Missing boy says he wants to live for God

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The Independent Online

The missing teenager Bobby Kelly said yesterday he wanted to dedicate the rest of his life to the religious group he joined a month ago.

The missing teenager Bobby Kelly said yesterday he wanted to dedicate the rest of his life to the religious group he joined a month ago.

The 16-year-old, from Romford, Essex, disappeared shortly after meeting a Christian group while on a shopping trip. He said he was staying with the Jesus Christians voluntarily, and denied being brainwashed.

The teenager was shopping with his grandmother Ruth Kelly, 58, in Romford a month ago when he met the group who were handing out leaflets. The same evening he moved out of his grandmother's house where he was living at the time. He is thought to be living with the group in a van.

Bobby said: "People are worried that this so-called cult are doing things to me they shouldn't be doing to me and I've been brainwashed, but it's just a complete over-reaction."

The teenager was made a ward of court on 13 July after his family became concerned he was being held against his will. The Official Solicitor, Lawrence Oates, who was appointed as his legal guardian, has made a public appeal for Bobby to meet him. If it was clear he was acting of his own free will, there was no reason he would not be allowed to remain with the group, Mr Oates said.

Bobby said he did not want to return to live with his grandmother. He said: "I can't live my life for God if I live with my nan... It says in the Bible that you have to give everything up to work for God."

Mrs Kelly has spoken to her grandson on the telephone, and said she could hear the Jesus Christians prompting him as he spoke. But he denied they were telling him what to say.

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