A Brighton mother is on trial today charged with detaining a runaway teenager in her home in breach of a child abduction warning notice.
Cheryl Graddon, 32, was served the notice last December 15 after the 15-year-old was found in her house Fitch Drive, Bevendean.
The boy, who is not related to her, was found there again just two days later, and the day after that – and then a third time on December 28.
On the third occasion, police found him hiding in a bed base.
She has been charged with and denies three counts of breaching the notice.
Opening the case for the prosecution at Brighton Magistrates Court this morning, Paul Edwards said: “[The boy] was found at her address after he went missing in November 2018. The police eventually served a child abduction warning notice on her on 15 December.
“A further check was conducted on 17 December and he was found to be in the premises on that occasion and then he was returned home as a result of being found there.
“Miss Gratton was then arrested for breaching the child abduction warning notice.
“Officers who attended to arrest her found other young people in the property and [the boy] was then found at her address on 18 December.
“A further check on 28 December was conducted and on that particular occasion police searched the house and found [the boy] hiding in a bed base.
“He gave the false details, of another young man. It’s the Crown’s case this was done within earhot of Miss Gratton and she didn’t make any attempt to correct the name that was being given.
“The Crown therefore is saying that she’s committed these offences and she has not complied with the law in relation to this. She’s kept or detained him and in this she has kept him out of the lawful control and any person entitled to lawful control of the child.
“She’s not related to him or got any guardianship or rights to detain him. Therefore it’s the Crown’s case that on these three occasions she’s guilty of these offences.”
The trial continues.
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