May 2008

Girl’s fear after abduction attempt

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl who escaped from a pensioner who tried to abduct her in east Hull today spoke of her fear after he was spared jail.

Harold Marriott, 76, of Southcoates Avenue, east Hull, received a suspended sentence at Hull Crown Court yesterday, after being convicted of the offence

The court heard he had asked the girl, then aged 11, to get into his car in East Park on July 8 last year.

When the girl refused, he got out of the car and followed her along a path until she slipped through a railing to escape him.

Today the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Mail she was shocked to hear he had escaped a jail sentence.

She said: “I feel depressed because I thought he was going to go to prison. I look around places to see if he is there.”

The court heard Marriott had subjected the girl to a terrifying ordeal, as he persistently asked her to get into his car.

Recorder Mr Nigel Sangster QC said he had a duty to protect the public in sentencing Marriott.

He said: “I feel the best way to make sure nothing like this happens in the future is for the authorities to keep a close eye on you for as long as possible and to work with you so you understand how wrong it was.”

Marriott was handed a 12-month custodial sentence suspended for two years, during which time he will be under a supervision order. He was also banned from public parks.