Teenager Alex Batty, who vanished for six years abroad before coming home just before Christmas, has said he does not want his mother to get into trouble.
Alex, now 17, went missing aged 11 in 2017 after his mother Melanie Batty, who was not his legal guardian, took him on a pre-arranged trip to Spain with his grandfather.
They then went “off-grid” leading a nomadic lifestyle in southern France until just before Christmas, when Alex made the decision to walk out after leaving note for them.
He was found walking in darkness carrying his skateboard by French delivery driver Fabien Accidini near the French city of Toulouse and re-united with his grandmother and legal guardian Susan Caruana, 68, just before Christmas, back at his former home in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
A police investigation into his disappearance is ongoing.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain in his first TV interview, Alex said he does not want his mother or grandfather to get into trouble.
He said: “That’s why I didn’t come home sooner. All I worried about was them getting locked up.
“We stayed in a lot of caravans and we stayed in a lot of houses, always up mountains, hours away from any kind of village or anything like that.
“One day I just thought: ‘OK. I can’t take this any more.’
“I knew that everything was already kind of in place for them to leave where we were. So, if I were to have left, they would be gone by the time the police arrived.”
Alex described his mother as “detached” adding: “She’s a very anti-government person and very spiritual and that’s the reason she wanted to take me out.”
Alex, who has not attended any school since age 11, said he left a note behind to his mother and grandfather, saying he loved them and he knew what they did was out of love for him, but it was not best for his future.
He added: “Of course, I don’t want her to go to prison. I don’t think I’ll see them again.”
Alex is now back living with his grandmother and organising his 18th birthday celebrations next month, while looking for a part-time job. He also intends to go to college.
French authorities have said Alex’s mother may now be in Finland.
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