Leicester

Kayleigh Haywood trial: Kidnap accused 'wanted weekend of sex'

Kayleigh Haywood Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood's disappearance sparked a huge search which lasted five days

A man accused of kidnapping a schoolgirl who was raped and murdered was trying to arrange "a weekend of sex fuelled by alcohol", a jury has heard.

Kayleigh Haywood, 15, from Measham in Leicestershire, was found dead in undergrowth near Ibstock in November.

Luke Harlow, 27, of Ibstock, has admitted two counts of sexual grooming, but denies false imprisonment.

Stephen Beadman, 29, also of Ibstock, has admitted murder and rape, but also denies false imprisonment.

Image caption Stephen Beadman (pictured via video link) and Luke Harlow are on trial for false imprisonment

'Kidnap for Christmas'

Nottingham Crown Court was told Harlow had messaged Kayleigh and other girls with the intention of "getting them to come to his home for a weekend of sex fuelled by alcohol".

Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said: "He was saying he would kidnap them. All of whom he knew would be underage."

The prosecution read a series of social media messages sent by Harlow to a girl he had befriended online when she was aged 15.

Among the messages was one saying: "I wish I could kidnap you for Christmas but I would probably be arrested and sent to prison."

Another message sent to the girl, who cannot be identified, read: "If I kidnap you, I am keeping you."

Further messages, allegedly sent during 2014 and 2015, are said to show that Harlow had an interest in having sex with "drunk, unconscious" girls and wanted to keep a girl as a slave.

Screaming and banging

The court heard Kayleigh had gone to Luke Harlow's flat in Ibstock willingly on 13 November.

She believed they were in a "secret relationship" after chatting on Facebook for about a fortnight, the court heard, and had told her family she was staying with her best friend.

The jury was told that Harlow's neighbours heard screaming and banging on the night Kayleigh was murdered.

One neighbour said she heard a loud girl's scream and frequent banging.

"I do remember hearing banging. The bangs were constant throughout the evening. It was loud. It was quite frequent," neighbour Sophie Hunt said in a statement.

The prosecution said Kayleigh was also seen partially-clothed outside Harlow's flat "trying to run away" when Beadman grabbed her.

Local resident Simon Baker described seeing Kayleigh being pinned down by a man on the street.

"He was wearing a dark jacket with a band on and I thought a policeman had arrested someone."

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Stephen Beadman has admitted raping and murdering Kayleigh Haywood

'Get out fast'

Ms Moore asked the jurors to consider whether Kayleigh was trying to escape from a fight or a struggle.

She told the jury: "Why have we shown you all these messages between Luke Harlow and these young ladies?

"We say it will help you to understand what was in his mind. At some point Kayleigh clearly wanted to leave that flat.

"You don't run out into the night dressed like she was unless you want to get out of there fast."

Beadman admitted raping and murdering the teenager at a hearing in April.

The trial continues.

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