Judith Tebbutt freed by Somali pirates after relatives pay ransom

Gaby Leslie

Judith Tebbutt has spoken of her relief after she was freed by Somali pirates following seven months of hell.

She was freed by her captors after a ransom was paid by relatives.

Mrs Tebbutt had been kidnapped from an island off the coast of Kenya by a gang of six men in September 2011.

Her husband David, 58, was shot by the gunmen as he tried to protect his wife at the luxury resort in Kiwayu, north of Lamu island.

Struggling to contain her emotions after being freed, Mrs Tebbutt told ITV: "I'm relieved to have been released - seven months is a long time"

She described the moment she found out her husband had died as "really horrible".

She said: "He was a good man. but you just have to pick up the pieces and move on. I did not know he had died until about two weeks from my capture.

"I just assumed he was alive but then my son told me he had died. That was difficult. And it must have been hard for my son. And he has been fantastic. I do not know how he secured my release. I cannot wait to see him.'

The 56-year-old, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, was being flown from Adado, Somalia to Nairobi, Kenya today.

Spokesman John Bradshaw for the British High Commission in Kenya said Mrs Tebbutt was due to land in Kenya this afternoon.

The spokesman said: "We can confirm that British hostage Judith Tebbutt has been released. Our priority now is to get her to a place of safety. We will release a further statement later."

It is reported that she will be looked after by officials from the British embassy in Nairobi, before being flown back to the UK.

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