#childabductors | ‘Sad’ pervert snatched girl, 7, near park before driving off and sexually abusing her

A pervert sexually abused a seven-year-old girl after snatching her outside a park and luring her into his car.

Gavin Sykes, 42, has been given an eight-and-a-half year extended sentence at Leeds Crown Court.

The pervert abducted the child near a park in Holmfirth, West Yorks, as she played with her friends and then drove off before police officers tracked his car.

The court was shown footage from a police body-worn camera in which the victim looked panicked and was crying when she was rescued from the car, the Examiner Live reports.

Later that night, the girl told her mother Sykes had touched her “where he shouldn’t”.

West Yorkshire Police believe more harm would have been caused to the child if their response had not been so quick.

Prosecutor Deborah Smithies said the victim had been playing with friends in the park on Woodlands Avenue in Thongsbridge at around 7.40pm on June 20 last year when Sykes pulled up in his “distinctive” Toyota Celica.

She said the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, got into the car and the pervert drove off.

Another child spotted the incident and told the girl’s mother.

Police were called at 7.47pm and a search began for a silver Toyota Celica, which had a spoiler and stickers on it.

Fifteen minutes later, officers spotted Sykes’ car on nearby Springwood Road in Holmfirth and stopped it immediately.

The victim was found in the front passenger seat, panicked and crying.

The girl had been playing with friends in the park on Woodlands Avenue in Thongsbridge when she was abducted

Sykes, of New Mill Road, Wooldale in Holmfirth, appeared drunk and was arrested at the scene but refused to be breathaylsed.

In his police interview, he told officers that the girl had asked him to give her a ride in his car and denied touching her sexually.

The seven-year-old was reunited with her mother at Holmfirth Police Station and then was taken home.

She reportedly said Sykes had slapped her face and then touched her sexually.

The victim was found to have a small amount of swelling near her left eye, two small bruises on her chest and others on her thighs, legs and arms.

The court was told she slept in her mother’s bed that night and wet the bed.

Sykes was found guilty of abducting the girl with intent to commit a sexual offence and faced two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 after a trial last month.

He admitted child abduction and failing to provide a specimen of breath.

He must serve four-and-a-half years in custody followed by a further four years on licence.

Ms Smithies added Sykes had invited four females, ranging in age from 13 to 67, into his car in June last year.

Joanne Shepherd, mitigating, urged the judge to give her client the shortest possible sentence.

Speaking about the victim’s mother, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said: “It is not difficult to understand the sheer terror that must have gripped her when she was told that her seven-year-old child had been driven away in a car by a man.”

He told Sykes: “You are a sad and inadequate man with limited social skills and little intimacy or sexual contact with others.

“This is shown by your relationship – current or current before your remand into custody – with a woman in Thailand which appears to only involve watching her bathe over a video link.”

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The judge said that Sykes sought out a child victim who would not have had the experience to say no after he failed with older females.

Sykes received an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, had to sign the sex offender register indefinitely and was disqualified from driving for five years.

PC Danni Nugent, of the Kirklees District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Sykes is clearly an extremely dangerous individual and we are pleased to see him receive a lengthy custodial sentence for what was a dreadful offence.

“He lured his young victim into his vehicle and it is fortunate the act was witnessed and quickly reported, prompting an immediate police response.

“We strongly believe the victim would have come to further harm had on-duty officers not been able to deploy so rapidly and locate his car when they did.”

She added: “This incident has clearly been very harrowing for the victim and her family and we hope that seeing this man jailed will be some measure of comfort for them.”




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