UPDATED: Paige Chivers murder trial underway

Paige Chivers
Paige Chivers
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A man accused of killing Blackpool school girl Paige Chivers had an “inappropriate sexual interest” in her, a murder trial has heard.

Paige Chivers was 15 when she was last seen in Bispham after a row at her family home in August 2007.

Robert Ewing, 60, of Kincraig Place, Bispham, denies murder and intending to pervert the course of justice.

Another man, 46-year-old Gareth Dewhurst, of Duncan Avenue, Blackpool, denies intending to pervert the course of justice, assisting an offender and a sexual offence.

Opening the case, Brian Cummings QC, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court: “The prosecution allege that she is dead and that she was murdered by Robert Ewing.

“The prosecution also allege, on the basis of admissions made to a witness, that Gareth Dewhurst had sex with her and assisted in disposing of her body.

“Finally, the prosecution allege that both defendants have, at times over the years since Paige’s disappearance, deliberately attempted to obstruct the police investigation by laying false trails and interfering with witnesses.”

The defendants and Paige lived within about half a mile of each other in Bispham at the time she disappeared.

The prosecution allege that Ewing had an “inappropriate sexual interest” in Paige, which he denied.

She had on occasions stayed over for the night at his flat.

Paige was described in court as a very troubled and very vulnerable young girl.

By the time she disappeared she was not going to school at all and there were issues with drug taking, under age drinking and under age sexual activity.

The trial at Preston Crown Court is expected to last for 12 weeks.