Manchester grandad who lost false teeth on holiday is reunited with them - 11 years later
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A holidaymaker who lost his false teeth in Benidorm was shocked when they arrived back in the post - 11 years later.
Paul Bishop, 63, said he thought it was a “joke” when an envelope carrying his missing teeth, covered in Spanish postmarks, turned up on his doorstep.
The grandad said he’d last seen the teeth on a night out at the Spanish seaside resort in 2011, where he’d gone to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday.
But towards the end of an all-day drinking session he was sick and had lost the teeth.
Paul, who works for HMRC, said he hadn’t noticed they were gone until he hit the next bar and had later failed to find the gnashers when he searched the bin.
He said despite the loss, he carried on the holiday as normal, “singing Elvis” and “eating and drinking with no teeth” before replacing them when he returned to the UK.
Years later, Spanish authorities recovered the teeth and managed to trace Paul through his DNA, which he had submitted to the British police 15 years earlier.
And when the long-lost false choppers came back through his letterbox last Wednesday, Paul said he “couldn’t believe it.”
He said: “When I first saw it, I thought it was some sort of joke, but then I saw the actual letter, which was written in English.”
“It mentioned the Alicante area - well, that’s where I was! Then it mentioned the British council, and I thought: 'It’s genuine, this!'
“It read, ‘Please come back to Spain again, but be careful!’”
He added: “They don’t fit anymore, but they’re still in perfect condition.”
Paul, from Stalybridge, Manchester, said he’d lost the teeth after spending the whole day drinking with pals and was sick on a holiday in Benidorm, in September 2011.
Paul said he only noticed his teeth were missing when a friend pointed it out to him
He said: “My friend said: “Where are your teeth?’ So I thought ‘What?’
“I realised they’d gone in the bin. So I went back to the bin looking for them, but I couldn’t see them anywhere. So I wrote them off.”
“I rang my mates in Manchester, and said: ‘I need some new teeth when I come back.’"
He added: “I spent the rest of the holiday with no teeth, singing Elvis with no teeth, eating and drinking with no teeth. Quite hilarious, really.”
Paul said when he came back to the UK, he got a new set of false teeth and assumed that the old pair were lost forever.
But when Spanish authorities came across the gnashers years later in a landfill site, they’d identified them as a body part, and under the law, they had to return them to their owner.
Paul had been identified through a DNA swab that he’d given to police fifteen years ago.
At the time, he said he was called in by the police for an investigation, but was released without charge and later agreed to give a voluntary DNA sample.
Mr Bishop says he does not have a criminal record.
Spanish authorities and the British council used that biological information to get the teeth to his doorstep yesterday.
He said: “I opened the letter, and it turned out my teeth went to some landfill, and because it’s classed as body parts, the Spanish government won’t allow them to be destroyed."
“They were put in some storage centre, and a lab technician came across them a couple of months ago, and tried to trace who the owner of the teeth was through DNA.
“This professor working for this national biometric company in Spain sent me a letter with it and the teeth in a little plastic bag yesterday.
He added: "I couldn’t believe it – 11 years ago!”