Jay Slater's mum reveals son was beaten up by gang aged 12

Cops are still searching for Jay Slater.
-Credit: (Image: Instagram)

The frantic search for missing teen Jay Slater rumbles on into its 11th day - with still no sign of him.

Before vanishing, Jay, was enjoying his first holiday abroad with friends in Tenerife and attended the three-day NRG Festival, which finished on Sunday, June 16. While his pals returned to their accommodation just outside Playa de las America, Jay extended his night out with two British men he'd met on the trip, reports the Mirror.

Jay was last seen walking away from their Airbnb holiday rental, located just outside the village of Masca on the side of a mountain in the Rural de Teno National Park, on Monday morning, June 17.

The teen had called his pal Lucy Law to warn her that he had no idea where he was and that he was trying to make his way back to the hotel, but had just one per cent phone battery left.

The landlord of the holiday rental saw Jay walking "alone and fast" after missing the bus, but he hasn't been seen ever since.

Jay's mum, Debbie Duncan, who flew out to the Canary Island as soon as she heard about his disappearance, fears that "something bad" has happened as he tried to make his way home, and believes he may be being held "against his will."

Meanwhile, a leading investigator, who worked on the disappearance of Nicola Bulley, has flown in to the holiday island to help Jay's family locate their son. Ex-detective Mark Williams-Thomas said in a press conference held yesterday that he has two possible theories - one, that Jay has "come to harm" in the hills or that there has been third-party involvement.

Jay Slater search is into its second week.
Jay Slater search is into its second week. -Credit:MEN Media

Speaking about the 'worrying' availability of drugs on Veronica's Strip, a half-mile stretch of Playa de las Americas with clubs and bars, and if this has had an impact on the missing person's case, Mr Williams-Thomas said: "You get out of your car and within thirty seconds you are offered every kind of drug imaginable and that is an alarming aspect, there is no doubt an undercurrent of drugs but I can't tell you if that it has had a direct impact. The drugs aspect concerns me and in the last 24-48 hours information have come to light that gives rise to concern that drugs are a worrying aspect here."

Jay vanishing is not the first time Debbie has been left frantic with worry. He also appeared in a local newspaper at the age of 13, alongside a friend, after it was reported that the youngsters were ambushed by a gang in their local town, Mail+ reports. The report stated that the three men jumped out of a car and beat them up.

According to the publication, Jay was left 'shaken up' and with a 'massive lump on his head' after the attack on Haworth Street in their hometown of Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire.

Debbie told LancsLive at the time: "He was really shook up and had a massive lump on his head. He said they were kicking them when they were on the ground." It was reported that he hid under a car to hide from his attackers, leaving friends fearing that he'd been taken.

"They rang me to say Jay had been attacked and they think they've taken him in a car. I was hysterical on the end of the phone," she explained.

And she shut down talk that Jay was involved in gangs, stating: "People are saying there are gangs of youths in Oswaldtwistle, but I know Jay wasn't involved in that. He had only been out of the house for about half an hour."

Four years later, the 19-year-old was slapped with an 18-month community order for his role in a machete attack that left the victim with a split skull.

This court order included 25 days' worth of rehabilitation activities and 150 hours of unpaid work.

This happened three years ago in 2021 when Jay, along with seven other youths, ambushed and chased fellow teenager Tom Hilton in Rishton, Lancashire, attacking him with a machete, golf clubs, and an axe.

Tom, who likened his attackers to 'a pack of gorillas', was left with a split skull, injuries to his shoulders and legs. The gang of eight were seen laughing and joking throughout the trial at Preston Crown Court, as reported by Manchester Evening News, prompting Judge Philip Parry to call out their 'disrespect'.

Addressing the defendants, Judge Parry stated: "You should all eight be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves but I am not at all convinced you are. Many of you have found these proceedings amusing throughout the trial and yesterday and today, showing disrespect to the court.

Police and Jay's family are still searching for Jay.
Police and Jay's family are still searching for Jay. -Credit:Facebook

"I hope for the sake of all your families, the public and the people who have offered you jobs and apprenticeships and the sort that you all grow up." Since his disappearance, Jay's criminal past has been thrown back into the spotlight, with several social media trolls cruelly describing it as 'karma'.

However victim Tom, who was 17 at the time of the attack, has bravely pleaded with people online to take a different perspective.

Taking to Facebook, Tom urged: "Whoever is writing on these TikToks, give it a rest. This young lad's missing and his family's heartbroken. Put yourself in their shoes. Stop talking nonsense on social and get this lad found, mentioning my name all this and that. Have some respect and help find this boy and get him back to his family."

In an interview with the BBC, a friend of Jay's mum, Rachel Hargreaves, who is also the mum of Jay's pal Brad, whom he travelled to Tenerife with, described Mr Slater as a "lovely lad". The 34-year-old chef said he is so close to completing his apprenticeship in bricklaying and that the teen is 'popular' with his friends.

She and Brad, who she described as "not really coping", have vowed to stay in Tenerife with the family for "as long as it takes" to support Mr Slater's mum. In an interview with the Mail Online, school finance advisor Debbie spoke of her anguish over her son going missing, revealing she's now reached her 'wit's end'.

Jay's distraught mum Debbie Duncan regrets encouraging her son to go abroad.
Jay's distraught mum Debbie Duncan regrets encouraging her son to go abroad. -Credit:ITV

The mum-of-two told the publication: "It's been a week now and it's been awful. I've barely slept and I'm at my wits' end. The Spanish police are doing a good job and we are getting updated from the consulate so we just put our faith in them."

In recent days, more of Jay's pals have travelled out to Tenerife to join in with the search efforts, attending Sunday's mountain visit. Alongside three pals, Jay's ex-girlfriend Jessica Ingham is also now on the island. Distraught Debbie continued: "I know people in the UK have come forward as well who were at the festival and they are giving details of what they know but I'm not being told about that. Jay's very good friends from home have also been over and have put up posters. They are good kids and like me just want him home."

In a previous interview with ITV, where she broke down in tears, Debbie revealed she 'regrets' encouraging her son to go on his first holiday without her. "It's a nightmare, an absolute living nightmare. He'd been saving up, looking so forward to this event, absolutely buzzing about it...

"I was loving that he was going and saying 'you'll love it'. Now I just wish I hadn't encouraged him to go. I wish I'd have said 'don't go to Tenerife'." Following his disappearance, the mum has been tormented by hoax calls from people pretending to have her son.

Seven fake GoFundMe pages have been created for donations in the family's name while Debbie revealed she had received several prank calls from hidden numbers claiming they had taken Jay and held him for ransom, as she described the pranksters' jokes as "sickening". She said twisted Brits with "northern accents" had been phoning her with hidden numbers and said: "Some of the phone calls I've been getting have been horrible. I just don't know why people would want to do things like this."

The mum also revealed details of a terrifying Snapchat message that read 'kiss goodbye to your boy' - claiming that Jay owed the sender 'lots of money'. "I got a Snapchat about 10 minutes after I got off the plane saying ‘Kiss goodbye to your boy, you’re never going to see him again, he owes me a lot of money,’ which I passed on to police with the number it came from because I had my wits about me at the time and got my eldest son Zac to take a screen grab before it disappeared," she said.

As of today, Thursday, June 27, the legitimate GoFundMe page, which has surpassed £36,000 in donations, is now being withdrawn from. In a new major update shared with fundraisers, Debbie said: "Hi everyone, this is Debbie again. First, I would like to thank everyone for your support, kind messages, and good wishes. It’s difficult to wrap our heads around what is happening right now, but we are not losing hope that we will find Jay and return home together."

The heartbroken explained that the money raised for the fundraiser, titled "Get Jay Slater home", will be used to support mountain rescue teams who are "tirelessly searching for Jay". "We are currently working with GoFundMe to withdraw part of the funds, which are being safely held," she added. "I wanted to share that these funds will be used to support the mountain rescue teams who are tirelessly searching for Jay."

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