March 8th, 2010......A homeless sex offender, Peter Chapman, posed as a handsome teenager on Facebook to lure a 17-year-old girl to a secluded location where she was kidnapped, gagged, raped and murdered.
As Peter Chapman was jailed for life yesterday with a minimum term of 35 years, police urged parents and internet companies to see the case as “a wake-up call” to the “scheming, devious tricks of predatory paedophiles” online. Chapman, 33, a convicted rapist linked to numerous sex attacks, was on the sex offenders register but had not been seen by police for 13 months before the killing.
He used photographs of an unknown teenager to reinvent himself on Facebook as “a bare-chested, good-looking boy in his late teens” who soon became friends with more than 100 young women on the social networking site. One of them was Ashleigh Hall, a childcare student suffering from low self-esteem, who could not believe her luck when Pete Cartwright — Chapman’s teenage alter-ego — showed an interest in her.
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Graham Reeds, QC, for the prosecution, told Teesside Crown Court that Chapman had now “sprung the trap; all he had to do was wait for her to fall into it”. He picked Ashleigh up from her home in Darlington, Co Durham, on a Sunday evening last October and drove her to a deserted are.
In the deserted area, in a car bought for £225 on eBay, he bound her wrists, mouth and nose with duct tape before raping her. Traumatised and unable to breathe, she slowly suffocated. Chapman then drove to a field on the outskirts of Sedgefield UK and dumped the girl’s body in a ditch. Within hours, he was trying to arrange to meet a woman with whom he had been texting.
Chapman was arrested by chance — his car’s registration number was flagged in connection with an arson offence in Berkshire UK — 24 hours after the murder. Police had no idea that Ashleigh was missing until he announced to an officer that he had accidentally “killed someone”.
He was due to go on trial for kidnap, rape and murder yesterday but at the last moment changed his pleas to guilty. Ashleigh’s mother, Andrea Hall, wept when the unshaven Chapman was led into the dock. She later urged parents to keep an eye on their children when they are using Facebook: “Ashleigh made one mistake and she paid for it with her life.” more from this source................
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