Child abduction accused: we spent time eating Pot Noodles

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A man accused of abducting a schoolgirl claims they spent a night together in the woods eating Pot Noodles, the High Court has heard.

Dylan James Colvin allegedly took the 14-year-old after he had previously been arrested on suspicion of grooming her with gifts of jewellery, flowers and a phone.

Details emerged as Colvin, of Castle Court in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was refused bail.

The 22-year-old currently faces a single charge of child abduction earlier this month.

Prosecutors said the alleged offence occurred just over a week after Colvin was detained on suspicion of arranging the commission of a sexual offence.

He had been giving the girl presents and cards during December and January, it was claimed.

Police released him at that stage pending further investigations – but issued him with a Child Abduction Warning Notice.

The court heard both Colvin and the girl were then reported missing in the early hours of February 11.

She returned home just after midnight the following day, claiming to have been alone “up the mountain camping”.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said Colvin admitted spending the night with her at Cabin Wood, a small wooded area outside Cookstown.

According to the accused she had made contact with him, claiming to be suicidal and wanting to meet up.

“He said they stayed under cover of trees and there was no intimate behaviour or sexual activity,” the barrister continued.

“He said (the girl) brought Pot Noodles they had eaten after putting cold water on them from a tap in the woods.”

Colvin also told police he had been concerned she would harm or kill herself.

But opposing bail, Mr Maguire said police do not believe the account provided.

Stressing how officers had searched those woods and saw neither Colvin nor the girl, he added: “Police have grave concerns about reoffending.”

Defence counsel argued that Colvin is “naive, immature and vulnerable in his own way”.

He pointed out that the accused has not been charged with any grooming-type offences.

“The defendant denies any intimate contact and at this stage there’s no evidence of that,” he said.

But denying bail to Colvin, Mr Justice Burgess cited the potential risk of other offences.

The judge added: “He should have known not to have contact with her.”