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Jailed: Man Who Groomed And Abducted Cornish Schoolgirl

David Telles
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6:02am 7th November 2014

An American tourist has been jailed for abducting a Cornish schoolgirl he met playing an online game.

David Telles groomed the fourteen year old through the net before flying to the UK, driving to Cornwall and persuading her to climb out the window in the middle of the night.

Exeter Crown Court heard that he told her to bring clothes and a passport, although they only made it as far as a hotel in Launceston and another in Exeter.

The thirty-eight year old had originally posed as someone the same age as they played cult game Clash Of Clans, but then came clean, insisting he loved her.

He even produced a ring, he called an engagement ring.

After two days the girl's dad tracked them down and persuaded Telles to meet up in a car park. When he did, police were waiting.

Telles from Trenton Circle, Pleasanton in California has been sent down for six years after admitting grooming, abduction and sexual activity with a child.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC told him: “The girl wanted to be with you because you had groomed her to the point where she was not going to object to being abducted.

“You asked her to bring her passport with her and it wasn’t as if she needed that to get from Cornwall to England.

“You are a widower with teenage children and you made contact with a 14 year old girl in Cornwall through a computer game.

“She initially thought you were the same age as her - and you persuaded her in phone calls you loved her and she believed she was in love with you.

“You knew her true age before you came to England and she knew yours. When police found her she was wearing an engagement ring you had given her.

“She did not make a full disclosure in her first interview because you told her it would ruin your life and you might die in prison. Just imagine the pressure that put on a young girl who thought she was in love with you.

“You told the probation report writer it was all down to her and she had seduced you and led you into all the sexual activity. I reject that. In the light of your age and hers, it amounts to no mitigation whatsoever.”

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Andrea Kindgon said: “We are pleased with the sentence that David Telles received today.

“This case shows that police take this type of crime very seriously and highlights to those using the internet for criminal activities, that there are no boundaries to an investigation and authorities will take proactive action.

“Cases of this type once again show the importance of people knowing who they are communicating with on the internet. It is important to realise that if you have never met the person you are communicating with, that they could be a different age, sex, or profession than they are claiming to be".
She added: “While people often embellish harmless details about themselves, there are those who may lie for a more sinister reason. This does not only happen to young people, as adults can as easily be taken in by such lies.

“If you are in anyway concerned regarding someone you or a young person is communicating with apply the appropriate caution and, if in doubt, stop the communication and report anything suspicious to authorities.”


Three Things to Tell your Children About Online Grooming...

Experts say there are some simple messages to make sure our children stay safe online:

  • Explain that personal information (name, address, phone number, school, arrnagements for meeting with friends etc.) should never be given out online to anyone the child doesn't know offline.
  • Explain that once a picture has been posted online it can be copied and shared with other people if you delete it. That means being careful about the sort of photographs and information that gets put up.
  • Explain that some people lie online and that it is never too late to tell someone if something happens that makes them feel uncomfortable.
6:02am 7th November 2014

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