Runaway schoolgirl found safe in France

A schoolgirl who went missing with a 49-year-old man she met on the internet has been found safe and well in France.

Laura Stainforth, 15, from School Walk, Cleethorpes, north east Lincolnshire, was found with Robert Williams in Lille.

Williams was arrested at the scene by French police officers and has been taken in custody.



Humberside Police said the arrest was made after Williams and Laura attended the consulate in Lille.

Local French police officers attended and arrested Williams at the scene before taking him into custody, a spokeswoman for Humberside Police said.

Officers from Humberside Police are currently en route to France to bring Laura back into the country.

Detective Chief Inspector Sharon Fielding said: "It goes without saying, I am delighted that Laura has been found in Lille and we are now working alongside French authorities and Laura's family to ensure that she arrives back in the country as soon as possible and returns to her family.

"There is still a lot of work to be done, however, and we are working to ensure the extradition of Williams.

"I would like to thanks all of the members of public who assisted by reporting numerous sightings of Laura - one of which led us to locating Laura in Lille - and would also like to thank the local, national and European media for their help in facilitating our appeals."



Laura went missing on Wednesday last week after leaving her home at around 3.30pm to go to the shops.

She was reported missing by her family at 9.23pm that night.

The teenager and Williams were captured on CCTV footage at Grimsby railway station on Wednesday evening.

Detectives believe they took a train to Doncaster, South Yorkshire, before travelling to London, and on to Dover.

Laura was then spotted by a member of the public in Dover on Thursday and was later seen on the Pride of Kent ferry, which was travelling from Dover to Calais, that afternoon.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
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