Suspended sentence for child abduction

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A 27-year-old man has been convicted of abducting a child in care.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, abducted the 14-year-old girl on March 2, last year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the man had been served with a harbourer’s notice days before police found the teenager in his company.

This notice ordered him to refuse the girl entry to his home.

However, the court heard police found the girl in the 27-year-old’s bed and she was naked from the waist down.

It was also alleged there were text messages sent between them in the days before this about meeting.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the 27-year-old went home drunk alone and was only aware of the girl’s presence when police arrived.

The solicitor said his client ‘was not responsible for her not being in the children’s home’.

A prosecution barrister said the man changed his account to police, intially telling them he had asked the girl to leave and then claiming he did not know she was there.

Deputy District Judge Oonagh Mullan convicted the defendant of the charge.

It was revealed he had spent 13 months on remand and the maximum sentence is six months’ imprisonment.

The judge suspended a three month sentence for two years and warned the defendant to have no further contact with the girl.