Paedophile, 24, snatched six-year-old girl off the street after police failed to charge him for abusing 12-year-old girl

26 April 2023, 07:11

Lewis Jones has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years
Lewis Jones has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years. Picture: PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A 24-year-old man has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years after snatching a six-year-old girl from a park in a violent sexual attack.

Lewis Jones first approached the girl when he saw her playing in a park in Droylsden, Manchester, last year.

He offered to help her and her friends make a den before snatching her, covering her mouth so she could not scream.

One of her friends told sounded the alarm, shouting to call the police, before a massive search got underway. Jones only released the girl when he heard her family shout her name, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Lewis Jones
Lewis Jones. Picture: PA

During the trial, the judge slammed police for failing to previously charge Jones, who was arrested in 2020 for grooming and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl he met online.

Jones pretended to be a 14-year-old boy when speaking to the girl on Snapchat, the court heard.

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But police failed to charge Jones, who was also found to have 102 child abuse images on his phone, including of girls as young as nine.

Jones, who lived in Liverpool at the time, was released without charge.

Criticising the police, Judge Hilary Manley said it was an "egregious example" of delays in police charging offenders, which she labelled "an extremely troubling state of affairs".

Sentencing Jones to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years, she said: "The net result is, in this case, this defendant, if he had been charged when he should have been, would not have been at liberty to abduct this six-year-old girl. 

The judge criticised police for failing to stop the paedophile earleir
The judge criticised police for failing to stop the paedophile earleir. Picture: PA

"That's the cold facts of the case.

"The impact on both victims has been horrific."

Since the attack, the six-year-old girl has been left with chronic separation anxiety and will not play outside.

She has "completely shut down", her mother said.

"When I first heard about what happened I couldn't stop screaming," she told the court.

"I couldn't believe that someone had taken my little girl and assaulted her in such a horrific way.

"I feel helpless because I wasn't there to protect her. I feel lucky that she is still with us, we could easily have lost her that day. I feel very angry that he (Jones) has done this to us."

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