Leicester

Kayleigh Haywood: Jurors hear texts used to groom murdered girl

Kayleigh Haywood Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood was raped and murdered by Stephen Beadman

A jury has heard text messages sent between a murdered 15-year-old girl and the man who groomed her.

Luke Harlow invited Kayleigh Haywood to his flat and engaged in sexual activity with the schoolgirl - before his friend Stephen Beadman raped and murdered her.

In one text, Harlow said of their planned meeting: "Let's just keep it secret."

Both of the men deny falsely imprisoning Kayleigh at Harlow's home in Ibstock, Leicestershire.

In another message to Kayleigh, Harlow wrote: "I really like you I just keep worrying about the age range because I could get into trouble.

"I am too old for you and I will get into trouble for seeing you."

The charges

Image copyright PA
Image caption Stephen Beadman (second left) and Luke Harlow (right) are on trial at Nottingham Crown Court accused of falsely imprisoning Kayleigh

Stephen Beadman, 29, of George Avenue, Ibstock, Leicestershire

  • Admits raping Kayleigh
  • Admits murdering Kayleigh
  • Denies falsely imprisoning her

Luke Harlow, 27, also of George Avenue, Ibstock, Leicestershire

  • Admits meeting a child (Kayleigh) following sexual grooming
  • Admits two counts of sexual activity with a child (Kayleigh)
  • Admits attempting to meet two other children (both 15-year-old girls) following sexual grooming
  • Denies falsely imprisoning Kayleigh

Harlow first made contact with Kayleigh on 31 October, by Facebook.

In one text to Kayleigh, Harlow wrote: "I don't want you to think I'm a creep would you be my girlfriend if I was younger."

In another he wrote: "Don't go around telling people about this they will think it's weird."

He also asked Kayleigh: "What do you say if a lad chats you up at school?"

Kayleigh replied: "I'm taken."

In another message in the days before they met, Harlow wrote: "I will go to the shop on Friday to get some alcohol, it helps if you're a bit drunk when you meet someone for the first time."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood, from Measham in Leicestershire, was found dead on 18 November 2015

The trial at Nottingham Crown Court heard how Beadman did a Google search for "lime pit" hours after dumping Kayleigh's body in a hedgerow.

He is also alleged to have accessed a betting website and watched a TV show on his computer shortly after raping and murdering Kayleigh.

The court has heard that Kayleigh went to Harlow's flat willingly on the evening of Friday 13 November, having told her family she was staying with a friend.

However, Beadman and Harlow are accused of keeping her prisoner between about 21:00 GMT on 14 November and 03:00 on 15 November.

Further analysis of Beadman's computer showed he used it to access Kayleigh's Facebook page and Harlow's Facebook page shortly before his arrest, the court heard.

The trial continues.

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