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British hostage Judith Tebbut's family 'paid Somali pirates £600,000 ransom' to end her six-month ordeal

article-2118084-0DF9BE3A00000578-798_306x423.jpg

She was freed after her relatives paid a ransom - pirate said $1.1m was airdropped

She said 'Seven months is a long time and under the circumstances with my husband passing away...made it harder'

Her husband David, 58, was shot by a gang of six men at their remote holiday resort in Kiwayu, north of Lamu island in September

Hotel security worker Ali Babitu Kololo, 25, is currently being held in custody and is due in court

Safely reunited with the son who helped free her, British hostage Judith Tebbutt yesterday described her despair after discovering Somali kidnappers had murdered her husband.

The 56-year-old tourist was dramatically released after a ransom payment, reputedly around £600,000, ended her six month ordeal.

Pirates had seized Mrs Tebbutt and her husband David from a luxury Kenyan beach lodge last September, shooting him dead and dragging her off in a speedboat.

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Freedom: Judith Tebbutt, the British woman kidnapped from a resort island on the Kenyan coast, has spoken of her relief that she has been freed after six months in captivity

Tragic: Mrs Tebbutt, a social worker, who is believed to be deaf and was wearing a double hearing aid, said 'Seven months is a long time and under the circumstances with my husband passing away...made it harder'

Her joy at being reunited with only child Oliver, 25, was tinged with sadness as Mrs Tebbutt revealed she assumed her 58-year-old husband had been taken alive. She only learnt of his death two weeks after her kidnapping.

Speaking in Somalia before being flown to Kenya, she said: ‘I feel extremely sad. Very, very sad indeed.

‘He was a good man. That was very unfortunate. Really horrible. But you’ve just got to pick up the pieces…and move on.

Long ordeal: Judith Tebbutt draped in a shawl and wearing flip flops in Africa yesterday after her release

Release: The cash was airdropped to pirates within the last three days and this morning she was immediately taken out of the Somalia by a plane to Nairobi

Saved: As she left Adado in Somalia, Mrs Tebbutt, told reporters she was glad to be safe after her traumatic ordeal and smiled

‘I didn’t know he’d died until about two weeks from my capture. I just assumed he was alive but then my son told me he’d died…that was difficult.

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A brave face, but Judith Tebbutt will be deeply scarred

‘And it must have been hard for my son as well, very hard, and he’s been fantastic, he’s been absolutely fantastic,’ she told the BBC.

Last night, after arriving in Nairobi from Somalia, she said: ‘I am of course hugely relieved to at last be free, and overjoyed to be reunited with my son Ollie. This however is a time when my joy at being safe again is overwhelmed by my immense grief, shared by Ollie and the wider family, following David’s passing in September last year.

‘My family and I now need to grieve properly,’ she added, in a statement issued by the British High Commission.

First step: A plane carrying Judith Tebbutt takes off from Adado airport to Nairobi yesterday - her son Oliver, is expected to meet her in the city

BACK HOME IN BRITAIN THEY NEVER GAVE UP HOPE

Mrs Tebutt also spoke before she was released earlier. 'My condition is good as far as I know. My health is good,' she said

The family of Judith Tebbutt never gave up hope that she would be freed. As news of her release emerged, they could barely contain their relief.

Her 90-year-old mother, Gladys Atkinson, said: ‘At the moment I just can’t believe it. I just can’t wait to see her.’

They had known nothing of her impending release.

As far as they were aware Mrs Tebbutt’s son, Oliver, had flown to Kenya on Saturday to broker more talks aimed at securing her eventual release. Only after a flurry of phone calls from friends and family – and the dramatic footage of a healthy looking Mrs Tebbutt – could they dare to believe it was finally all over.

Mrs Tebbutt’s brother Paul Atkinson, 45, who lives in Ulverston, Cumbria, said: ‘We’re ecstatic at the news, but at the same time we’re still grieving for the loss of Judith’s husband, our brother-in-law. We’re all still numb.’ As the vicar in her home town of Ulverston led a prayer vigil Mrs Tebbutt’s sister Carol McDougall, 51, said: ‘It has been a long six months. We have been told she is well.

‘But she has lost her husband. I found out when I was at school and the secretary told me it was on the news. I was ecstatic.

‘The last six months have been very worrying for Ollie, her son, and losing David who was such a lovely man. I always believed this day would come. Jude is very strong.’

The couple’s son flew out to Kenya last weekend to help end his mother’s ordeal.

Speaking in Somalia shortly after being freed yesterday, Mrs Tebbutt told ITV News: ‘I am just happy to be released and I’m looking forward to seeing my son who successfully secured my release. I don’t know how he did it, but he did. Which is great.’

The Tebbutts were on a fortnight’s holiday when they were seized from the remote Kiwayu Safari Village.

The gang killed Mr Tebbutt, finance director at Faber & Faber, and dragged his wife along the beach and on to a speedboat before heading north to Somalia.

By coincidence, a farmhand, Ali Babitu Kololo, 25, yesterday appeared in court charged with helping lead the kidnappers to the Tebbutts’ beach cottage. He claims he did so at gunpoint but was told by a magistrate he would be sentenced to death if found guilty. His hearing was adjourned until next month.

Mrs Tebbutt’s ordeal ended after the ransom was dropped from the air to her kidnappers in the last three days and arrangements made for her release. The first pictures of her, dressed in flowing robe and headscarf, emerged yesterday morning.

Looking thin but apparently cheerful, she told ITV News, before her release and still in captivity: ‘My condition is good, as far as I know. My health is good. I sleep very well here.

Although she was pictured smiling after her release, Mrs Tebbutt has been in isolation for six months and had to endure watching her husband, David, being killed by her captors

David Tebbutt was shot dead in September, but the couple's son Oliver, right, has worked has helped free his mother. She said: 'I am just happy to be released and I’m looking forward to seeing my son who successfully secured my release'

‘I have been ill three times . On each occasion I have had medication almost immediately and it’s cleared up. I feel fine. I have had absolutely no torture whatsoever.’

Mrs Tebbutt said she had been allowed to listen to the BBC World Service, which had helped her through the ordeal. Speaking after being freed, she added: ‘Seven months is a long time and under the circumstances with my husband passing away.....made it harder.’

The social worker said there had been ‘some very hard psychological moments...but I got through it. So I’m really relieved.’

EVENTS LEADING TO JUDITH TEBBUTT'S RELEASE

Remote: The beachside cabin at the Kiwayu Safari Village where the Tebbutts were staying

Judith Tebbutt was kidnapped from a resort island on the Kenyan coast on September 11 2011 by Somali pirates, who killed her husband David during the attack.

September 12 - Kenyan police arrest a man suspected of being involved in the attack on the luxury £278-a-night Kiwayu Safari Village in Lamu, close to the border with Somalia.

September 13 - Scotland Yard reveals that a team of Met Police officers has travelled to Kenya to help the authorities investigating the murder and kidnap. The Ministry of Defence refuses to comment on reports that British special forces have also been drafted in.

September 14 - Reports emerge that Mrs Tebbutt is being held in the city of Kismayo in southern Somalia by the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab. Prime Minister David Cameron says the Government is doing 'everything we possibly can.' Foreign Secretary William Hague meets relatives of the Tebbutts.

September 19 - Ali Babitu Kololo, 25, who reportedly worked at the Kiwayi Safari Village, appears in court in Kenya charged in connection with the attack.

He is said to have claimed he was forced to co-operate with the gang at gunpoint and had voluntarily gone to the police the next day to report the crime.

October 1 - The Foreign Office in London advises Britons to stay away from Kenyan coastal areas within 93 miles of the Somali border after a second armed gang attack in a month. In the latest case a French woman is kidnapped from a beach resort in the Lamu archipelago by 10 heavily-armed Somali militants.

February 2 2012 - William Hague becomes the first UK Foreign Secretary to visit Somalia since 1992, saying there was now 'the beginnings of an opportunity' for the war-torn country to end its status as the world's longest-standing failed state. During his visit to the capital Mogadishu Mr Hague says the Foreign Office is working with officials in Somalia to secure the release of Mrs Tebbutt.

March 21 - It is reported that Mrs Tebbutt has been freed by her captors.

Video footage then showed Mrs Tebbutt being handed over to a burly man in khaki fatigues and the two ran across barren scrubland towards a waiting plane, which quickly took off and headed to the Kenyan capital.

One of her first requests after being released, apparently, was an English breakfast of a plate of eggs on toast.

Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1pqwPiMvQ

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I actually got tricked. Had me screaming WTF! as I entered the thread.

Then i saw the pic...

Lol. Well done.

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I actually got tricked. Had me screaming WTF! as I entered the thread.

Then i saw the pic...

Lol. Well done.

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Didn't even have to read that drivel to know it was pure gas . luis is not a dumb guy that will throw away his 75 k a week lively hood

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Didn't even have to read that drivel to know it was pure gas . luis is not a dumb guy that will throw away his 75 k a week lively hood

really?

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Didn't even have to read that drivel to know it was pure gas . luis is not a dumb guy that will throw away his 75 k a week lively hood

really?

Yes . Didn't think it was going to be about the somali pirates but i knew it was going to be about someone who looked like him and not him

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larlz

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