A British woman who had been kidnapped from a resort island on the Kenyan coast on September 11th 2011, and held captive for six months has finally been released.
News of Judith Tebbutt’s ordeal came after she was freed; it was reported that her ransom was raised by relatives. She spoke out about the death of her husband, saying that she “just assumed he was alive” until her son told her the news in the few phone calls she was allowed.
The Tebbutt’s were on the first night of their two week break a the £280-a-night Kiwayu Safari Village in Kenya, when they fell prey to the pirates. They killed Mr Tebbutt a finance director at Faber & Faber, and dragged Mrs Tebbutt along the beach towards a speedboat which was heading to Somalia.
The pirates sold Mrs Tebbutt for approximately £200, 000 to another pirate group about a fortnight after the abduction. She was allowed to make frequent phone calls home, which was only so the extraction of the ransom would be made easier as this was proof she was still alive.
Mrs Tebbutt from Bishop’s Stortford, Herts was released when a ransom of $1.1 million (£691, 000) was paid, it was raised by her family and relatives. A further £129, 000 was paid to the middlemen who negotiated her release.
Speaking to news reporterrs she said that the ordeal had some hard psychological moments, but she was happy that she managed to get through them and was looking forward to being reunited with her son Ollie.
She went on to say that her health was fine and although she has been ill three times whilst held captive, on each occasion she was bought medicine almost immediately and suffered no forms of torture.
David Cameron’s official spokesperson also spoke of Mrs Tebbutt’s release, saying that their priority was that she was to get home safely. When asked whether the Government was aware of the ransom, the spokesperson went on to say that they do not pay ransoms as they do not facilitate concessions to hostage takers as it will only become more common in the future.
Mrs Tebbutt’s mother Gladys Atkinson, 90 spoke to North West Evening Mail, and said that she was in shock that her daughter had finally been release and looked forward to seeing her.