‘Kidnapped’ teenager Alex Batty says his mother acted ‘out of love’ as he reveals he’s started dating

12 February 2024, 09:15

Alex Batty spent years living in a rural community in France
Alex Batty spent years living in a rural community in France. Picture: ITV/Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Alex Batty has claimed that his mum took him out of the UK to live in a rural French community for six years "out of love".

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Alex, who will turn 18 on Tuesday, said it "feels good to be back" in the UK as he revealed his hope that his mum and grandad, with whom he spent six years on the run, do not get caught.

“Mum did what she did out of love. It’s what she thought was best and that’s all you can really do, isn’t it? She and my grandad did it with the best intentions,” he told the Mirror.

It has been months since Alex returned to the UK to live with his grandmother. Despite still having love for his mum and granddad, he has said life is 'much better' in the UK.

Alex Batty 'vanished' while on holiday with his mum
Alex Batty 'vanished' while on holiday with his mum. Picture: Handout

The teenager even hinted that he has started dating as he settles back into British life.

“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,” he revealed.

Read More: Alex Batty feared mother and grandad would be 'locked up' - and doubts he'll ever see them again after leaving France

Read More: Alex Batty says he educated himself by ‘reading Harry Potter 20 times’ during six years without school

That is not to say that settling back into life in the UK has been without its challenges.

The teenager revealed that he still speaks and thinks in French, especially when he is upset or angry, and says he has struggled to socialise with children his age.

Alex Batty
Alex Batty. Picture: Handout

Alex says he spent so much time with adults during his time 'on the run' that he often sees people his own age as 'kdsi'.

“I’ve found it difficult since I got back talking to people my age.

“It’s engraved in me. It still doesn’t feel real that I’m back. It’s still not really sunk in. I think it’ll probably hit me sometime soon, but it hasn’t yet.”

Alex 'vanished' while he was on holiday with his mum on the Costa del Sol in 2016.

He was found in the Pyrenees in the south of France six years later, picked up by a driver and taken to French authorities.