Teenager jailed for abducting girl - Welwyn Garden City


A teenager, who admitted abducting a vulnerable 15-year-old girl who was besotted with him, was jailed for 21-months on Friday, 26 October 2012.

Tyler Kennedy, 19, met the girl last Autumn and they began a relationship. On Valentine's Day this year she proposed to him and he agreed to marry her, St Albans Crown Court heard.

But prosecutor Simon Wilshire said the girl's relationship was viewed very differently by her parents. Her mother was concerned about the way Kennedy lived his life and tried to persuade her not to see him.

A rift developed and the girl began missing school, smoking and drinking. On 07 March police were called to his flat in Welwyn Garden City where they found the girl. He was given a warning under the Child Abduction Act and told not to contact her.

But, Mr Wilshire said, the warning had no effect. Three days later the girl's mother saw them together at Woodhall shops and she called the police again.

Officers returned to Kennedy's flat where the 15-year-old was hiding under a mattress. Two 14-year-old girls were also present.

Kennedy was arrested and on his way to the police station described prison as a "holiday camp" and said the girl would wait for him until she was 16. In an interview he denied they had been in a relationship.

In September this year the girl made a statement to the police in which she said she realised the relationship was unhealthy and that he was "controlling."

Kennedy, of Howlands, Welwyn Garden City, admitted child abduction. The court was told that he had been sentenced to 10-months in October 2010 for taking a 15-year-old girl between 16 July and 19 July 2010. He was also in breach of a Community Order passed in February for burgling his own mother's home. In all he had 17 convictions for 26 previous offences.

Defence barrister Julia Smart said Kennedy had a "troubled history". She said he had difficulties at school, had a low IQ and problems with authority. She said he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Since being remanded in custody she said Kennedy had lost his flat.

Jailing him for a total of 21-months, Judge Michael Baker QC said: "The 15-year-old girl was vulnerable and formed an inappropriate relationship with you. She was besotted by you." The judge said that when Kennedy was arrested he had made cocky remarks to the police in which he underestimated the seriousness of the offence.

He passed a restraining order banning Kennedy from contacting the girl, and another 15-year-old he had met, until they reached their 18th birthdays.

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