Missing Brit girl, 4, found in Spain eight months after vanishing
The four-year-old had been at the centre of private family court litigation. (Picture: PA)

A missing girl has been found in Spain eight months after she vanished with her schizophrenic mother.

Elliana Shand, also known as Elliana Richards, was spotted abroad this week and is now expected to return to England in the next few days.

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The four-year-old had been at the centre of private family court litigation.

Her dissapearance saw a High Court judge plead with the public to help find the child, stating she was ‘at real risk’ and that he was ‘very concerned’ for her safety.

She had disappeared from her London home with her mother Jessica Richards, who is in her mid-twenties, after social services staff at Barking and Dagenham Council raised concerns about her care.

and is thought to have been abducted by her in breach of a judge's order. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday December 15, 2017. See PA story MISSING Elliana. Photo credit should read: Sean Doyle/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The judge praised Elliana’s paternal grandparents Sean and Eileen Doyle for their efforts to find her (Picture: PA)

Mr Justice Hayden said on Friday that Elliana had been found safe and well with her mother in Spain by Spanish police.

He praised work done by Spanish and British police, and Foreign Office staff.

The judge also praised Elliana’s paternal grandparents Sean and Eileen Doyle, who are both in their fifties and live in the Wembley area of London, for the efforts they had made to trace the youngster.

Mr Doyle, a Liverpool fan who campaigns for victims of the Hillsborough disaster, had mounted an internet campaign and begged people to help find Elliana.