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Kayleigh Haywood accused 'told girl he wanted to kidnap her for Christmas'

Published 10/06/2016

Kayleigh Haywood's body was found in undergrowth near a lake five days after she went missing last November (Leicestershire Police/PA)
Kayleigh Haywood's body was found in undergrowth near a lake five days after she went missing last November (Leicestershire Police/PA)

An online predator accused of holding a teenager captive in the hours before her murder told another girl he wanted to kidnap her "for Christmas" and keep her as a slave, a court has heard.

Luke Harlow is alleged to have threatened to hold the girl hostage a month before he started communicating on Facebook with Kayleigh Haywood.

A trial at Nottingham Crown Court has been told Harlow's friend, Stephen Beadman, has admitted raping and murdering Kayleigh in November last year.

Harlow, 27, admits grooming Kayleigh after meeting her on Facebook a fortnight before she was killed, but denies falsely imprisoning the 15-year-old at his home before she was attacked by Beadman.

Kayleigh, from Measham, Leicestershire, was found dead on farmland on November 18 last year, three days after a witness saw her being pinned to the ground by Beadman near Harlow's home in George Avenue, Ibstock.

Addressing jurors on the second day of the trial, prosecutor Miranda Moore QC read a series of social media messages sent by Harlow to a girl he had befriended online when she was aged 15.

Among the messages, Miss Moore said, was one reading: "I wish I could kidnap you for Christmas but I would probably be arrested and sent to prison."

Another message sent via WhatsApp to the girl, who cannot be identified, read: "If I kidnap you, I am keeping you."

Further messages, allegedly sent during 2014 and 2015, are said to show that Harlow had an interest in having sex with "drunk, unconscious" girls and wanted to keep a girl as a slave.

The Crown alleges that Kayleigh - who was partially-clothed and wearing no shoes - fled from Harlow's house in the early hours of November 15 and was chased by Beadman, who then killed her.

At the conclusion of her opening speech to the jury, Miss Moore invited jurors to consider whether Kayleigh was trying to escape from a fight or a struggle.

The QC told the jury: "Why have we shown you all these messages between Luke Harlow and these young ladies?

"We say it will help you to understand what was in his mind. At some point Kayleigh clearly wanted to leave that flat.

"You don't run out into the night dressed like she was unless you want to get out of there fast."

Beadman, a 29-year-old landscape gardener who also lived in George Avenue, denies a charge of false imprisonment.

The trial continues, with proceedings adjourned until Monday.

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