British pair questioned after baby is abandoned in Portugal

By Terri Judd,Elizabeth Nash
Wednesday 16 January 2002 01:00

A British couple handed themselves over to police after an international hunt was launched when their baby was found abandoned in Portugal.

Charlie, the three-month-old son of Katherine Penny, 24, and Mark Beddoes, 29, was was found by a security guard patrolling a street near Faro international airport.

As Portuguese magistrates were deciding whether to issue aninternational arrest warrant for his parents, they gave themselves up at a Bournemouth police station.

The pair, who could face a maximum of eight years in prison if found guilty under Portuguese law of abandoning the child, were said to have flown to the UK on Sunday morning leaving their son behind. Dorset police confirmed that a woman was being questioned regarding the incident.

Charlie, who is being cared for at a local orphanage, was taken to a hospital for observation after being found where a nurse remembered he was born there in October with a harelip. His mother had tried to leave the hospital before being discharged, it's claimed.

Locals said Mr Beddoes, who sold timeshare apartments in Albufeira, the holiday resort where they lived, had been sacked in December. Former colleagues said the couple had money problems and had planned to bring Charlie back to the UK for NHS treatment.

Last night a friend, Paul Green, said Mr Beddoes was in shock and thought care had been arranged for his son.

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