A Spanish student who stole three books from his host family while learning English in the UK has confessed to his crime – 25 years later.
Inaki Buenaposada, then 16, took the old books including Charles Dicken’s classic Oliver Twist from what he believed to be a rubbish bag.
But when his landlady noticed three tomes were missing he kept quiet and returned to Spain with the books in his bag.
It wasn’t until 25 years later that Inaki, now 40, had a crisis of conscience and flew back to Cambridge in search of the books’ rightful owner.
Inaki spent three days hunting for the family in Cambridge, but could not remember the name of the street, house or even the couple’s names.
He is hoping the family will come forward and claim the old copy of Oliver Twist, The Universal Home Lawyer and an illustrated biology book called The Pond I Know which dates back to the 1900s.
The recycling plant worker, who lives in San Sebastian, Spain, said: “I want to return the books to the people I took them from, that is my only reason for coming.
“I was here for a summer in 1989 and living with the family and three students.
“One day I saw a black bag in the garage and I thought it was rubbish. I saw the books and took three of them.
“That night the lady was very distressed and asking if we had seen them and I didn’t say anything.
“I think it was because I wasn’t man enough to face up to her at the time and tell her I was guilty.
“I think they have economic and sentimental value.
“I think it The Pond I Know would be a nice one for her to read to her grandchildren and use it to show them wildlife.”
Inaki arrived in Cambridge on Wednesday, but got a plane home on Saturdaywhen he could not track down the family.
He hopes to continue his search from Spain.