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Boy, 9, lived alone for two years from the age of 7 at flat in France after his mother moved in with her boyfriend
24 January 2024, 14:50 | Updated: 26 January 2024, 14:11
A child was left living alone for two years in a flat in France after his mother abandoned him to move in with her boyfriend.
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The boy was left to fend for himself at the age of just seven at a council flat in Nersac, a village on the outskirts of Angouleme in south west France, after his mother moved in with her boyfriend three miles away.
She was last week jailed for six months for abandoning and endangering a minor. The boy’s father was not charged with any offence.
He lived alone from 2020 to 2022 and at times had no hot water, heating or electricity. He washed in cold water, and stole tomatoes from a neighbouring balcony and scavenged food from neighbours to survive.
The neighbours eventually went to police who had the boy taken into care.
His mother had told them that she was taking care of him and they should mind their own business.
Despite his ordeal, French news outlet France Bleu reported that the boy managed to keep up with his schooling and was a ‘good student.’
“I think it was also a kind of protection that he put around himself to say "everything is fine," said the town’s mayor Barbara Couturier.
A classmate of the boy told TFI television: “He told his mates that he ate his meals alone and took the bus alone. He didn't go out and stayed home all the time.”
Neighbours expressed their guilt about not realising sooner what was going on. One said: “When there was a family and a village around the family, if the mother neglected the child, it didn't matter too much, because the rest of the family and the whole village took care of the child. It's not like that any more.”
The boy has been in the care of social services since September 19, 2022 and reportedly does not want any contact with his mother.