A British reality show has left its viewers in tears with the revelation that a man suffered horrific abuse as a child, tied up in the garden by his foster parents.
ITV's Long Lost Family was revisiting Geoffrey Tonks, who initially appeared on the programme in 2018 when he was reunited with his maternal half-sister Barbara.
Tonks was born of a wartime affair and placed in care by his mother when her husband returned from combat.
In the latest episode, Tonks was in search of more information on his father and turned to his adoption records to find missing details.
What he found left his half-sister in tears, as the records spelled out how he was removed from a foster home after neighbours reported that he had been mistreated by his carers and left tied up in the garden.
"Who would do that to a young boy?" Barbara sobbed. "Thank God he can't remember."
Viewers took to Twitter to share their reactions to the heartbreaking episode, with one person writing: "This story broke my heart, Geoffrey seems like such a kind gentle man. His start in life was awful but he is still humble, loving and kind".
Another viewer added: "I am sobbing my heart out for Geoffrey," while a third wrote: "I'm so glad Geoffrey and Barbara have one another now."
Alongside the heartache, Tonks also discovered that his birth father never stopped loving him, paying for maintenance and writing adoring letters about him.
He briefly took the boy in, but his wife refused to raise another woman's child.
Tragically, Tonks' parents both died before he had a chance to meet them.