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Saturday 24 February 2018

UK Farmer who helped police catch paedophile was ‘just looking after his patch’

George Common investigated suspicious activity in a lay-by and had his Land Rover rammed by the paedophile.

Picture of police tape at a crime scene (Yui Mok/PA)
Picture of police tape at a crime scene (Yui Mok/PA)

By Tom Wilkinson

A farmer who helped police catch a paedophile in the act of abusing a boy said he was just “looking after his patch”.

Trampoline coach Louis Murray, 22, has been jailed for 10 years for a string of child sex offences after he was spotted with a naked teenager in his car after parking in a lay-by in Belsay, Northumberland.

Farmer George Common, 59, was checking on his livestock when he saw the steamed-up vehicle.

At first he thought someone might be trying to commit suicide with fumes from the engine when he went to check.

He leapt into action and tried to grab the boy when he realised what was happening, and Murray sped away but rammed into Mr Common’s Land Rover before he escaped.

Police were able to trace his vehicle and the coach from Blakelaw, Newcastle, was arrested.

Northumbria Police said Murray was charged with two counts of rape, four counts of sexual activity in presence of a child and four counts of sexual activity with a child, and was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this week.

The judge commended Mr Common and said the farmer should be paid £400 from the public purse for his actions.

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After the case, Mr Common said: “I would definitely do it again and as it turns out I am proud of what I have done.

“It could have saved a lot of other lads and saved him from going through anything further.

“But in many ways I am typical of a Northumberland farmer who was just looking after his patch.

“I have been part of FarmWatch for a while and I would always report something suspicious.”

Outside court, Superintendent Andy Huddleston said: “If it wasn’t for the actions of George Common that day then Murray’s victim may have been subjected to abuse for a much longer period.”


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