A MAN who repeatedly abducted a schoolgirl and was violent towards her has been jailed for six years three months.

Damone Rous Murphy, described by the prosecution at Burnley Crown Court as “manipulative and control-ling”, was said to have been attracted to his victim, and was possessive of her almost to the point of paranoia.

Murphy, 37, had been alleged to have picked her up from school and continued seeing her, despite being warned off by police and teachers.

The defendant, of Rhoda Street, Nelson, before being remanded in custody on his arrest in April last year, was previously convicted of four charges of child abduction, one of cruelty to a person under 16 and one of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Murphy, a former Colne furniture factory worker, was also found guilty of harass-ment of a woman he was said to have intimidated.

He faced a total of 18 allegations against him during a two-week trial in May.

He was cleared of two counts of making a threat to kill, false imprisonment, assault causing actual bodily harm, rape and six charges of sexual activity with a child.

Sentencing the defendant, Judge Simon Newell told him his conduct over the schoolgirl had been bizarre and cruel.The jury heard claims Murphy had sexually and physically abused the victim and another girl.

Prosecutor Jeremy Lasker said the defendant had kept the schoolgirl at his house and had kept her away from home for a weekend.

On one occasion, a police sergeant turned up at the property to find the defendant bare-chested and the teenage victim hiding in the back yard.

The victim told police she had at first been flattered by the attentions of an older man and was happy as she thought someone finally liked her.

Giving evidence, Murphy said he got on well with the girls and liked the victim. He said he had not been violent and had not had sexual contact with them.