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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back