UK & World News
British Runaway 'Feared Kidnapped In Spain'
A British man who fled to Spain is believed to have been kidnapped by men posing as police officers.
Francis Brennan left the UK ahead of a sentencing date last October for an assault he committed in the Thames Valley area in 2012.
He was last seen in Alicante on January 24. He was in a friend's car when it was stopped by several men who posed as police officers.
The 25-year-old's parents, Carl and Janet, have appealed for information about his disappearance.
"We got a call from one of his friends and his girlfriend back in January to say that Francis had been arrested on January 24 but we later learnt from the Spanish authorities that this was not the case and that he had been taken against his will," they said.
"This has come as an awful shock to us as Francis is our only son and we can still remember him as a fun-loving child who was football-mad in a football-mad family who loved nothing more than playing out with his friends."
They said they pleaded with their son not to leave the country, but he did not listen.
"He told us not to worry and that he would be home after Christmas," they said.
Mr Brennan's girlfriend, Sophie Staunton, went to Alicante in December to try to persuade him to return home.
"Francis met Sophie, his lovely girlfriend, in 2012 and he seemed to start to grow up and they seemed very settled and happy," Mr Brennan's parents said.
"Sophie went out to Javea in December to try and persuade him to come home but then last month he disappeared and none of us know where. This whole thing has devastated all of us."
Detective Superintendent Richie Carr, from Merseyside Police, said: "Francis's disappearance is completely out of character and because of this, as well as his associations and lifestyle, ourselves and the Spanish police are extremely concerned for his safety.
"We do however believe he has been taken against his will and we and his family are hopeful that someone in the criminal fraternity here in Merseyside has information that could help bring about the safe return of Francis."
:: Anybody with information should call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 8520 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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