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2001: Boy 'held prisoner for eight years'

Officers from Scotland Yard's Child Protection Team have released a photograph of a teenage boy who claims he was held captive in his own home for eight years.

The boy, who was found in a distressed state near London's Tower Bridge in March this year, told police he had been abducted by a man and kept virtual prisoner in a North London home since he was five.

He claims he was subjected to intermittent physical abuse and torture and learnt English only by watching television.

Southwark Council Social Services have taken over responsibility for the teenager, who is of Asian or Arabic appearance, but they have said there are "inconsistencies" in his story.

The police, who have been investigating the case for five months, say they issued the photograph of the boy as a last resort in the hope it would prompt members of the public to come forward with information.

Det Sgt Iain Macpherson said the boy had now started school and was settling in well to a new life.

In Context
Following the release of the boy's photograph police received a series of calls from the public.

Scotland Yard dropped the investigation into the boy's disappearance shortly afterwards, saying his family had been located in the north of England.

The circumstances surrounding the case were never made clear by the police and details of the boy's identity were not released.


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