Paedophile kidnapped boy, 8, in Burgess Park then sexually abused him in toilet

The child was snatched while at his weekly tennis lesson

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Shane Upton sexually abused the boy in a den made of twigs, thorns and flowers

A sex fiend snatched an eight-year-old boy during his weekly tennis lesson before abusing him in a “den” while his mum desperately led the search for him.

Shane Upton, 24, grabbed the lad in broad daylight as he skipped to a nearby toilet “without a care in the world”.

Upton kidnapped the youngster, who had been happily enjoying his afternoon tennis lesson with his four-year-old brother and their coach while their mum watched from just yards away, in Burgess Park, Camberwell . 

The boy had told his mum he needed the toilet during the 90-minute lesson and took himself off to the nearby café toilet where Upton pounced on the afternoon of Monday, June 17 this year.

A police helicopter and officers on horseback were deployed as part of the search when the frantic mum reported her son missing.

But Upton locked the door to the men’s toilets from the inside, and forced the child to engage in sexual activity in the cubicle.

He then dragged the boy out of the building and walked him around the park where he sexually assaulted him in a “den” made of twigs, thorns and flowers.

Upton told the boy his parents did not love him and had walked him to a SouthwarkCouncil building to help him get housed, but the building was closed.

Police officers eventually found Upton committing a sex act on the boy in the bushes of the park, Inner London Crown Court heard.

The boy, now aged nine, was shaken and in tears while Upton immediately fled but was chased by officers and arrested after a struggle.

Upton was found guilty on Monday of five charges including kidnap and sexual assault on a child under 13 following a trial in his absence.

Adrian Amer, prosecuting, said: “If you could bear to imagine what it was like for him, if you can bear it, put yourselves in his position.

“You saw him merrily skipping along to the loo, an eight-year-old boy, presumably not a care in the world, happily enjoying his tennis lesson.

“He was preyed upon. He was pounced upon. He was sexually assaulted. He was kidnapped and the prosecution say he was further sexually assaulted.

Shane Upton snatched the boy while he was having a tennis lesson

“You saw him be cross-examined. You might think he has been through an ordeal. He did not do anything wrong.”

In the toilet, Upton covered the child’s mouth and caused him to engage in a sex act before leading him by the hand out of an emergency exit.

Police were notified of the missing child when the boy’s mother became nervous he had not returned from the toilet after 15 minutes.

Mr Amer added: “Possibly by luck and good fortune, they were able to approach Mr Upton who was in the den.

“When emergency workers came on the scene, they were not mucking around. They were very serious in their intent because they knew at the time there had been possibly already a sexual assault and a kidnapping.”

Officers chased Upton across a field and held him down on the floor where a struggle ensued for some minutes.

Upton bit and spat blood at officers who punched and kicked him in a bid to prevent him from fleeing, the court heard.

Mr Amer said: “His reaction was to scarper from the scene and, boy, did he run.

“Why did he run from the scene? Because he knew he had done something wrong. He knew he had done something illegal.”

Jurors watched CCTV footage of Upton kidnapping the child and aerial footage of his arrest.

Beth O’Reilly, defending, said Upton denied kidnapping the eight-year-old boy and sexually assaulting him in the toilet and said he was punched and kicked by officers.

She said: “This must be some of your nightmares. The child was and is a sweet little boy.

“What do you know of Shane Upton? He is a young man, 24 years of age, diagnosed with autism in 2010.

“It is very easy to vilify.”

Summarising the case before the verdict, Judge Nigel Seed QC said: “He told his mother that when he took him, the man had told him that his parents did not love him.”

Upton was found guilty of kidnap, committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence, two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and sexual assault of a child under 13.

The kidnapper was found not guilty of sexual assault of a child under 13 and two counts of assault on emergency workers by beating which referred to the two PCs who arrssted him.

Upton, of no fixed address, is due to be sentenced at Inner London Crown Court in the New Year.

Source: MyLondon

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