Despite being in possession of a pension, owning land, a house and two cars, a man from Orihuela has been driving his 80 year old mother into Murcia City, on a daily basis, where she has been earning money by begging on the city streets.
He would regularly drop her off at the Avenida de la Libertad in the city centre where she would sit in filth, for hours at a time, begging from passers-by, but unbeknown to them both, the woman, who also suffers from Osteoarthritis, was being watched by members of the social services.
However, it was not until Christmas Eve that they approached her with offers of assistance and when they did so the woman refused to collaborate and would not identify either herself of her son. She was subsequently approached by the Local Police but refused to cooperate with them also, at which point the National Police were called in.
Thankfully they were eventually able to identify her through her fingerprints when they found that she was a resident of Orihuela.
José Morales, head of the Murcia City Social Care Service (SEMAS) said that they had been watching the woman for some time as she was picked up by a car when the shops closed at the end of each working day.
He said that she walked across and got into the car without any problem. The car was driven by her son, a man in his forties. It would seem that they then drove back to their home in Orihuela.
When finally interviewed, the son, who was asked about the begging activities of his mother, said that he does not work because he is handicapped. He added that because the percentage of handicap is very low he does not receive and financial benefits.
The situation is such, said Morales, that this lady is receiving a pension, because of her age. In addition to which she owns a house, two vehicles and land.
Murcia Social Services thanked the police for their help in intervening in the case, however, neither the mother nor the son were arrested.
Murcia SEMAS contacted the Orihuela Social Services, directed by Sabina Goretti-Galindo, for their help.
The councillor confirmed that they have now opened an investigation in the case.
“Orihuela Social Services have been told of the case by their counterparts in the city of Murcia. The corresponding protocol has now been initiated and enquiries are being made prior to the preparation of a report and the decision as to appropriate measures,” said the council.