James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Pictured: Mother of boy, 9, left alone for two years at flat in France after she moved in with lover
26 January 2024, 10:18 | Updated: 26 January 2024, 12:36
The mother of a boy who was left alone for two years at a flat in a south-west French town has been pictured.
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The boy was left to fend for himself at at a council flat in Nersac, a village on the outskirts of Angouleme, eating tomatoes he scavenged from neighbours' plants, and tinned food.
His mother was living with her lover. She was jailed last week for for six months for abandoning and endangering a minor.
The boy lived alone from 2020 to 2022. At times had no hot water, heating or electricity, and washed in cold water.
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.