Bobby come home, says British judge

July 25, 2000

LONDON (Reuters) - A High Court judge made an impassioned plea on Tuesday for a teenage boy who has run off and joined a religious sect to come out of hiding.

Bobby Kelly, 16, went missing in Romford after a shopping expedition with his grandmother. During the trip he met members of the "Jesus Christians" and later went back and joined them.

He has not been seen since though contact has been made by him through e-mails and telephone calls. Because of the fear that he may leave the country and go to one of the sect's overseas groups he has been made a High Court ward.

Mr Justice Munby urged Bobby to come out of hiding, saying he had absolutely nothing to fear and that his family would not be cross or upset.

"All they want to know, as indeed I do, is that he is safe and well and what he wants for the future," said the judge.

He continued: "I now appeal to Bobby to come forward and to those who are presently caring for him, to help him do so. I am simply concerned that Bobby should be found as soon as possible in order that his true wishes and feelings can be ascertained."

And in a message directly to Bobby he said: "Bobby, should you read or hear any part of this statement, I do urge you to make contact with your legal representative, the Official Solicitor. Until such time as you make contact it is difficult for me to address your grandmother's concerns properly."

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