Man jailed after abducting 14-year-old girl

Laurence Murphy, 30, from Great Yarmouth

Laurence Murphy, 30, from Great Yarmouth, has been jailed for 22 months for abducting a 14-year-old girl. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A man abducted a 14-year-old girl after he was warned not to contact her, a court heard.

Laurence Murphy, 30, met up with the teenager despite being told to keep away, after the girl's mother discovered the pair had been in regular contact, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Duncan O'Donnell, prosecuting, said the mother was so concerned she had spoken to police about the matter to keep Murphy away from her daughter.

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Laurence Murphy was jailed for abduction of a child. - Credit: Archant

He said that as a result Murphy was served with a warning notice not to meet up with the girl in future.

Mr O'Donnell said despite this he had ignored the order and met up with the teenager and was seen by a witness kissing her.

Murphy, of Albert Square, Great Yarmouth, admitted abduction of a child and sexual activity with a child.

Jailing him for 22 months and placing him on the sex offenders register for 10 years, Judge Maureen Bacon said she considered the abduction of the girl a serious aspect of his offending.

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"Abduction of a child, especially when you had a warning notice that you should not take that child away from her lawful parents, is a very serious matter."

She also made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and banned him from working with children under 16.

She accepted that the sexual activity between the pair had been a kiss which was observed by a witness.

Judge Bacon said that he was more than twice the age of the girl at the time of his offending.

Danielle O'Donovan, for Murphy, said that he had mental health issues and other difficulties.

She said that he was not planning to stay in Norfolk on his release but to move back to the North of England.

"He will then be supported by his family and will be in a better place to move forward in his life."

She said he planned not to return to Great Yarmouth area.

Detective Constable Thomas Cole said: "Murphy is an adult who exploited a vulnerable teenager for his own purposes.

"We will always take robust action against those who choose to target, exploit and abuse 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."

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