security we represented for him (...) We were keen to help him (without having any parental authority, given that his family was in the region) and we encouraged him to learn French and to study.

His grandfather also spent time in the same area, though there are some suspicions that he may have passed away.

Alex Batty’s surprising new life

Alex returned to his grandmother and legal guardian in December last year. Living in Oldham, Greater Manchester, the teen has said that ‘it feels really good to be back’. He is adjusting to life in the UK, explaining that ‘pretty much everything is a new experience’.

Alex is a big Manchester United fan, and said:

I’ve heard things have changed for the worse since Sir Alex Ferguson retired but I’m excited to go and watch a game live. It’s a dream come true to go to the stadium again.

He was in attendance for Aston Villa’s clash with the team at Old Trafford. His uncle and grandfather took him to watch the match, which was his first since his return to the UK.

He is even dating, and has clear plans for the future:

I’m talking to someone at the moment. I want to get a decent job so that when I get a wife and kids, they won’t have to worry about money like I did.

Alex turns 18 today, and plans to celebrate in a classically british fashion: with a bar crawl. He is even considering getting a tattoo.

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Sources used:

BBC: Alex Batty: British teen found in France returns to UK

The Sun: LOST LAD IN LOVE Alex Batty is DATING and wants to get a tattoo as he shares all about life in UK after going missing for six years

11-year-old British boy abducted in Spain found six years later and he could return to the UK very soon 11-year-old British boy abducted in Spain found six years later and he could return to the UK very soon