January 2019

Paedophile abducted a six-year-old from the street in broad daylight

A paedophile abducted a six-year-old from the street in broad daylight before sexually abusing her and warning: “If you tell anyone, I’ll steal you again.”

Joseph Davies had been seen hanging around and acting suspiciously for two hours before grabbing the girl and taking her to the garden of an unoccupied house.

The hooded stranger waited until the youngster – who had been playing with a friend – was alone before he struck last summer.

Today, he was given a ten-year extended sentence for public protection after a judge branded him a danger who showed “little empathy” and still denies any sexual motivation for his crimes.

Davies, 23, led the girl, who was wearing a school uniform, to a house he knew was empty, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Minutes later he fled, followed by the visibly upset youngster, said prosecutor David Lamb.

She ran to her mother screaming, clinging and hysterical, saying she never wanted to go outside again and “don’t leave me”.

She told how a man had locked her in the garden and touched her on the evening of June 20.

She said her abductor had carried her away, told her his name was Joe, covered her mouth with his hand and told her to stay in the garden.

He told her not to tell anyone or he would “steal” her again.

At one point he bound her with a piece of ribbon, and later claimed it was her idea, which a judge rejected as “pure fantasy”.

Her mother made a moving statement to the court telling of the impact of the ordeal.

She told how the schoolgirl’s behaviour deteriorated and that she is afraid to sleep alone.

Davies initially gave a false alibi but later admitted kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault and offending with intent to commit a sexual offence.

In 2016, police seized his phone and discovered a sexual interest in young girls, particularly in school uniform.

But no prosecution resulted and his only previous conviction was a community order for burglary in 2014.

Judge Stephen Ashurst told Davies, of Newbury Way, Billingham: “What you did was a sexually motivated abduction of a six-year-old girl.

“The evidence suggests that you were waiting for an opportunity to pounce.”

He said “as a matter of common sense” Davies must have planned to take her to the empty house.

He said the impact was “terrifying” and “enormous” on the normally happy and outgoing girl.

He was not convinced by Davies’ claims of amnesia, that he had little recall and “didn’t have a clue” why he did it.

He added: “You refuse to acknowledge that there was any sexual motivation behind what you did.

“There is very little empathy. In other words, you don’t really understand the impact of what you did.

“You knew perfectly well what you were doing, and the only mercy in this case was that the detention was not longer.”

Ruling Davies posed a significant risk of serious harm, Judge Ashurst passed the extended sentence, which will be six years’ imprisonment, of which he will serve two-thirds before the Parole Board decide whether it is safe to release him, plus four years’ extra licence.

Davies, who appeared in court on a live video-link from Durham Prison, will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.

In her impact statement, the girl’s mother said: “It has caused great distress to me and my family. She has been affected by it because her behaviour has changed. She is nervous to be on her own. She doesn’t play out in the same way she used to and in the days after the incident she would not leave my side.

“She regularly talks about the man ‘stealing’ her. Her behaviour has become much more difficult. She has become quite naughty and disruptive, and I believe this is due to this incident.

“She will no longer sleep in her own bed, she wants to sleep in my bed all the time. She has taken to biting her siblings since this happened and is very difficult to control.

“This has affected me in quite a significant way. In the days after this happened, I was completely numb. I was unable to process the whole thing as I couldn’t believe it had actually happened. Once it hit me, I was actually heartbroken that this had happened to my child. I felt guilty and blamed myself. I still have guilty feelings over it and constantly question my own parenting skills – if I had kept a closer eye on her maybe it would not have happened.

“I feel extremely angry towards the person who took my daughter and did that to her because I saw the fear in her face when she came running into the house afterwards. I am anxious about what could happen if he is released back into the community.

“It has affected the community, my friends and neighbours. People are scared to let their children play out anywhere other than just outside the house. We are all watching our kids all the time. There is a lot of anger and frustration amongst my friends and neighbours. We did not expect this to happen in our community.

“Since this happened I have felt quite isolated because my family do not feel able to talk about it. I, therefore, am bottling all my feelings up and this is affecting me. I am feeling very over-emotional and struggling to cope with it. I am waiting for an appointment with counsellors to help me with this.”

Judge Ashurst had told Davies that neither he, a probation officer who interviewed nor a consultant psychiatrist refused to believe him when he said the attack was not sexually-motivated.

The judge said: “That denial of what is obvious strikes me as a troubling aspect of this case, and draws me to the conclusion that you are a dangerous offender.