|Man jailed for attempting to abduct schoolgirls
Guilty - Dean Meadows
A 23-year-old man from Platt Bridge has today, Monday 14 April 2008, been convicted of attempting to abduct a number of teenage girls.
Dean Meadows, born 06/05/84 of Dartington Road, was found guilty of 10 counts of attempted abduction at Liverpool Crown Court following a four week re-trial in February this year.
The re-trial had been ordered by a judge at the end of a previous trial in August 2007 in which Meadows was convicted of two offences of attempted abduction.
He has been now convicted of a total of 12 offences of attempted abduction.
He was sentenced to five years for each offence, to run concurrently. He has also been made the subject of a Sexual Offences Provention Order for 12 years.
Meadows used his red VW Polo to prowl the streets of Wigan, Westhoughton, Platt Bridge and Ince, looking for teenage schoolgirls.
He would pull up alongside the girls and attempt to talk to them and get them into his car. In every incident the girls refused to get into his car.
Meadows preyed on a number of girls between July 2005 and March 2006.
Meadows first struck at around 8.30am on 14 July 2005 when he spotted a 14-year-old schoolgirl making her way to school along Landemans in Westhoughton.
She looked up and saw Meadows staring at her from behind the wheel of his car as he slowly drove along the road. As she walked onto nearby Bankside, Meadows drove alongside her, wound down his window and asked her where she was going.
He then asked her which school she went to and whether she wanted a lift, which she refused. She then told her mother about the incident after school that day, but they decided to find out more details about Meadows car before going to the police because the girl was convinced she had seen the car on the estate.
Some time later the girl spotted the car parked outside a house on Bankside and she took down the details of the car and house and the police were called.
When spoken to by police, Meadows denied approaching the girl and he was advised by officers.
However, in November or December 2005, Meadows again attempted to abduct another schoolgirl, this time in Wigan. On this occasion he asked the girl five times to get into his car, but the girl refused to do so, despite shaking with fear.
During the course of this incident he bombarded the girl with a number of questions, asking her where she was going, whether she wanted a lift, how old she was and whether she'd give him a kiss.
He then struck again at around 9pm on 6 March 2006 when he approached a girl on Warrington Road, Platt Bridge, and attempted to entice a 14-year-old girl into his car. After she reported this attack to the police, Meadows was arrested on 1 April 2006.
During the course of the subsequent investigation, Meadows was found to have approached a number of other girls in the wider Wigan area, including one 13-year-old girl from Platt Bridge who he made four attempts to get into his car.
Detective Constable John Pattison of Wigan CID said: "Meadows is a dangerous individual who tried to entice schoolgirls into his car.
"Thankfully all the girls he approached had the common sense and wherewithal to turn him down and most of them raised the alarm straight away.
"Meadows has constantly denied the offences from the start of the investigation, so we are very pleased that this dangerous individual has now been taken out of the community."