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British teenager 'held captive by father for two years' in Madrid

Published 08/07/2016

Photo issued by the Spanish Guardia Civil of the room where a British man allegedly kept his 19-year-old son captive for two years at their home in Madrid
Photo issued by the Spanish Guardia Civil of the room where a British man allegedly kept his 19-year-old son captive for two years at their home in Madrid

A British man has been arrested in Spain after allegedly holding his 19-year-old son captive for two years, police said.

Spain's Guardia Civil said officers found the teenager in a state of malnutrition and dehydration when they raided the family home in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, a district of the capital Madrid.

He was "extremely" thin and claimed he had suffered physical and psychological abuse allegedly at the hands of his father.

The teenager is said to have told agents his father had beaten him daily, given him little food and controlled his drinking water, while forcing him to stay in one part of the house.

Officers detained the father, who became violent when they tried to arrest him. Police said the man had problems with his neighbours, believing they were poisoning his water, and that he felt he was being pursued by the Russian mafia.

Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil said they were alerted by an email from the teenager to a family abuse helpline and he had also managed to contact his sister, who aided investigators.

Guardia Civil, who confirmed the family were British nationals, released a video and photos of the squalid conditions in which the teenager lived.

The house had barred windows, scrap aluminium and wood allegedly to prevent him from escaping and the room where he lived was littered with rubbish, broken furniture and piles of clothes, they said.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with local authorities following the arrest of a British national in Spain on 1 July."

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