A TEENAGER has admitted abducting an eight-year-old girl in Padiham and subjecting her to a sexual assault on the banks of a secluded brook.

The 14-year-old has confessed to leading the youngster to a metal footbridge between Canning Street and Back Thompson Street and molesting her near Green Brook on January 2.

But a district judge ruled that the case was too serious to be dealt with by a youth court and committed the case to Burnley Crown Court.

The youth, who is from Padiham but has been bailed to live with family elsewhere, admitted taking the girl out of the lawful control of her parent and sexual touching.

He denied a further related abduction offence and common assault on the girl.

Prosecutor John Wood told a video link hearing at Accrington that the offences constituted a ‘grave crime’ which would attract a sentence of detention of more than two years.

Defence solicitor Lee Hammond said it would be argued that the remaining abduction offence was ‘duplicitous’ and the common assault allegation would not attract a consecutive sentence.

District judge Gerald Chalk, sitting in Carlisle and appearing via a video link, said: “The matters are far too serious for this court.

“I see the young age of the victim, the significant difference in age between the victim and the defendant and the suggestion that if there had not been an intervention then it may have been more serious.”

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was bailed until February 5, on condition he does not enter Burnley or Padiham, does not contact the victim, continues to live out of the area with family and not to have any unsupervised contact with children aged under 16.