February 2015

Padgate man admits three charges of child abduction

A PADGATE man, who groomed a schoolgirl has pleaded guilty to three charges of child abduction.

Jamie Thorpe, aged 35, of Vulcan Close, was expected to stand trial for three offences of meeting a child following sexual grooming.

But on the day of the trial, the charges were dropped and he instead admitted to three child abduction charges at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.

The court heard how Thorpe and the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, met online in October 2013 over their shared interest in gaming and football – later exchanging numbers.

Prosecuting, Andrew Downie, said: “By his own admission, when interviewed, he accepts he knew very early on that she was 14.

“The exchanges became increasingly romantic and they eventually led to three meetings.”

The defendant took the then 14-year old on three dates – twice to the cinema in St Helens and once to McDonalds in Huyton.

Their relationship came to light when the girl jumped in a taxi to meet up with Thorpe for the third time.

It was during the journey to the cinema she told the driver that she was going to meet a older man, which sparked concern.

The taxi driver alerted the police who called her family.

Her sister was able to get in touch with the girl who she asked to immediately leave the cinema which she did.

Thorpe was then arrested and the girl’s mobile phone was examined.

Although there were no sexually explicit messages, there were messages containing what was described as ‘expressions of love’.

One of the messages revealed that the girl regretted not kissing him but he replied she would when she was ready.

She sent him a photograph showing her in a family group and he showed it to friends explaining she was his girlfriend.

The court also heard how they had agreed to wait until she was aged 16 or 18 to tell her parents about their friendship.

Judge Denis Watson, QC, adjourned sentencing until March 13 so that a pre-sentence report could be prepared.