A Chinese man who suffered brain damage as a child has been kept in an improvised cage for 40 years.

Peng Wiqing’s mother, 80, insists the drastic measure is necessary to stop him from hurting himself.

Peng Waimei says her son’s brain injuries were the result of a childhood illness. He then became severely epileptic at the age of six.

brain damaged man in cage

Peng Wiqing has been locked in a cage for 40 years

She told Rex Features: “He can’t control himself. When he was young, quite often he would cut himself with a knife and glass debris.

“Even when he was walking, he could suddenly fall down and hit his face and make it bleed.”

Unable to afford medical treatment and fearing he would injure himself or others, Waimei's late husband built a series of cages for his son as he grew up.

man in cage

Mother Peng Waimei feeds her son through the bars of his cage

Since his death, mother and son live alone in an apartment in Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan Province.

Waimei feeds her son through the bar of the cage, cleans and clothes him.

But with her own health deteriorating, she fears for Wiqing’s future when she dies.

man in cage

Waimei worries about what will happen to her son once she passes away

She added: “He must know me, although he may not know the meaning of ‘mom’.

“He is my 48-year-old kid.”

Last year we brought you a similarly harrowing story about another Chinese boy being kept in a cage by his poverty-stricken family - again apparently for his own safety.

Wei Yun had been crawling around his home as a baby when he tipped a pot of boiling water over himself, sustaining near-fatal injuries.

Because Yun's father and stepmother work away from the family home during the day, it was decided Yun would be locked in a wooden cage during the day to avoid further accidents.