April 2012

Norwich man jailed for 16 months for child abduction

A man who abducted two young boys and took them back to his Norwich flat to watch pornographic material has been jailed for 16 months.

Anthony Monk, 56, was approached by the brothers, aged 11 and 13, late at night in Norwich and invited them back to his home.

The following morning the boys returned home and their mother later went to Monk’s address, in Paradise Place, in the city centre, and reported him to the police.

No sexual activity took place at the flat, but in sentencing Monk, Judge Alasdair Darroch told him: “These were young, vulnerable and unhappy children. It would have been utterly straightforward for you to have tackled it in a more responsible way. Their parents could have been very greatly distressed. This was a very worrying and upsetting thing to do.”

Monk, who is single and on benefits, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of child abduction.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said: “The boys had run away from home. They met this older person who invited them back to his flat. This man’s friend later arrived and they watched pornographic material with the boys and there was talk of a sexual nature

The boys were allowed to spend the night in the defendant’s bedroom. They returned home the next day and told their mother what happened. She went round to the defendant’s property and confronted him.”

Police attended Monk’s address and, in interview, he admitted the boys had stayed overnight at his flat, but said that no sexual activity had taken place.

Monk told police that the boys had informed him that they had been thrown out by their parents, and that he tried to take them to the YMCA to spend the night, but he could not find it.

Mr Ivory added: “The defendant’s residence was quite close to the YMCA and police station so the question is, obviously, why not take them there.”

Kevin Batch, for Monk, said: “He was approached by these young boys. He was certainly naive and took naivety to its worst degree. I don’t seek to minimise the offence, but these boys were fairly streetwise. Foolishly, with misguided intentions, his concern might have been that the boys were subject to abuse at home. He does accept culpability.”