Holidaymaker who lost false teeth on Benidorm night out sent them in post 11 years later after DNA match

Spanish authorities recover teeth and trace 63-year-old through his DNA

Douglas Whitbread
Friday 11 February 2022 09:42
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<p>Paul Bishop had his false teeth returned 11 years after he lost them overseas </p>

Paul Bishop had his false teeth returned 11 years after he lost them overseas

A holidaymaker who lost his false teeth after he became ill on a night out in Benidorm had them returned to him in the post – 11 years later.

Paul Bishop, 63, said he thought it was a “joke” when an envelope carrying his missing teeth, covered in Spanish postmarks, turned up on his door.

Mr Bishop said he had last seen the teeth on a night out at the Spanish seaside resort in 2011, where he had gone to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday.

But towards the end of an all-day drinking session he had needed to vomit in a bin and lost the teeth.

Mr Bishop, who works for HMRC, said he had not noticed they were gone until he hit the next bar and had later failed to find the teeth when he searched the bin.

He said despite the loss, he carried on the holiday as normal, “singing Elvis” and “eating and drinking with no teeth” before replacing them when he returned to the UK.

Mr Bishop lost the teeth when he over indulged on a night out in Benidorm

Years later, Spanish authorities recovered the teeth and managed to trace Mr Bishop through his DNA, which he had submitted to the British police 15 years earlier.

After receiving them back through his letterbox on Wednesday, Mr Bishop said he “couldn’t believe it”.

He said: “When I first saw it, I thought it was some sort of joke, but then I saw the actual letter, which was written in English.

“It mentioned the Alicante area - well, that’s where I was. Then it mentioned the British council, and I thought: ‘It’s genuine, this.’ “It read, ‘Please come back to Spain again, but be careful.’”

He added: “They don’t fit anymore, but they’re still in perfect condition.”

Mr Bishop, from Stalybridge, Manchester, said when he came back to the UK, he got a new set of false teeth and assumed that the old pair were lost forever.

But when Spanish authorities came across them years later in a landfill site, they identified them as a body part, and under law had to return them to their owner.

Mr Bishop had been identified through a DNA swab given to police fifteen years ago when he was called in by police for an investigation, but was released without charge and later agreed to give a voluntary DNA sample.

Spanish authorities and the British council used that information to return the teeth.

He said: “I opened the letter, and it turned out my teeth went to some landfill, and because it’s classed as body parts, the Spanish government won’t allow them to be destroyed.

“They were put in some storage centre, and a lab technician came across them a couple of months ago, and tried to trace who the owner of the teeth was through DNA.

“This professor working for this national biometric company in Spain sent me a letter with it and the teeth in a little plastic bag.

“I couldn’t believe it - 11 years ago.”

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