April 2023

Teenager abducted North Wales schoolgirl and encouraged her to take own life

A 19-year-old child abductor who had been in Snapchat contact with a “vulnerable” pre-teen schoolgirl (under 13) was locked up for four-and-a-half years yesterday.

A court heard the girl had caught a train from Flint in North Wales to Birmingham, 100 miles away, and were found when police stopped a bus in the city centre last September.

Caernarfon crown court was told in the runaway girl’s bedroom police had found a “self-harm kit” and “suicide” notes.

Brandon Mason, of Austrey Grove, Birmingham, admitted child abduction and making 55 indecent images of the child.

Judge Nicola Saffman said he had “groomed” the girl to send him sexualised snaps and encouraged her to run away from home in Flintshire. “There’s an inference you were making money from her,” the judge remarked.

She told him: “You got into her head so much, she is an extremely vulnerable child. You manipulated her.”

The victim had been “enthralled” by the teen and didn’t disclose everything which occurred. The judge said it had taken many months to start to repair the damage done to her.

Locking him up for four-and-a-half years, the judge said Mason incited the victim to take indecent images and had encouraged her to commit suicide.

Judge Saffman told him: “You blamed her for the suicide of one of your friends, saying she had encouraged this other person to commit suicide and as a result (the girl) made an attempt on her own life.”

She was a “vulnerable” child when in Birmingham. The judge imposed restraining and sexual harm prevention orders, to last indefinitely.