A North East mum fought with kidnappers who snatched her toddler son from their home.
Ex-pat Sarah Joseph, who is from Bedlington, was having dinner with her 20-month-old Freddie at their house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday when a man burst into the house and grabbed the youngster out of his chair.
The kidnapper ran off and began to drive away with the child. Sarah, who has lived in the country for three-and-a-half years, grabbed on to the car but the attacker stopped the vehicle and got out of the car brandishing a machete.
Horrified Sarah, a teacher at the Lorna Whinston Study Centre in the city, clung on to the car as he drove off, breaking bones in her foot as she was dragged along.
Sarah, 39, and close friends Claire and Robert Waller launched a desperate bid to find Freddie using social media to spread the word as a police hunt was launched.
But thankfully, Freddie was finally found abandoned in a park on Saturday morning.
Mum and son have been reunited and are getting checked over in hospital.
Sarah’s friend Robert said: “We got a phone call from Sarah who was very upset.
“She told us that her baby had been kidnapped. She said a man had gone into the house and just took him. When we arrived at Sarah’s house the police were already there.”
Wife Claire, 40, who has been friends with Sarah for years since they taught together in Liverpool, said: “We just can’t believe what’s happened over the last 24 hours – it just seems so surreal.
“Sarah hasn’t slept for two days, she’s been in so much shock. I can’t imagine what she went through.
“Thankfully, he was found. I think it was down to all the media coverage and coverage on social networks.
“I think those that took him panicked when they saw all the coverage and dumped him in the park. He was found by some passers-by who took him to a police station.
“We have no idea why the kidnapper did what he did. Thankfully, Freddie was fine.”
Freddie’s dad, who is Filipino, is working back home.”
Sarah suffered a slash injury on her arm and a broken toe after trying to fight with the abductor.
Last night, police arrested the family’s former maid and her partner in connection with the abduction.
The Filipina, aged 39, and her local boyfriend, a 53-year-old plumber and electrician, were arrested at a rented flat in Taman Desa.