A 17-year-old girl who repeatedly absconded from the care home where she was living was found at the Accrington home of a 39-year-old man.

Blackburn magistrates heard that Anthony Callander was given a formal warning by police, telling him that any association with the girl should end.

But five days later she was again found at his home, sleeping in an upstairs bedroom.

Callander, of Pine Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to keeping a child away from the person responsible for her. He was committed on bail to Burnley Crown Court for sentence.

John Wood, prosecuting, said the charge went back to the end of September 2008 when Callander was living in Blackburn Road, Accrington.

The girl had been in care for some time and the people responsible for her were concerned that she was visiting his address and staying there.

Police and a social worker visited the property, which split into several bed-sits to speak to the defendant and found the girl asleep upstairs.

Mr Wood said the officers who attended said the property was one of the worst they had ever visited in their years in the police force in terms of it fitness for habitation. The property was damp, part of the roof had collapsed, there were a number of dogs present and there was and unpleasant smell.

“The social worker was physically sick after visiting the property,” said Mr Wood.

The girl told police she had known Callander for one-and-a-half years and said there was no sexual relationship between them.

Graeme Parkinson, defending, said it had never been suggested there was anything sexual going on between Callander and the girl.

“She used to abscond from the care home on a regular basis and went to a number of different addresses and my client’s was just one of them,” said Mr Parkinson. “He did nothing to encourage her but accepts he should have taken heed of the warning he was given.”