'Suspected kidnapper of Leeds schoolgirl was arrested when girlfriend reported him to police'

A man accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old girl as she walked to school was arrested after his girlfriend reported him to police, jurors heard.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 6:00 pm
Michael Sehannie is alleged to have kidnapped the 12-year-old girl as she walked to school along Old Run Road, Hunslet.

Michael Sehannie's partner contacted police after recognising pictures of him when they were posted on social media in a bid to trace the suspected abductor.

Sehannie, 19, is on trial where he is accused of kidnapping the girl as she walked to school along Old Run Road, Hunslet, on April 23 this year.The jury at Leeds Crown Court has heard how the suspect dropped the youngster and ran away after she screamed.

Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said West Yorkshire Police released still images from evidence they had collected from the incident.

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Leeds Crown Court

Mr Adlington said Sehannie's partner spotted them on Facebaook six days later - April 29 - and recognised him straight away.

The prosecutor said Sehannie was wearing a jumper his girlfriend had bought him for Christmas and a pair of jogging bottoms his mother had bought for him.

Mr Adlington said: "She woke him up to show him the images and he agreed it was him. But said he couldn't remember being there and hadn't done anything wrong."

The woman contacted police and two detectives went to their home.

Sehannie was arrested after he told the officers: "I am the person in the footage released."

The defendant was taken to Elland Road police station where he told officers he had been in the area around the time of the incident but denied committing an offence.

Sehannie said he went to Pure Gym in Hunslet before going to Morrisons supermarket and then going home.

In another interview a day later, officers showed Sehannie a log from Pure Gym which showed he had not been there on the morning of the incident.

The defendant was then taken through extensive CCTV footage leading up to the incident and mobile phone footage taken of him running away one minute after the incident.

Sehannie admitted that "he looked suspicious" but continued to deny committing an offence.

Mr Adlington said: "He said that he did not remember running and did not pull at any girl."

The jury was then shown a recording of a police interview with the 12-year-old girl.

The youngster was asked to recall the events of the alleged offence.

She said: "I screamed and he let go of me and ran into the bushes."

The officer asked the girl: "Why did he let you go?"

She replied: "I don't know. He didn't say anything to me. He just ran to the bushes."

The officer then asked: "How did you feel?"

She replied: "Scared. I was shocked and I couldn't breathe."

The officer then asked: "How do you feel now?"

The youngster answered: "A little bit worried."

Sehannie, of St Luke's Road, Beetson, pleads not guilty to kidnapping.

The trial continues.