A MAN who abducted a North East teenager has narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence.

The 15-year-old was reported missing by her mother before she was located safely in a Glasgow flat where she had travelled to meet up with the man.

Dominic Hood had already been warned to stay away from the teenager by members of her family but secretly stayed in contact with her, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The teenager had fled her hometown after falling out with her mother and was eventually found hiding in the bathroom of Hood's flat.

The 21-year-old went as far as sending her the train ticket to get her to Glasgow and arranging for a taxi to pick her up and delivering her to his flat.

Tom Storey, prosecuting, said the investigation into exactly what happened in June last year was delayed by police carrying out forensic checks on their mobile phones.

The checks showed how the pair had been in regular contact while Hood was living in the Thornaby area in the weeks before the teenager's disappearance.

Mr Storey said that Hood told the police that he hadn't heard from the girl, but officers found her hiding in the bathroom on June 14.

Hood, of Geneva Road in Darlington, formerly of The High Street, Yarm, pleaded guilty to a single count of child abduction following the teenager's disappearance on June 13 last year.

Rebecca Brown, in mitigation, said that the defendant now has a new partner, who told the judge that they had a stable relationship and he was very supportive.

Hood's girlfriend said they had loving relationship and had set up a stable home together, for which they had paid six months' rent upfront.

The Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Paul Watson QC told Hood that he believed there was 'little prospect' of him re-offending as he passed a suspended prison sentence.

He said: “What you did is normally dealt with by an immediate custodial sentence.

“Whether there was a friendship between you or whether it went beyond that seem to me not a matter at this stage.

“You’ve got yourself a new partner and you have been working at that relationship for a number of months now and you have found yourself work, and most importantly you have got yourself new accommodation and you are 21 now and have made something of a new life for yourself.

“I think there is very little prospect of you re-offending in any way, and you have now got this sentence hanging over you.”

Hood was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He was also issued with a restraining order banning him from contacting the girl for two years.

Judge Watson added: ''I hope that will provide her mother some peace of mind that there will be no contact from you.''

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