In 2012, the Tom Parry of the Mirror tracked down Mr Barkas who confirmed he was excavating earth
for a property to be built 50 yards from the house where the Needhams were staying.
Speaking at the time in what was his first ever interview, he told us: “Yes, I was the man with the JCB that day. Loads of earth were being taken to clear the ground for the new house.
“I think people were misled in thinking the child was abducted. Could there have been an accident? I don’t think so but no one really knows what happened.
“The little boy was two years old and the thorns in that field were as high as my waist.”
And that was all he would say. I wanted to ask about where he dumped the excavated earth, whether Ben could have strayed into his path and who else had been there.
But he insisted the conversation was over. “No, no, no more,” he blurted out in pidgin English.
"I was asked to leave and had the impression it could get nasty if I overstayed my welcome.
I feel sure Barkas, and others I spoke with, did not tell me all they knew.
Mr Barkas also revealed he had given a statement to police.http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ben-needham-prime-suspect-digger-8846635http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ben-needham-prime-suspect-got-8853313