Man who allegedly tried to sell his baby for £1,000 in Manchester says he was 'making a joke'

He said he was simply making a joke, and hopes to regain custody of his child

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The Independent Online

A man who was arrested on suspicion of child neglect after allegedly trying to sell his baby for £1,000 on the streets of Manchester has said he was 'joking'.

The man, an asylum seeker from West Africa, was arrested after allegedly approaching members of the public in Manchester city centre on 12 July and attempting to sell them the child, his three-month-old son.

He was released on bail until September on the day after his arrest, and appeared at the Manchester Family Court this morning, where he hoped to regain custody of his child.

Speaking to The Times, he said he wants to clear his name and was not serious about selling the child, saying "I was making a joke."

"Perhaps these people did not realise this", he added.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, police said that at least three different people were approached by the man. The paper also reported that the baby's mother has been missing for three weeks.

Dozens of officers were scrambled on Sunday afternoon to search for him, and the city's public transport workers were told to look out for him, as he was travelling on foot.

Police confirmed that the baby boy is safe and well.