Street snatch bid charge

The scene of the attempted abduction
The scene of the attempted abduction

A MAN accused of trying to abduct a Wigan schoolgirl has been sent to crown court.

Stephen Cox, of no fixed address, is charged with trying to snatch the eight-year-old girl from a street in Winstanley where she was playing with friends last Monday.

The 46-year-old did not enter a plea when he appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

He also pleaded not guilty to another charge of allegedly possessing a piece of mirror to be used as a weapon last Friday.

But he admitted a trio of drug charges.

These included possessing class B drugs, including cannabis and amphetamines, in October last year and another of possessing amphetamines on September 5.

The alleged attempted abduction occurred between 2pm and 3.30pm on September 1 on Holmes House Avenue.

Since then police have continued to appeal for witnesses.

Det Sgt Nigel Rigby said: “There has been understandable concern from residents since news of this incident was first published.

“We have had a great response from the community and I would like to thank them for their help and support over the last few days.

“However, we still need people from the area to come forward with any information they may have, be it sightings of the male in question or especially if they have CCTV cameras on their homes that capture the area near where the incident took place.

“If you have seen a man matching the following description - 58 years old, 6ft tall, of slim build with grey short hair, stubble and yellow teeth.

“He was described as wearing a long black coat with stains on, bare legs from the knees down and grey shoes – or have CCTV images of him, please contact police.”

Cox was remanded in custody until a preliminary hearing at Liverpool Crown Court on September 19.

He will also return to Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on October 20 for trial over the alleged possession of a weapon.

The defendant was given a 12-month conditional discharge for each of the drug charges. Witnesses have been asked to contact 0161 856 5307 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.