Nov 2006

Paedophile hid under a girl’s bed for three months

A fugitive paedophile seduced a girl of 12 then secretly lived under her bed for three months.

Scott Jennings, 22, cut a hole in the bottom of the youngster’s divan and used it as a secret den. He then systematically abused her, a court heard.

The girl’s mother was ‘totally unaware’ of his presence because he would hide whenever she was about to come into the room.

Jennings, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester, met the girl on a bus in November last year.

He began talking to her and persuaded her to give him her mobile phone number, Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, heard.

But when they met again, Jennings said he was on the run from police and needed somewhere to live.

The girl was always aware of his true age, the court heard. Jennings – who was wanted for a minor offence – managed to sneak into the girl’s house without being noticed.

He cut a hole in the bottom section of the bed and removed some of the wooden slats so he could hide there.

Jennings managed to sneak about the house undetected for three months, the court heard.

The alarm was raised in January this year, when the girl left a note saying she had left home and that her parents need not worry.

Police went to the house and the girl’s ten-year-old sister confessed that Jennings had been hiding in the 12-year-old’s bed.

Jennings was found with the child at a flat in Fallowfield, Manchester, later the same day.

He denied abducting her and any sexual involvement, but admitted he had been living at the address for three months. He was jailed for two years and three months after he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years and banned from working with children.

Detective Constable David Don-lan, from Ashton CID, said yesterday: ‘This is an absolutely unbelievable case that has had a huge impact on the victim and her family.

‘The girl Jennings abused was extremely young and vulnerable and he took advantage of this vulnerability for his own personal gain.

‘Not only did he live in the room for over three months, but he also systematically abused her.

‘I hope the family can now start to come to terms with what has happened to them and move on with their lives.’