Teen runaway spared prison

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A TEENAGER has been spared jail after he abducted a 14-year-old and took her to Blackpool.

Preston Crown Court heard “misguided” Charlie Wignall, now 19, removed the SIM card from his mobile phone before running away to Blackpool with the youngster.

The pair checked into a hotel in the resort but told the hotelier they did not have enough money to buy breakfast.

Wignall, of Arnhem Road, Preston, pleaded guilty to abduction and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The court heard Wignall was young for his years and did not form relationships with people his own age.

Sharon Watson, defending, said: “he is the opposite of street wise. He is immature and naive.

“His wrongdoing wasn’t determined by any cynicism. He wasn’t exploiting or manipulating this young woman.

“He is extremely sorry for what he has done.”

Judge Andrew Woolman, sentencing, said: “It was a very foolish, immature and naive thing for you to do and extremely upsetting for her parents.

“I know she told you a lot about the relationship with her parents and certainly she and her mother were having their difficulties but that does not excuse you from taking her out of the legitimate control of her parents.

“I don’t regard you as doing it for any evil motive. You did it because you were naive and misguided.

“It is clear you are a young man with considerable potential and considerable difficulties.

“you have not achieved what you should have so far in your life.

“Now that you have been through this I think you will have learned your lesson and you will now realise that sexual activity with girls under 16 is a serious matter.”

He handed Wignall a 12 month sentence suspended for two years and imposed a 12 month restraining order prohibiting Wignall from contacting the youngster.