Ex-carer jailed over child abduction

A former foster carer who hid a vulnerable boy in a hollowed-out washing machine so he could evade police was jailed for 33 months today after being found guilty of child abduction.

Christopher Waite, 35, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, hid the youngster, then aged 12, at his house and helped him escape from a secure unit, Winchester Crown Court heard.



Waite was first registered as a foster carer with Hampshire County Council in 2002 and later worked for a private firm, but he did not look after the boy, the jury was told during the three-month trial.



Instead the two had met in Basingstoke and Waite got "deeply involved" with the boy, who was in care and described as "very young and very vulnerable".



The court was told that the boy absconded from children's homes in southern England in 2007 and 2008 and stayed at Waite's house in Basingstoke.



Waite removed the insides of a washing machine so the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, could hide from the police.



The machine even had washing in the front to fool officers.



Waite was known to the boy's family and had attended conferences about the youngster's care with social services, but he ignored pleas to stop giving him money, cigarettes and shelter when he fled the home.



Eventually Waite was arrested for helping the boy when he was found in his garden.



The trial heard Waite was bailed and the youngster sent to a secure unit outside Hampshire to stop him contacting Waite.



But Waite helped him escape from a care worker when the boy went on a trip to Tesco's.



In the witness box Waite said he had acted this way because he disagreed with how Hampshire County Council was looking after the boy.



The jury found him guilty of two counts of child abduction.



The prosecution had also alleged during the trial that Waite had sexually abused the boy, but the jury rejected this.



He was found not guilty of one county of rape, one count of sexual assault, one count of sexually activity with a child, two counts of grooming a child and one count of inciting sexual activity with a child.



The jury could not reach decisions on three charges of possessing indecent images of children.



Waite had denied all the charges.



Judge Guy Boney QC gave jailed him for 15 months for the first count of child abduction and 18 months for the second one, to run consecutively.



He told Waite he had become involved in a "deeply inappropriate" relationship with the boy.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions