A 26-year-old man from Croydon has been jailed for 18 months after he was found guilty of child abduction.
Junior Juba, 26 (17.12.87) of Kidderminster Road, Croydon was found guilty of child abduction on Tuesday, 25 November, following a trial at Croydon Crown Court. He was sentenced on the same day to 18 monthsâ€™ imprisonment and was also given a five-year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO).
Police in Croydon were contacted on 1 June by the parents of a 14-year-old girl, who had gone missing the previous day.
Officers from Croydon CID investigated the case and during the investigation, they were given a piece of paper with a mobile phone number and the name â€˜Aone Mulaâ€™ on it, which had been found in the girlâ€™s room.
Detectives carried out checks into the number and name and discovered the phone was registered to Jubaâ€™s flat in Kidderminster Road. It also emerged that Juba had set up a Facebook account where he had used the pseudonym Aone Mula.
On 5 June, officers went to Jubaâ€™s flat, and after he had initially denied having met or seen the girl, officers carried out a search of the area and found her in a communal stairwell in the flats. When they carried out a further search of Jubaâ€™s flat, they found items belonging to the girl and evidence that she had been in there.
Juba was arrested at the scene on suspicion of child abduction.
Despite the fact that the girl refused to speak with officers or make any allegations against Juba, officers charged Juba on 6 June with child abduction, under section 2 of the Child Abduction Act 1984.
He was remanded into custody and was eventually found guilty following a trial at Croydon Crown Court and sentenced as above.
Acting Detective Sergeant Dominic Doyle, from Croydon CID, who investigated the case said: â€œ Juba preyed on an extremely vulnerable young girl and kept her away from her parents and the people who care for her.
â€œThe judge said that he had little doubt Juba was grooming her and that he had shown no remorse for his actions or their impact on the young girl involved.â€
Detective Chief Inspector Sian Thomas, from Croydon CID, said: â€œThe safety of young people, and particularly those that are most vulnerable, is one of our top priorities. Weâ€™ve recently launched Operation Makesafe in Croydon to encourage people who work in the borough and come into contact with young people to report anything that might be of concern to police.
â€œKeeping our young people safe from sexual exploitation is not something that we or the local authority can do alone. We need the support of the community to make sure that any concerning behaviour by young people or towards young people is reported to us, so that we can then investigate and take appropriate action.â€
Anyone with information on activity linked to child sexual exploitation can contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.