Teenage sex predator who stalked Leeds schoolgirls then kidnapped 12-year-old is given seven-year sentence

A teenager who grabbed a 12-year-old girl off the street as she walked to school has been given a seven-year sentence after a judge said the offence was sexually motivated.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 4:21 pm
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 4:21 pm

Michael Sehannie stalked schoolgirls in the Hunslet area of Leeds before carrying out the attack.

The 19-year-old snatched the youngster as she walked to school along Old Run Road on April 23 this year.

Sehannie had spent hours loitering in the area, following three other schoolgirls before selecting his victim.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sexual motive: Michael Sehannie was given a seven-year extended sentence for kidnapping 12-year-old girl as she walked to school in Hunslet.
Sexual motive: Michael Sehannie was given a seven-year extended sentence for kidnapping 12-year-old girl as she walked to school in Hunslet.

CCTV footage showed Sehannie following the girl along Moor Road and onto Old Run Road.

Jurors heard how he tried tried to carry the girl into bushes but let her go after being "spooked" by passing cars.

The attack took place out of view of cameras but Sehannie was filmed running away a short time later.

Witnesses to the abduction went to help the victim.

CCTV cameras in Hunslet captured Sehannie as he stalked schoolgirls through the streets.

Sehannie, of St Luke's Road, Beeston, was followed by two women who saw the attack and filmed him as he fled through a park.

Sehannie was found guilty of kidnap after a four-day trial in October.Leeds Crown Court heard today (November 18) how Sehannie continued to deny the offence during interviews with a psychiatrist, a psychologist and the probation service.

Judge Christopher Batty told the defendant he was satisfied that the offence was sexually motivated and that he represented a danger to girls.

The judge said: "You continue to deny the offence and you continue to say you cannot recall what you were doing, therefore giving no explanation of your involvement that morning.

Michael Sehannie grabbed 12-year-old girl near to underpass on Old Run road and tried to carry her into bushes.

"Your decision to abduct (the victim) was not a spur of the moment decision. It was not isolated.

"You finally got the courage to act upon the urges you had been experiencing for a significant period of time.

"It was in my view a sexual motive.

"I am of the view that you represent a significant risk of serious physical or psychological harm to young females."

A witness filmed Sehannie on her mobile phone as he ran off after grabbing schoolgirl.

Sehannie must serve a custodial period of four years, followed by en extended licence period of three years.

After the case, Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds District CID, said: “This was a really disturbing incident and Sehannie’s actions that morning clearly show him to be someone with a predatory nature towards young girls.

“He was captured on CCTV following other schoolgirls in the area before he targeted the 12-year-old victim in what was a truly terrifying experience for her.

“Fortunately, she was able to scream and struggle causing him to give up before passing members of the public came to her aid.

“We were very grateful to the woman witness who had the presence of mind to follow Sehannie and film him as he left the scene.

“That footage together with CCTV from the area was crucial to the public appeal that led to him being identified and arrested.

“We hope the victim and her family can take some comfort from knowing he has now had to answer for his actions. We also hope the wider community will be reassured to see him brought to justice.”

During the trial prosecutor Nick Adlington said the girl left her home at 8.45am in her school uniform and noticed a man walking closely behind her.

She was attacked near to an underpass below the M621 motorway.

The prosecutor said: "There is a bus stop in this area.

"As she reached the bus stop, taking advantage of the darker conditions, the defendant came closer behind her.

"He grabbed (the girl) around the waist and picked her up so her feet were barely touching the floor.

"The defendant carried her across the road towards bushes on the other side of the road.

"Not surprisingly, you may think, (the girl) screamed, terrified at what was happening to her.

"The defendant dropped her and ran off into the bushes he had been taking her towards.

"This act amounted to kidnapping, albeit for a very short time."

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.

The defendant 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.