Man abducted girl, 14, and tried to hide her under bench
- Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
A 37-year-old man who became involved with a teenage girl tried to hide her under a bench when police came looking for her.
Christopher Wright, 37, became involved with a vulnerable 14-year-old girl.
Norwich Crown Court heard the girl’s mother was concerned for her after it emerged she was seeing the defendant.
John Farmer, prosecuting, said the matter was raised with police and on January 13 he was issued with a child abduction warning notice.
But Mr Farmer said on January 29 “her mother realised she had gone missing”.
A search was started for her and police went to visit Wright at his address in Great Yarmouth.
Mr Farmer said the defendant “blocked their entry” and “denied that she was there”.
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But officers entered and found her “concealed under a bench”.
Mr Farmer said it was accepted the abduction was not sexually motivated and that it was brief.
But it was aggravated by the fact it came after he had been issued with a child abduction warning notice and while he was on bail in relation to other matters in relation to drugs offences.
Mr Farmer said on May 12 2020 police intercepted a “huddled meeting” between this defendant and another man.
Wright cycled off and threw away 24 wraps of heroin and 52 wraps of cocaine.
He was arrested and his phone seized which showed messages relating to the collection of drugs.
Wright, of Waterloo Road, Great Yarmouth, appeared at court for sentence on Wednesday (July 21) having previously admitted abduction.
He also admitted two counts of making an offer to supply class A drugs and another two of simple possession of class A drugs.
Jailing Wright for a total of two and a half years, Recorder Guy Ayers said had the police been “foolish enough” to take Wright at face value when he lied to them by saying she was not there “this matter might have escalated”.
John Morgans, mitigating, said the abduction victim had been asking for help from him but he was “misguided” in the way he acted.
He said Wright had his difficulties with drugs in the past but was now “drugs free”.
Speaking after the case, Temporary Detective Constable Marley Symonds said: "I'm extremely pleased with today's sentence and hope it acts as a deterrent to anyone involved in this criminal activity.
"We remain committed to protecting young and vulnerable people and hope this case highlights the importance of Child Abduction Warning Notices."