Colleagues "absolutely delighted" at release of Somali pirates captive

PUBLISHED: 16:16 28 March 2012

CO-WORKERS of a woman who was kidnapped by Somalia pirates have said they are "absolutely delighted" she's been released from captivity.

Judith Tebbutt, a social worker at Kneesworth House psychiatric hospital in Kneesworth-cum-Bassingbourn, has returned to the UK more than six months after being taken hostage and held in Somalia.

The 56-year-old was reunited with her son Ollie, who secured her release, in Nairobi, Kenya, last week after a ransom thought to be worth up to £800,000 was paid to her captors.

Mrs Tebbutt had been staying at a five-star beach hut on the north coast of Kenya with her husband David last September when the couple were attacked in an incident which left the 58-year-old shot dead.

A spokesman for Kneesworth House Hospital, where Mrs Tebbutt has worked for seven years, said: “All the staff and patients that Jude works with at Partnerships in Care Kneesworth House Hospital are absolutely delighted to hear the news of Jude’s safe release.

“After her dreadful ordeal we know she will want time with her family and friends but we are all thinking of her and sending her our warmest regards.”

Mrs Tebbutt, from Bishop Stortford, spoke to the BBC about her ordeal via a video broadcast.

She said: “David was a good man. That was very unfortunate, really horrible. But you just need to pick up the pieces and move on.

“I didn’t know he had died until about, I think it was two weeks after 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 as well, very hard, and he’s been fantastic. He’s been absolutely fantastic. I don’t know how he secured my release, but he did, and I’m really happy, I can’t wait to see him, really.”

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