Man assaulted teenage girl

A man is on remand today after he admitted assaulting a 14-year-old girl before bundling her into his van and driving off at speed.

IPSWICH: A man is on remand today after he admitted assaulting a 14-year-old girl before bundling her into his van and driving off at speed.

Hector Seaman, of Lower Farm, Chattisham, was originally charged with kidnapping the youngster outside Johnson's Dry Cleaner's at St Augustine's roundabout in Ipswich.

However, Ipswich Crown Court heard a guilty plea to actual bodily harm has been accepted by the prosecution instead.

Seaman was due to be sentenced yesterday , but that has now been delayed until November 26 after Judge Roderick Newton asked for psychological reports on the 26-year-old.

Prosecutor Stephen Rose told the court the girl was walking home on her own on May 3. When she got to the dry cleaner's on Felixstowe Road around 8.45pm the teenager became aware of a red Vauxhall Astra van which had pulled up beside her.

Seaman got out and ran towards the girl.

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Mr Rose said she had never seen him before. He then punched her in the face and she was hit numerous times, before being hauled towards his van and eventually bundled inside.

Seaman's teenage victim sustained bruising to her left eye, a cut under her left ear, bruising to her neck and other minor injuries as a result of the assault.

Seaman then drove around Ipswich in the van with the girl for around an hour before being stopped by police.

The assault was witnessed by a number of people, one of whom Derek Upson, followed the van in his vehicle.

The court was told Seaman appeared to be driving erratically at speeds up to 70mph.

He pulled over on a dirt-track road off the A14 when he heard police sirens.

After his arrest Seaman told police he himself had been the victim of a robbery. He claimed the girl had tried to snatch money from his van when he stopped to ask her for directions and that he had run after her to catch her.

Seaman claimed he got her into his van so he could take her to the police station.

When he appeared in court yesterday Seaman also pleaded guilty to a related matter of failure to provide a breath specimen when requested by police.

Catherine Bradshaw, mitigating, said her client admitted his behaviour was disproportionate to the offence he had alleged, and denied punching the girl in the face.

The court heard Seaman was mortified when he discovered the girl was only 14 years old and he is deeply ashamed.

Judge Newton said he wanted to know more about Seaman before sentencing him as he was concerned over the reason for the girl being bundled into the van.

The judge said: “Who knows what the motive was?”