Kayleigh Haywood murder: Groomer denies attempted rape

Kayleigh Haywood Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood was raped and murdered by Stephen Beadman

A man who has admitted grooming a 15-year-old girl has denied trying to sexually assault her while she was asleep in his home, a court has heard.

Luke Harlow, 28, engaged in sexual activity with Kayleigh Haywood before Stephen Beadman raped and murdered her.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Harlow reject Beadman's claim that he tried to rape Kayleigh in her sleep and denied punching Beadman, 29.

Both men deny falsely imprisoning her at Harlow's home in Leicestershire.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Stephen Beadman (second left) and Luke Harlow (right) are on trial at Nottingham Crown Court accused of falsely imprisoning Kayleigh

Harlow and neighbour Beadman, both of George Avenue, Ibstock, are accused of keeping Kayleigh prisoner between about 21:00 BST on 14 November and 03:00 on 15 November.

Harlow was asked by Beadman's barrister, Anthony Metzer QC, if he had tried to rape the schoolgirl while she was asleep.

"What I suggest happened is that you and Mr Beadman had a fierce argument because Mr Beadman was trying to stop this happening?" the defendant was asked, to which he replied: "That is one of Mr Beadman's many lies."

Mr Metzer went on to claim Harlow had punched Beadman in the stomach during the argument, and that Kayleigh "escaped" from the property after being woken up by the row and informed of what it was about.

Harlow told the court: "All of that's complete lies. I wasn't awake."

The charges

Stephen Beadman, 29, of George Avenue, Ibstock, Leicestershire

  • Admits raping Kayleigh
  • Admits murdering Kayleigh
  • Denies falsely imprisoning her

Luke Harlow, 28, also of George Avenue, Ibstock, Leicestershire

  • Admits meeting a child (Kayleigh) following sexual grooming
  • Admits two counts of sexual activity with a child (Kayleigh)
  • Admits attempting to meet two other children (both 15-year-old girls) following sexual grooming
  • Denies falsely imprisoning Kayleigh

The jury heard Harlow and Beadman continued drinking after Kayleigh fell asleep on a sofa and were "quite drunk" on the night she was killed.

Harlow said he had gone to sleep on a mattress in his lounge and woke to find Kayleigh gone.

He said he walked to Beadman's home to see if she was there.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood, from Measham in Leicestershire, was found dead on 18 November 2015

Explaining why he had not immediately contacted the police, Harlow said: "I didn't think anything bad would have happened to her. I just thought she would be back at some point to pick her stuff up."

Harlow, a former warehouse and call centre worker, also told a jury he was "ashamed" of grooming Kayleigh and that he had been "stupid and irresponsible".

The trial continues.

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