UPDATE: Father of children housed in Austrian cellar named as British conspiracy theorist

Austria Polizei - Image Austrian Photographer / Shutterstock.com

07:01 (January 30) – The British man who was found with six children living in an abandoned wine cellar has been named as 54-year-old IT worker Tom Landon.

According to local officials, Landon is a conspiracy theorist who has written several books denouncing Austria’s government and who is known to be a “doomsday prepper.” He, like other preppers, is stockpiling goods and sourcing accommodation to protect themselves against an expected apocalyptic event.

He is thought to have been living in a network of cellars in Orbitz that are guarded by solar-powered security cameras, having bought the properties from a British company, even though they did not permit residential use.

Landon is said to have been known by locals who had been concerned by his strange behaviour which included trying to buy cellars around the village. It is understood that he may have bought as many as five, one for each of his children.

Landon claims the children, who are not registered in Austria, are British but has been unable to provide proof. Police are checking with their counterparts in the UK to try and identify the children.

The children, who are now in custody, show no signs of abuse according to authorities although Landon is said to have links with the extreme “Reichsburger” movement. Police have downplayed the reports of his links with the extremist group whose members were arrested over a coup plot in Germany last year.

Among the books written by Landon, which are all available online,  are “Dirty Justice”, “The Judas Principle” and “The Destructive Effect of Information Technology on Human Intellectual Development.”

11:49 (January 28) -Authorities in Austria have said they found six British-born kids all under the age of five living in an abandoned wine cellar.

The Mirror reported on Saturday, January 28 that they were being detained in an illegal hideout owned by a 54-year-old man and his 40-year-old wife in the village of Orbitz.

Police broke into the man’s home after he pepper sprayed social workers who had tried to visit the home. Concerns had been raised after the man was seen with young children and had purchased at least five such cellars in the area.

Deputy Mayor Erich Greil said there had been complaints about the family which had prompted the social services visit.

It is understood firearms were found in the possession of the unnamed man who had moved to the home some months ago. Police are said to be looking into the legality of the firearms but have in the meantime released the man saying the situation appeared to be of no risk to the children.

Although the cellars were not fit for living in, the police say they found no evidence of sexual abuse and they did not appear to be neglected.

Greil said: “The surveillance cameras in front of the cellar were particularly annoying, and residents sometimes heard children’s voices in the basement, and as soon as they approached it was quiet.

“He once told me he has ten children and he wants a cellar for each child.

“The contracts are up to the municipality. However, the cellars may not be used for residential purposes.”

The children have been checked at the local hospital and have been taken into care with the couple unable to confirm their identities. It appears the kids were born in England but it is not known whether they are British citizens.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.