BRING BEN HOME

Ben Needham’s gran tells of her torment as she accepts her grandson will not be found alive

10/42






© Mirror



Christine Needham has spent 25 years holding on to the hope that her missing grandson will be found alive.
But
now, as police continue to excavate sites in Kos looking for Ben’s
body, the heartbroken grandmother has accepted there will be no happy
ending for her tormented family.
“It came out of the blue,”
Christine says of the moment police told the Needhams – after years of
reported sightings and negative DNA tests– they are now searching for
remains.
“They have done this as delicately as they can,” she says
of officers investigating the theory that the toddler was killed by
digger driver Konstantinos “Dino” Barkas in an accident on the Greek
island.
“But now I have a great, great fear. It’s like the police know Ben is buried on Kos but they don’t know where.
“I don’t know what happens then. But there was never going to be a fairy tale ending.”



Credits: PA


© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc
Credits: PA


Christine, 64, can remember only too well the horrific moment she broke
the news to Ben’s mum, Kerry, that her little boy was missing.

“I’ve
lost Ben, I’ve lost him,” she recalls telling her daughter, Kerry, 43,
who had just returned from a long shift as a waitress on July 24, 1991.

Tired and confused, Kerry, replied: “Mum, he’s not lost. Don’t worry. We’ll find him.”
But their panic grew as the hours wore on.
“As darkness set in, the fear set in,” Christine recalls.
She says of the Sheffield family’s anguish in the aftermath: “We looked like skeletons.
“It was complete numbness caused by unbelievable horror.”



Credits: Philip Coburn


© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc
Credits: Philip Coburn


On the day 21-month-old Ben went missing, Christine had taken him to
visit his grandad, Eddie, now 68, who was renovating a farmhouse in
Iraklis.
And it all finally became too much for Christine when police began searching a pile of earth near the house a few days later.
She says: “I collapsed in the road. We were completely exhausted by then.
“My legs went to jelly. I screamed, ‘Find him, please’, then passed out.”
Christine describes the family’s agony of 25 years of having their hopes raised and dashed by reported sightings.
She says South Yorkshire Police would tell them: “This is a goer. We have a picture of the blond boy and information.”



Credits: Philip Coburn/Daily Mirror


© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc
Credits: Philip Coburn/Daily Mirror

But they faced crushing disappointment each time. “It’s an enormous grief we all try and conceal. 

“But it’s a weeping wound which never heals. What is worse than this?” she asks.
One glimmer of light for Christine amid the pain are her memories of Ben. She said” I was there at his birth. I was ecstatic.
“He was just perfect, so beautiful. We all shed happy tears.”


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