North East Wales

Leeswood rape victim's Facebook plea for help

David Edgerton
Image caption David Edgerton has been warned he faces a long jail sentence

A schoolgirl sent a message to her sister's Facebook page from her mobile phone pleading for help after she was abducted and raped, a court heard.

She wrote "help" and "raping me" after being dragged off a street into woods in Leeswood near Mold, Flintshire.

David Edgerton, 23, from Connah's Quay, admitted abducting and raping the girl.

Those details emerged after a jury found him guilty of rape, attempted rape and attempted abduction involving three other females.

The rape involved a woman in Warrington, Cheshire, in August 2012.

The attempted rape was carried out on a woman in her bedroom in Connah's Quay, Flintshire, in 2009.

And the attempted abduction of a schoolgirl in Leeswood happened before Edgerton carried out the attack which he admitted to.

That admission came before the trial for the other offences took place.

Grabbed and threatened

The court heard how the mother of the victim had allowed her and her sister to go to the local chip shop during an evening in August last year.

When she did not return, she went looking for them at the chip shop, at the local community centre and bowling green.

But she was told that a man had asked her daughter to give him directions to a local pub and had persuaded her to show him.

Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts told how the defendant had seen the girl at the chip shop, asked her to show him where a pub was, and then as they walked the street he held her tightly, grabbed her hair, and threatened her not to raise the alarm.

He dragged her into Blast Woods where she was raped.

Despite her ordeal, she was able to send messages which said "help" and raping me" from her mobile phone onto the Facebook site of her sister.

She got messages to her family to try and explain where she was.

Her mother and other members of the family searched for the girl and she could hear them calling her name as she was being attacked.

The victim escaped and got back to the road where her mother saw her in a terrible state as she collapsed, the court heard.

'Overwhelming evidence'

The jury found he had tried to snatch another girl earlier.

Image caption The victim was dragged into Blast Woods where she was raped

That was when he approached her behind the community centre, asked her for a lighter and if she smoked dope, before asking her to show him where a pub was.

The girl said that he was about to grab her and she feared that she would have become a victim, but for the fact that a friend arrived and he stopped.

Judge Merfyn Hughes QC told Edgerton that he had been convicted on overwhelming evidence.

"You must realise that the sentence you will receive in due course will be a very long one," he said.

"It may even be imprisonment for public protection which means an indefinite sentence of custody."

Edgerton, who did not give evidence in his own defence, gave no reaction when the guilty verdicts were returned by the jury of eight women and four men.

But he smiled as he sat down in the dock and smiled again as he was taken to the cells. Sentencing was adjourned for three weeks.