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Paige trial - alleged killer called police about 'problem child'

Pictured in Blackpool - Paige Chivers Credit: Lancashire Police

An alleged murderer of a 15-year-old girl was told by police to contact social services when he sought their advice on what to do with the "problem child" up to a fortnight before he killed her, a court has heard.

It is said that Robert Ewing, 60, was "testing the water" to discover what the official reaction would be to Paige Chivers turning up on his doorstep after she had been thrown out of her home in Blackpool by her father.

Later that month, in August 2007, Ewing is said to have murdered Paige at his flat before he disposed of the youngster's body, which has still not been found.

The defendant had visited his local police station and told an operator on the outside phone that a 15-year-old girl who he "vaguely knew" had come to his house following a family row.

He said he let her in before later sending her home but was concerned he had "left her in limbo" and wanted to know what he should do next.

During the conversation he said: "She's permanently excluded from school. She's a problem child. Drinks, smokes ...you name it she does it."

Paige Chivers Credit: Lancashire Police

Ewing revealed he knew her full name but was not asked to disclose either her or his name. After adding that he did not know her address, the operator suggested he ring social services.

She told him: "The only thing you can do is call them because without an address we can do a welfare check but without an address we don't know ... we're stabbing in the dark basically."

Ewing, formerly of All Hallows Road, Bispham, Blackpool, is on trial at Preston Crown Court for the murder of Paige between August 23 and August 27, 2007, which he denies.

He also denies intending to pervert the course of public justice by intimidating witnesses and providing false information to the police in their investigations.

A co-defendant, Gareth Dewhurst, 46, of Duncan Avenue, Blackpool, also denies intending to pervert the course of public justice.

Dewhurst has also pleaded not guilty to a offence and not guilty to assisting an offender in disposing of a body.

CCTV clue in hotel assault

Do you recognise this man? Picture could hold clue to assault Credit: Lancashire Police

Police are hoping CCTV will help as they appeal for information about an assault at a Blackpool hotel.

The incident happened just before 11pm on Saturday 4 April in the bar of The Ruskin Hotel, Albert Road, when the 69 year old victim was sitting in the bar with his wife and was attacked by a man who punched him repeatedly to the face.

The attacker is described as white; around 6ft tall of a medium build with short blonde hair. He was part of a large group of people including children who had been in the bar area during the evening.

PC Gardner of Blackpool Police said: “This was an unprovoked attack on a man while he was enjoying the bank holiday weekend with this wife. It is fortunate that he was not seriously injured and was left with a small cut to his head.

“I am keen to trace the man in the CCTV image and would urge anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has information about the identity of the man to come forward.”

Anyone with information should contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number 1653 of April 4th.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

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  1. Rob Smith, ITV News

Trial begins of man accused of murdering Blackpool schoolgirl Paige Chivers

Paige was described in court as "troubled and vulnerable".

A court's heard how a man groomed a troubled and vulnerable teenage girl before murdering her and disposing of her body.

Paige Chivers was 15 when she went missing in Blackpool seven-years-ago.

Robert Ewing, 60, was said to have had an inappropriate sexual interest in Paige.

He's accused of her murder while co-defendant Gareth Dewhurst, 46, is charged with a sex offence and perverting the course of justice

Our correspondent Rob Smith has been following the case at Preston Crown Court:

Police 'bugged' home of Paige murder accused

Paige murder accused had 'inappropriate interest' in the missing Blackpool schoolgirl, jury told

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