Boy 'made up story of being held prisoner'

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The Independent Online

A teenager who told police he had been held prisoner in his home for eight years appears to have made up the story, Scotland Yard said last night.

The boy, believed to be aged 13, was found, apparently disoriented, wandering close to Tower Bridge in central London, on 8 March.

He was unable to tell officers his name, age or where he had come from but he claimed to have been beaten by adults at home and had only learned some English from watching television.

He told police that he believed he had lived in Tottenham, north London. However, after five months of fruitless inquiries into his background, officers took the unusual step of releasing his photograph on Tuesday to try to identify him.

The boy's parents, from the North of England, came forward after seeing the press appeals. "Police are no longer investigating his allegations," said a Scotland Yard spokesman.

"The boy has been staying with foster parents in South London, and Southwark Council Social Services will now be working with the boy and his family," said a joint statement from the Metropolitan force and the council.