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Man arrested in Austrian wine cellar with partner and six kids is former London IT worker


A man arrested after barricading himself with his partner and six children in a wine cellar in Austria turns out to be a former London IT professional turned conspiracy theorist.

Tom Landon, 54, was arrested after he sprayed pepper spray on a pair of government officials called to inspect a basement in the Austrian village of Obritz.

Neighbors called the police after hearing children’s voices from the basement.

Officers found Landon inside with his 40-year-old partner and their children, ages seven months to five, along with several handguns.

Erich Greil, deputy mayor of the village, said Landon lived there “for a short time.”

He told the Sunday Times: “Before that, he apparently lived in England. I think he worked in information technology.”

Landon is the author of several books, including two titled Red Pig and Dirty Justice.

One lists its address in 2019 as East Finchley in north London.

Landon was arrested by police and later released, but is expected to be charged with resisting authorities.

His partner is reported to speak both English and German, but her biography is unknown.

The family is believed to have lived in the basement for the past nine months. It was equipped with running water and electricity, as well as doors and windows, but was declared unfit for human habitation.

Local journalists said Landon was connected to the Austrian offshoot of the German Reichsbürger movement, which rejects the legitimacy of the state and espouses various conspiracy theories.

Late last year, dozens of its members in Germany, including a prince, a serving soldier and a former member of parliament, were arrested and charged with plotting to overthrow the country’s democratically elected government.

The Kronen Zeitung reported that Landon was “known to officials” and “was a strong believer in bizarre conspiracy theories”.

Stefan Loidl of the Austrian police said the children were taken to the hospital and examined in the presence of their mother before being released. It turned out that they were born in the UK and were not registered in Austria.

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