Abduction of child denied
A middle-aged man arranged for a schoolgirl to stay at a flat he was renovating after she ran away from home, a court heard.
Thomas Ireland, 48, claimed he did not know where the 15-year-old was as police carried out an extensive search for her, it was alleged.
But an officer went to a former pub that was being turned into flats in Bower Lane, Maidstone, almost two weeks after she disappeared and discovered she was there.
Maidstone Crown Court was told the girl, who can- not be identified, left a note for her father under her pillow at her Medway home last year explaining she was unhappy and signed it: “Your disgrace and disappointment of a daughter.”
After a manhunt was launched Ireland was ques- tioned and said he hadn’t seen her and didn’t know where she could be.
Officers searched his Rainham home and found paperwork relating to the address in Bower Lane, where his van had been going.
A police officer went there and saw a child at the window. He went to the door of the flat and the girl opened it.
The prosecution case is that he took the girl away from the care of her father without any reasonable excuse
Ireland denies child abduction. The trial continues.
Former public house on Bower Lane