UK fraudster disappears with 'vulnerable' 14-year-old girl

A mother has appealed for the safe return of her 14-year-old daughter who UK police believe has disappeared with a 35-year-old convicted fraudster.

UK fraudster disappears with 'vulnerable' 14-year-old girl

A mother has appealed for the safe return of her 14-year-old daughter who UK police believe has disappeared with a 35-year-old convicted fraudster.

Schoolgirl Lorna Vickerage is thought to be with family friend John Bush. Both are from the north Doncaster area.

Bush has been described as a professional and accomplished fraudster and detectives searching for the teenager say they are not clear what his motives are for allegedly taking Lorna.

She disappeared on Monday but was spotted again on Wednesday morning, officers said.

Her mother Christine, 36, wrote on Facebook: "my baby plz come home darling we love u so much".

Alongside a picture of her daughter, she posted: "this is my gawgess lovin daughter if anyone as any idea were she could be would u plz contact me I just want her home safe thankyou".

She said: "come home my baby girl iam so worried plz just ring me we all love u so much".

Lorna was seen at 2.30pm on Monday at Outwood Academy in Adwick wearing her school uniform.

Police said she and Bush are known to frequent the Askern, Adwick, Woodlands and Highfield areas of north Doncaster.

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Robinson said: "The last positive sighting of Lorna was with John Bush, and that was at 10.15 yesterday morning in the Highfields area of Doncaster."

Speaking at a press conference at Doncaster Police Station, he said: "At that time she was introduced to a local couple by John as his daughter. Lorna appeared to be safe and well and chatty."

Mr Robinson described Lorna as "quite vulnerable" and said she was in the care of the local authority and put in foster care on Friday.

He said Bush, who was a family friend for "some time", is a single man with no family who has no history of similar offences, although he does have a fraud conviction.

"What does concern me is he's a liar, he's a fraud, he's a cheat and it's what he's telling Lorna," Mr Robinson added.

He said Bush was believed to be pretending Lorna was his daughter "as a guise" to avoid suspicion.

The force helicopter has been scrambled to help with the search and police are trying to trace the vehicle Bush was in - a silver Ford Mondeo.

Mr Robinson said: "Lorna, you're not in trouble. Your mum's petrified, she's worried to death, we're concerned for your safety. We don't know why you've gone with John and we don't know why John's taken you.

"Let us know you're safe and well. Speak to John - tell him to hand himself in, and if you're listening, John, we really do need to speak to you. The sooner you get this over with, the better."

Bush was described as a "professional fraudster" by a judge who gave him a 14-month prison sentence suspended for two years earlier this year on condition that he does 200 hours of unpaid work.

York Crown Court heard how he committed a range of frauds including persuading garages to give him courtesy cars he never returned and using a holiday cottage without paying.

The judge was told he has a number of convictions for dishonesty. His lawyer said Bush had been homeless at the time of the frauds and had been in a relationship with a drug addict.

Lorna is described as white, slim build, about 5ft 4in, with long straight, thick blonde hair, while Mr Bush is described as white, stocky build with receding dark blond hair.

South Yorkshire Police are asking anyone with any information on their whereabouts to call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident 609 of June 10, 2013.

Lorna's father Darren Griffiths made an appeal on ITV Calendar News saying: "Lorna, if you are watching, just get in touch. We want to know that you're OK and we want to know that you're safe and just come home."

Mr Griffiths said: "She's quite independent. She's usually quite sensible. But, obviously, I don't know exactly what's going off in her head at the minute.

"She's quite mixed up, obviously. There's been a lot going off just lately. I just don't know what she's thinking, to be honest."

Police later arrested a 35-year-old man, from Askern, near Doncaster, in connection with the investigation but stressed this was not John Bush. Bush and Lorna are still missing, a spokesman said.

He said Lorna was last seen wearing dark-coloured skinny jeans and a grey top.

Officers believe that they may be travelling in a silver Ford Mondeo, registration number Y753 CSH, which Bush had borrowed and not returned.

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