Spain pair 'locked brother up in inhuman conditions'

The legs of a man, 59, in a three-square-meter dovecot in Dos Hermanas, Seville, Spain, 29 December 2015. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Police said they found the man in deplorable conditions

Police in Spain say they have arrested a man and a woman who kept their mentally ill brother locked up in "inhuman conditions".

The 59-year-old man was found lying naked in a tiny room with no roof in the southern town of Dos Hermanas.

He was on a filthy mattress and had only bottles and buckets instead of a toilet, police said in a statement.

The statement did not say how long he had been kept there but that he had not seen a doctor since 1996.

Police in the town near Seville found the man when they brought home his 76-year-old drunk brother, following complaints of disorderly behaviour.

"Once inside the home, they saw a door at the end of a corridor closed with a chain... and padlock," the police statement said (in Spanish).

The man told the police that that was where his brother was kept because of his mental problems, isolated for his own safety.

Filthy 'dovecote'

His 61-year-old sister, who also lived in the house, said she kept him fed and cleaned, and looked after his €1,000 (£740; $1,100) monthly pension.

Police said they found the man in a roofless room measuring about 3 sq m (32 sq ft), via "a crumbling, narrow staircase that went up to a type of dovecote".

"His health and hygiene were deplorable, and conditions of the place were completely unsanitary... without access to running water or toilets."

The man was taken to hospital, while his two siblings were detained on suspicion of crimes including abuse and illegal incarceration.

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