Girl, two, 'abandoned' in Portugal

An investigation is under way into claims a two-year-old girl was abandoned near a busy road in Portugal as her British parents were drunk in a nearby cafe.

Police said they were called to reports the child was alone in her buggy in the village of Carcavelos near the capital Lisbon at about 8pm on Tuesday. Her parents, said to be English teachers living in Portugal, were later found 100 metres away in a cafe called Manhas do Chocolate.

On a statement on its website, the Policia Seguranca Publica (PSP) said the couple were in an advanced state of intoxication.

The girl was fed soup and water at the cafe before she was taken to a police station where she was given a meal of fish and vegetables. She was kept overnight in an emergency reception centre for minors, PSP added.

A photograph of the youngster being fed by a woman police officer was posted on PSP's Facebook page.

Later, local officer Rui Vasconcelos told Portuguese TV station TV124 that the parents, aged about 40, came to the police station the following morning to inquire about their daughter after they were reportedly unable to speak properly the evening before. He said they still appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

Both were asked for documentation to prove they were the child's parents and then left the station without their daughter, who is apparently still in care. The officer said: "The case will be evaluated by the judicial authorities."

A staff member at Manhas do Chocolate, who did not want to be named, told The Sun: "I arrived at work around 7.30pm. The mother looked completely out of it and the father also looked very strange. The mother was incapable of standing up. I was told there had been an incident earlier when the girl had got out of her buggy."

Local reports said the couple had been rowing in the cafe and that the girl had nearly been hit by a car while playing around the tree-lined square.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are aware of the case in Portugal involving a British national. We are providing consular assistance to the family."