Teen grab kidnapper jailed

Jack Watchorn, 22, of Bond Street, Blackpool
Jack Watchorn, 22, of Bond Street, Blackpool
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A man who kidnapped a teenage girl as she walked home in Blackpool is today waking up behind bars.

A judge said Jack Watchorn must have had the 17-year -old in his sight as she walked along Dickson Road and bided his time until she was on a quieter street.

He then made a grab for the teenager, who put up a struggle and frightened him off.

Watchorn, 23, formerly of Bond Street, Blackpool, was convicted of kidnap but cleared of a charge of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence following a trial.

He has now been jailed for two and a half years.

Sentencing him at Preston Crown Court, Judge Heather Lloyd said: “It is very rare for a woman to be attacked or abducted in the street by a complete stranger, but when it does happen, it is extremely frightening for the victim.

“ It is what every woman dreads. It must have been absolutely terrifying for this young woman and that terror cannot be underestimated, despite the apparent short length of time”.

The victim was walking home from visiting a friend in January this year when she ended up being followed by the defendant.

When she reached a quieter spot he ran up to her from behind, grabbed her and put a hand over her mouth to stop her screams.

Watchorn started to drag her towards an alleyway but the girl put up a struggle and screamed.

He then struck her on the face before running off.

He had claimed in his trial that he had accidentally bumped into her when running behind Bella Pizza.

The girl said in a victim impact statement: “I wish it had never happened as I think about it every day.”

She fears men in glasses coming through her window, doesn’t walk in the dark any more and her social life has been dramatically affected.

Philip Andrews, defending, said his client had emotional issues and unresolved psychological problems.

He said: “He was drunk. It was two steps. She wasn’t taken into the alleyway.

“The whole incident can’t have been more than four or five seconds at the absolute most”.