Belfast Telegraph

Child abduction accused Colvin breached bail to meet girl, court told

By Staff Reporter

A 22-year-old man accused of abducting a child has been refused bail after a judge expressed concerns about his continued attempts to "seek out a relationship" with the girl.

Dylan James Colvin is accused of taking the child without lawful authority on February 11.

He appeared before Dungannon Magistrates Court yesterday where police strongly objected to bail, pointing out there is a Child Abduction Warning Notice in place, which Colvin had disregarded.

It emerged the 22-year-old, of Castle Court, Cookstown, had previously been arrested on suspicion of arranging the commission of the offence of sexual activity.

This followed an alleged period of grooming of the child in which Colvin gave her jewellery, flowers and a phone.

He also sent cards in which he allegedly professed his love and wanted to marry her.

After a police interview, Colvin was released on bail under strict conditions - including having no contact with the child or her family.

In addition, he was served with the Child Abduction Warning Notice in respect of the child.

Objecting to bail in the current case, a detective constable told the court that police received two separate missing person reports on February 11, one of whom was the child and the other was Colvin.

The child's mother discovered her missing at around 4am and police immediately believed she was with Colvin.

Searches were conducted in several areas but to no avail.

The child, who is regarded as a high risk, returned home of her own accord just before 1am the next morning, February 12.

She was spoken to and claimed she contacted Colvin and then met up with him.

She alleged he told her to go away but she refused.

The child was evasive in her responses before becoming verbally abusive to police.

Colvin was arrested and during interview accepted he had breached both his bail conditions and the warning notice.

He said the child had contacted him claiming she was suicidal and he was concerned about her.

It was claimed the pair spent the night in a wooded area, hiding among the trees and eating Pot Noodles to keep them going.

Colvin rejected any sexual activity took place, and he didn't want to leave the child out of concern for her welfare.

But the detective pointed out this wooded area was rigorously searched several times by police and nothing was discovered.

"We believe the defendant has shown a recklessness in meeting up with the child, particularly after being warned by the notice," he said.

"It is not credible they stayed in the woods and we believe they spent the night in a house somewhere. The suicide point is suspected of being a foil."

Urging the court not to grant bail the detective said: "We thought with the terms in place pending further interview, and the Child Abduction Warning Notice, (it) would be sufficient to prevent contact and further offending, but it appears not."

A defence barrister accepted Colvin "hasn't covered himself in glory", but pointed out the child was not co-operating with police.

He said: "An address has now become available some 15 miles from Cookstown where the child resides.

"I submit my client is entitled to the presumption of innocence and to be admitted to bail"

But rejecting any question of Colvin being released, District Judge John Meehan said: "At the heart of this is the protection of a vulnerable child. I have no real confidence that this man will not continue to seek out a relationship with this child. The risks are simply too great."

Colvin was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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