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Tommy Lawrance of South Bank Staplehurst admits attacking schoolgirl

By Paul Hooper

A man has admitted attacking a 13-year-old schoolgirl in Staplehurst - but he has denied it was sexual.

Tommy Lawrance, 22, claims he pounced on the youngster intending to rob her.

But he has denied he was attempting to sexually assault her in February 2017.

Lawrence is from South Bank, Staplehurst
Lawrence is from South Bank, Staplehurst

Lawrance, of South Bank, Staplehurst pleaded guilty to assault intending to rob the teenager.

But Prosecutor Hugh Forgan claimed that Lawrance fled the scene leaving behind his boxer shorts.

The teenage girl ran home and reported her ordeal to her family and some of them then went searching the area in Staplehurst where the mugging happened.

He told the jury at Maidstone Crown Court that Lawrance was spotted two hours later and held until police officers arrived.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

It was then it was discovered he wasn't wearing any boxer shorts, it is alleged.

Mr Forgan claimed the underpants were later found in an alleyway where he had pounced after the schoolgirl had arrived by bus.

He claimed that after making demands for cash, the girl revealed she had only coins and offered to hand them over.

"At some point he lowered his pants and she could see his penis and he said: "Shh it's only going to take a few minutes', " he said.

She then took the opportunity to run away and Mr Forgan added that it wasn't clear what Lawrance was planning to do, but that it was sexual."

The schoolgirl is expected to give her evidence behind screens tomorrow.

The trial continues.

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