Jay Slater's friend debunks online theory and says 'you need to know facts'

Jay Slater disappeared on June 17
-Credit: (Image: Instagram)

Brad Hargreaves, a friend of Jay Slater who accompanied him to Tenerife for the NRG music festival, has spoken out against conspiracy theories circulating on social media. He expressed his frustration at being targeted by online trolls accusing him of involvement in Jay's disappearance.

In a message to his Instagram followers, Brad stated that the idea he played a part in Jay's disappearance is 'beyond me'. He urged those speculating about Jay's fate to 'need to know the facts before talking s*** on the internet'.

He further clarified that he and Jay have been 'mates for years, came on our first holiday together and unfortunately this has happened. We ain't drug mules or whatever...'.

Brad also addressed a theory widely circulated on social media suggesting that Tenerife's drug scene could be linked to Jay's disappearance, including accusations that Jay's friends were 'drug mules'.

In an Instagram post reported by the Independent, Brad refuted these claims, writing: "Thinkin I'm involved in it all is beyond me,", reports the Manchester Evening News.

"We've been mates for years, came on our first holiday together and unfortunately this has happened. We ain't drug mules or whatever.... peple need to know the facts before talking s*** on the internet.."

Jay, hailing from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, vanished on the Spanish island on June 17. His last known whereabouts was leaving the Airbnb around 8am that morning.

The teenager, who was holidaying with his friends Lucy Law, 18, and Brad Hargreaves, 19, had been partying at the Papagayo nightclub in Playa de las Americas before deciding to head back to their rented accommodation. His last known whereabouts were Rural de Teno Park in the north of the Canary Island a considerable 11-hour walk from where they were staying.

At approximately 8.30am on the day he vanished, Jay contacted Lucy to tell her he was lost, trying to find his way home without water and with only 1 per cent battery left on his phone. That was the last anyone heard from him.

Earlier this week, Mark Williams-Thomas, a former British police detective assisting Jay Slater's family in Tenerife, suggested that the teenager felt 'scared' when he left the Airbnb and had allegedly 'taken a Rolex' prior to his disappearance.

The investigator stated: "We've received information that would suggest that Jay left the rental property feeling scared and he would not return to the rental, even though that would have been the most sensible course of action."

The ex-detective claimed that Jay had 'posted a Snapchat saying that he'd taken a £12,000 Rolex from a person'.

"We've been unable to validate this in terms of a reported theft", he said in the video. "However, friends of Jay said he would not make this up and the watch was subject of later conversation between the friends."

The British man linked to the Airbnb visited by the now-missing Jay Slater has finally broken his silence, insisting that Jay "left there alive".

Ayub Qassim, who is believed to have invited 19 year old Jay back to the holiday let in northern Tenerife near Masca village after a rave on the island's southern side, has come forward to address the swirling rumours about why Jay went to the property and his departure with a nearly dead phone and without water.

Qassim, who is said to have booked the £40-per-night apartment under the name Ayub Abdul, defended his actions in an interview with Mail Online. The 31 year old stated: "He came to my Airbnb alive and he left my Airbnb alive."

Reports suggest that nine years ago, Qassim was imprisoned for orchestrating a major operation to distribute Class A drugs across Wales. Spanish authorities have interviewed both him and the friend he was with, although local police have deemed them 'irrelevant' to their ongoing investigation.

Now back at his family's residence in East London, Qassim commented yesterday: "The only comment I have to make is that Jay came to the house alive, and he left the house alive."

He further explained his hospitality towards Jay, saying: "I let the geezer stay at mine because he had nowhere else to go, his friends had all left him. I know Jay, through friends, I'm not going to bring someone back to mine if I don't know them."

"I'm doing the geezer a favour and now my face is all over the news. It's a bit mental. I haven't even done anything."

He further clarified that there had been no disagreement with Jay, despite reports suggesting that the teenager had told friends he had 'taken a £12,000 Rolex watch' and 'left the rental property feeling scared'. Qassim stated: "If I'd fallen out with him would he even come to mine? ".

"There were no problems. You've seen the last images of him with his red blanket around him."

"I don't know if he had beef elsewhere because I don't know him that well, I only know him through friends.'".

After nearly two weeks of searching for the teenager in the vast and mountainous area, the police have decided to halt the ground search. On June 30, they announced that officers would continue to act on any leads or other information that came in, but the active work that has been ongoing since the apprentice bricklayer was reported missing would cease.