TWO young Wigan brothers narrowly escaped being abducted by two sex prowlers, a court heard.
The boys, aged eight and 10, were on their way home after playing in a park near their home in Abram when a car pulled up alongside them.
The two Iranian-born occupants tried to entice the youngsters into the car and the younger boy moved to get in but luckily his older brother pulled him away and they fled home.
Jailing the driver, Hassan Meshedi and passenger Aram Younis, for five years each Judge Norman Wright said that he had concluded that the attempted abduction “must have been sexually motivated.”
He said that Younis did the talking: “You sought to inveigle these two small boys to get into your vehicle. Happily for them they obviously had loving, caring and sensible parents who had brought them up properly so that they knew how to respond to advances by total strangers. The older one had the presence of mind to stop his younger brother being beguiled by your words.”
Both men denied the offence and the court heard today that Meshedi says he is heterosexual but the judge said he rejected that assertion. “I am sure there was a sexual motive behind this plan.”
He said he was not sure whether the men, who claimed they were just out relaxing and enjoying the weather, had planned the incident from the start or just saw an opportunity but it was an “extremely serious offence.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard that pre-sentence reports describe both men as posing “a high risk to children”. A jury had unanimously found Younis, 23, of Irvine Street, Leigh and Meshedi, 31, of Chapel Street, Leigh, guilty last month.
Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, told the court today that statements revealed the impact on the boys, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The older boy now struggles to sleep and regularly sleep walks while shouting for his little brother trying to make sure he is safe. He has lost his appetite, is clingy with his parents, no longer wants to play out and has been referred to a pyschologist.
His brother has been suffering from nightmares, will not go upstairs in his home alone and also has trouble sleeping.
Their mother said she will not let them out of sight and feels that the incident has affected their lives and childhood. Judge Wright said that she wrongly blames herself for not having been with them that afternoon but “she had done no more than any mother would have done.” She is now understandably over-protective, he added.
The incident happened on July 13 last year after the boys left Crankwood Park in Abram after their mother rang telling them to come home.
As they were walking along Crankwood Road, which is a cul-de-sac, a light blue Renault Clio approached from the opposite direction. Younis invited them and said “Come on boys, it’s only a ride.”
They ran home in distress to their mother and while a police man was at their home he received radio communication to say that two men matching their description had been detained in Plank Lane, Abram. They were arrested and when interviewed they admitted having been in the general vicinity but again denied speaking to any boys. Meshedi admitted that they had driven down a cul-de-sac. The older boy picked him out on a video ID parade as the driver.
When the vehicle was examined it was found that the front and rear registration plates were attached with Velcro instead of being screwed on. When questioned about this Meshedi said it was in that condition when he purchased it.
The men, who were helped by a Kurdish Iranian interpreter, represented themselves having sacked their legal team. The Home Office will now automatically consider deportation.