August 2009

Serial paedophile cleared of child abduction

A JUDGE has warned a serial sex offender not to give young children lifts in his car.

It comes after a jury unanimously cleared Ian Stewart of abducting children in Bridlington.

Mr Stewart has a previous conviction in 1989 for indecently assaulting a girl aged under 14 when he was jailed for three years.

He also has a number of other convictions for sex offending on young children dating back to the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

The 62-year-old, of Trinity Road, Bridlington, had been on trial at Hull Crown Court accused of two counts of child abduction, attempted child abduction and battery.

It had been alleged that he had “stalked” two young girls over a two week period last December and grabbed one on two occasions and forced her into his car and driven her home.

Judge Roger Thorn QC said: “This case should be a warning to you, especially with the background I do not specify. You must be very, very careful if you intend to give any young male or female a lift.”

The two 12-year-old girls had told the court that when they went to Leisure World in Bridlington or school they would see Mr Stewart in his silver Citroen Picasso.

The court was told he would speak to the girls and shout “Hiya beautiful” and offer them lifts home.

One girl alleged he would wait for her until she was on her own and would try and give her a lift home.

She told the court that on two occasions he grabbed her and forced her into his car and then drove her home.

A second girl said he grabbed her shoulder and tried to drag her into his car but she ran off.

He was arrested after the girl’s told their parents and they saw him in a supermarket car park when they were with their parents.

Mr Stewart gave a ‘no comment’ interview to the police and did not give any evidence in his defence at court.

His barrister Paul Genney said: “An innocent man has been vindicated. He had innocently given this girl a lift on two occasions. He took her straight home.

“He is fat and old and lonely and likes sitting in his car. He is known for giving people lifts.”