London -

A 13-year-old boy was found naked and cowering in a cowshed, where he had been kept by his parents for his entire life, it was claimed on Thursday.

Vasily Makeyev was said to be starving, filthy and almost blind when he was discovered by neighbours in the Belgorod region of western Russia.

The family’s other three children lived normally in their house while Vasily was left to shiver in the dark cowshed along with the cattle through harsh winters.

One neighbour claimed: “We have heard the plaintive cries and howls at night. But who knew there was a child in there?”

Vasily, who is now in the care of social services, is reported to be mentally impaired and barely able to speak.

Police say the boy’s parents, Andrey, 44, and Maria, 41, had refused an offer for him to be put into care as a baby because they did not want to give up state benefits for looking after him. - Daily Mail