August 2016

‘Pied Piper’ predator jailed for child abduction after luring kids into woods

A PREDATOR who lured children into woods and abducted a terrified seven-year-old girl before carrying her off has been jailed.

Harry Kusz, 36, was said to have acted like a ‘Pied Piper’ in his chilling actions towards the youngsters, who wanted to play with his dogs.

It can now be revealed Kusz was previously charged with raping three girls aged 12 and 13 in remote locations but walked free after being cleared.

At his latest trial, a weeping mother described frantically searching for her little girl after Kusz allegedly abducted her.

She went looking for her child and shouted her name when she realized she was no longer playing outside the house.

After frantically searching the streets and phoning her father, a neighbour told her: “Harry’s got her.” The 28-year-old mother had no idea who this was.

Then she saw the little girl running towards her “looking in shock. I asked her where she’d been and at that point she just started crying.”

She challenged Kusz and asked him: “What were you doing with my wean? Why were you taking my wean?

“He came up to me and his face completely changed. I’ve never seen anyone look so angry.” She said Kusz swung at her with a dog chain and told her girl: “The next time you see your mum she’ll be dead”, making a slashing motion across his throat.

Kusz, 36, a prisoner, was found guilty by a jury of abducting and detaining the girl against her will, taking her, another boy of seven and two 10-year-old boys into Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, placing them in fear and alarm and breach of the peace in April.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard he swigged tonic wine and refused to help the youngest boy when he became stuck in a gully and wept in fear.

Kusz was also convicted of seizing the seven-year-old girl’s arm, hoisting her over his shoulder and taking her into woods.

He was cleared of assaulting the girl and her mother by attempting to strike them with a dog chain, placing his hand on the girl’s leg and attempting to set a dog on a witness.

A 14-year-old boy told the court he was at the woods with friends when he saw younger children with a man and dog sitting beside the river.

The man’s behaviour was “drunken” and he had a bottle of Eldorado wine, which the boy described as “fake Buckfast, it’s a cheap one with a Scotland badge on it.”

He said the man walked off, leaving one small boy covered in mud and unable to get up from the river. “The little boy was crying at the bottom of the hill”, he said. “It was me who had to help him up.”

The witness said he and his friend were worried to see the man later walk off with the seven-year-old girl. He added: “We followed the wee girl and the man back into the woods.

“When they got to the treeline she was on his shoulders. Before they got to the forest he grabbed her hand and pulled her in. They were walking further and deeper into the woods.”

The pair saw the man and child sit down on a log. “She didn’t know him and I knew something wasn’t right and my friend did as well,” he said. “The plan was to get her back to her house.

“We slowly approached and saw him sliding down to get closer to the wee girl. I saw him put his hand on her leg and that’s when we walked up. She looked confused.”

The teenager asked the girl to leave and the man, who he identified as Kusz, said: “Yeah, I know, just take her.”

The man followed behind as the girl’s mother came running up, crying. “We saw the man shouting at the mum then he pointed at a wee boy and said, ‘You’re next.'”

Kusz accepted being at the scene with his two dogs but denied all the allegations.

Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane jailed him for 18 months and ordered that his name be registered as a potential danger to children.

In July 2006 at the High Court in Inverness, Kusz was cleared of raping three girls aged 12 and 13 after being found not guilty of one charge and the other two allegations were not proven.

Six other charges, including having sex with an underage girl and lewd and libidinous behaviour were also found not proven.

The rapes were said to have taken place in various rural settings in Ross-shire between 2004 and 2005.

An source close to the latest case said: “The similarities in circumstances between the earlier alleged child rapes and what he has just been convicted of are chilling.

“He behaved like the Pied Piper to these children who should have felt safe playing outside their homes.”