Man sentenced after child abduction
A 22-year-old man who ignored a police Child Abduction Warning Notice to stay away from a teenage girl has been jailed for 10 months.
James Pearse, of Stonefield Road, Baconsthorpe, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment at Norwich Crown Court on Friday January 10 and has been placed on the Sex Offender's Register for seven years. Having been on remand for five months and serving half his sentence, Pearse has since been released from prison.
Pearse had previously admitted eight counts of child abduction, one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and another of sexual activity with a child between 23 March 2019 and 9 May 2019. He also admitted driving without insurance or a driving licence on 9 May 2019.
He also denied a charge of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply on 24 March 2019 but admitted one count of possession of cannabis.
Pearce had also appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday 27 November 2019 and was found guilty of dangerous driving on the A140 at Roughton on 9 May 2019.
It follows an incident at his home on 3 March 2019 when Pearse was issued with a Child Abduction Warning Notice by Norfolk Police. The notice, which warned Pearse not to have any contact with the victim, who was 14 years old at the time, was supported by the victim's father.
Over the course of the next two months, Pearse was seen with the victim in Holt, Sheringham, Bale and Baconsthorpe in clear breach of the Child Abduction Warning Notice. On one occasion he was seen hugging the victim. On another occasion, Pearse ran off when officers arrived at the scene and was later found hiding under a bush in the back garden of a nearby property, and was arrested.
Detective Inspector Dave McCormack said: "We will always take robust action against those who target and exploit vulnerable young people. One of the ways we can do that when there are genuine concerns about an individual we suspect of grooming a child or a young person is to issue them with a Child Abduction Warning Notice, as happened in this case. This is a formal warning from the police demanding they stay away from that young person or face arrest and prosecution.
"This sentence highlights our commitment to use this power whenever possible to protect our young people from those individuals who have such little disregard for their safety and welfare, and instead choose to exploit them. It also demonstrates the court's readiness to punish those responsible.”