January 2014

Darwen men abducted school boy

TWO men have pleaded guilty to abducting a 14-year-old boy, one of whom had sexual activity with him.

A court heard how after persuading the teenager to meet him in the middle of the night, Stephen Sullivan, 23, (pictured) of Entwistle Street, Darwen, then gave the boy alcohol.

After heading back to Sullivan’s house for more drink, the pair continued walking until they reached the flat of, 21, of Bridge Street, Darwen.

McKenna, who had spent four months in custody before yesterday’s hearing, then began to kiss the victim in a way in which the boy described as ‘proper full on kissing’.

The youth also sustained a love bite on his neck and a bite on his lip.

Both defendants admitted abduction of a child and McKenna also pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child.

Preston Crown Court was told that Sullivan, who had already served 40 days in custody, and the teen had each known about the other’s sexuality.

Sentencing both defendants to community orders with supervision for two years, Judge Anthony Russell said much more serious charges had originally been put forward, but since dropped.

He said: “It is a very, very different case from the one that appeared to be the case.”

Judge Russell told Sullivan: “You should not have invited a 14-year-old boy to leave his house in the middle of the night.

“It was an irresponsible act which could have led to serious consequences for him because you were out and about in Darwen at night. He was out of the control of his mother.”

The judge also told McKenna that he should not have been prepared to invite the boy into his home.

Daniel King, for McKenna, said his client had expressed ‘genuine remorse’ and that he had ‘learnt an important lesson’.

Simon Gurney, who defended Sullivan, told the court: “He is a young man of good character who pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”