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Thursday, 21 December, 2000, 14:01 GMT
Girl, 6, lured by Pokemon cards

A man abducted a six-year-old girl by luring her away with the promise of seeing his Pokemon cards collection, a court heard today.

Christian Tovey, 20, from Ebbw Vale, used the offer of cards to get the girl, who was playing with friends on the street, into his home.

She was found later that evening at Tovey's flat by his own mother, who grabbed the child and took her back to her anxious family, Cardiff Crown Court was told.


Richard Kember, prosecuting, said Tovey had lied about possessing Pokemon cards and had wanted to "speak to the girl "because he had difficulty speaking to people of his own age".

But this was "not in any sense a sexually-motivated offence," said David Webster, defending.

Mr Kember said: "He asked the child to go to the flat to see Pokemon cards. She initially refused but later went with him."

'Not a seduction attempt'

At 8pm, Tovey's mother went to his flat, pushed her way in, found the girl there, grabbed her and took her home.

Judge David Morris said Tovey felt he could only relate to children.

He said it was "not an apparent seduction attempt" by a young man who had an unnatural interest in children.

But, he added, "This is a young man who is of limited intellectual development and very limited personality development and who couldn't relate to adults and could only relate, he feels, to children."

Placed on probation

Tovey, who pleaded guilty to abducting a child at an earlier hearing, was placed on probation for three years.

The judge said: "Anyone who takes a young child out of the control of those responsible for her and retains her ... should be seen to be properly punished."

But he said Tovey did not have all the faculties of a 20-year-old and that the case was unique. "He was desperately seeking the company of a child," he said.

"This young man adopted a desperate route to attract the child but there is no evidence of any sexual offence or behaviour."

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