A SCHOOLGIRL was able to get a message to her sister’s Facebook page via her mobile phone to plead for help when a man abducted her and raped her in a wood.
She sent messages which said “help” and “raping me” after she was dragged off a village street and subjected to a terrifying ordeal.
Heroin addict David Edgerton, 22, admitted abducting and raping the girl at Leeswood near Mold in August last year.
Yesterday a jury convicted him of attempting to abduct another schoolgirl in the village a couple of hours earlier.
He was also convicted of raping a woman in her 40s in Warrington the same month and the attempted rape of a woman aged 20 in her bedroom in Connah’s Quay in 2009.
Edgerton was warned by the judge he would be jailed for a very long time and an indefinite sentence for public protection would be considered.
Sentence was adjourned for three weeks.
But Judge Merfyn Hughes QC questioned why the police and prosecution had not acted at an earlier stage.
He said that when one or even two complaints had been made then a decision not to prosecute may have been reasonable decision making.
But when further complaints were made – including assaulting a girl in the Boughton area of Chester with intent to commit a sexual offence – then a more ‘holistic approach’ may well have prevented the Leeswood attacks, he said.
Judge Hughes stressed he was not criticising anyone at this stage but asked for a full explanation from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the next court hearing.
“I would have thought that by the time of the third complaint a different view might have saved the schoolgirl from the attack imposed upon her in August,” he said.
Mold Crown Court heard the mother of the schoolgirl in Leeswood had allowed her and her sister, together with a friend, to go to the local chip shop during the evening.
When she did not return, she went looking for them at the shop, at the local community centre and bowling green.
But she was told a man had asked her to give him directions to a local pub and had persuaded her to show him.
Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts said Edgerton had seen the girl at the chip shop, asked her to show him where the Prince of Wales pub was, and then as they walked in the village he held her tightly, grabbed her hair and threatened her not to raise the alarm.
He dragged her into Blast Woods where she was raped.
Despite her ordeal, she was able to send messages which said “help” and “raping me” from her mobile phone onto the Facebook site of her sister.
Her mother and other family members searched frantically for the girl and she could hear them calling her name as she was being attacked.
The victim escaped and got back to the roadway where her mother saw her in a terrible state as she collapsed in the road.
It emerged Edgerton had tried to snatch another girl earlier. He approached her behind the community centre, asked her for a lighter and if she smoked dope, then asked her to show him where the Prince of Wales pub was.
The girl said he was about to grab her and she feared she would have become a victim, but for the fact a friend arrived and he stopped.
His hooded top was later found by a police officer in the Dingle Road area of the village.
Judge Hughes told Edgerton: “You must realise the sentence you will receive in due course will be a very long one. It may even be imprisonment for public protection which means an indefinite sentence of custody.”
Edgerton, who did not give evidence in his own defence, gave no reaction when the guilty verdicts were returned by the jury of eight women and four men.
But he smiled as he sat down in the dock and smiled again as he was taken to the cells.
l A young Deeside woman had to wait three-and-a-half years for justice following her terrifying experience when an intruder at her home tried to rape her.
The woman was convinced her attacker was David Edgerton. She recognised his voice but never saw his face.
However, the CPS decided not to charge Edgerton at the time because of insufficient evidence.
However, last summer, when Edgerton committed further serious sexual offences, police went back to the 2009 case.
The prosecution was able to put all the facts before a jury which yesterday convicted him.
It emerged he had been released from prison, where he had been sent for driving offences, 24 hours earlier.
The victim told Mold Crown Court she feared she was going to be killed by the man who lay on top of her in her bed.
She was asleep at home in Connah’s Quay, in the early hours of June 2, 2009 when she was woken up by the presence of someone being there.
It was pitch black and the man, who wore a hooded top, lay with his whole body on top of her, put his hand on her groin and told her to take her shorts down.
She screamed out for her father and he got up and left.
The woman said she had not seen his face, but said his voice, his hair and his build fitted the defendant “like a glove”. She said she was 95 per cent sure it was his voice.
Edgerton, who in 2009 lived in Howard Street, Connah’s Quay, denied attempting to rape the girl.
l Two months after being released from another prison sentence, Edgerton admitted he had assaulted a girl in the Boughton area with intent to commit a sexual offence in December 2011.
The jury heard how she had accompanied him to a shop, he ended up assaulting her, putting his hand over her mouth and telling her “if she wanted to die”. But no sexual assault took place.
The court heard how two public-spirited members of the public approached, one said she did not know what was going on but she was taking the child to her mother, and Edgerton left.
l On August 10 last year a Warrington woman in her 40s had consensual sex with Edgerton.
But it lasted seconds, he then threatened to kill her, put his hand over her mouth and raped her.
She said she asked him ‘what all that was all about?’
She said he replied he had injected heroin and cocaine.