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Joy and grief for hostage after her release

A British holidaymaker kidnapped by Somali pirates in September was released yesterday after her family raised an £820,000 (€985,000) ransom.

Judith Tebbutt, a 57-year-old social worker, said she was hugely relieved to be free and reunited with her son, Oliver, but her happiness was tempered by grief for the loss of her husband, David, who was killed during the abduction.

Ms Tebbutt disclosed that she did not even realise her husband had been killed trying to fight off the kidnappers until two weeks after being taken hostage. She said she "just assumed he was alive" until her son told her the news during one of many phone calls she was allowed by her captors.

"That was difficult," she said. "I felt 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."

Ms Tebbutt was freed after a ransom, which had been raised by her family, was airdropped to her kidnappers in the remote Adado region of central Somalia. A further sum was paid to middlemen who helped negotiate her release.

In a series of brief interviews after her release, Ms Tebbutt described her 193 days of captivity. "There were some very hard psychological moments," she said, "but I got through it, so I'm really relieved."

Later, in a statement, she said: "This, however, is a time when my joy at being safe again is overwhelmed by my immense grief."

The Tebbutts were on the first night of a holiday at the Kiwayu Safari Village in Kenya when they fell prey to the pirates. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent