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."
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.
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.
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:
A man groomed a "very troubled and vulnerable" 15-year-old girl before he murdered her and then disposed of her body, a jury has heard.Read the full story ›
Paige was a "very troubled but also very vulnerable young girl," say the prosecution. She'd "issues" with underage drinking, drugs and sex.
Jurors hear that Robert Ewing told a former neighbour that he was going to help Paige to "run away and vanish" so she could escape "abuse."
Police bugged Robert Ewing's home, and Gareth Dewhurst's car, says Brian Cummings QC.
Jurors at Preston told covert recordings reveal both men talking about the Paige inquiry and what would happen if police found anything.
The Paige Chivers murder trial has been adjourned for the day, after the prosecution opening. It resumes tomorrow morning.
The trial of a man accused of murdering the missing teenager, Paige Chivers, has begun. Robert Ewing, 60, from Bispham, denies the charge.
Another man, Gareth Dewhurst - 45, from Blackpool - denies a sexual offence, perverting the course of justice, and assisting an offender.
Prosecution say Paige Chivers, 15 and from Blackpool, went missing in August 2007. They tell jurors she's dead and that Mr Ewing killed her.
The court's told that Mr Dewhurst helped to dispose of Paige's body, and carried out a serious sexual offence.
Jury are told that the prosecution allege that Robert Ewing had an "inappropriate sexual interest" in Paige. She used to "stay the night."
The search is on for a new manager at Wigan Athletic after they sacked Malky Mackay after just five months in the post.
He was appointed by Dave Whelan in controversial circumstances back in November - now both men have left the club.
Chris Halls considers who is in the running as his replacement, and looks back at a miserable weekend for Blackpool, who have been relegated.
Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield says the club are lacking the 'stability' they need to be able to bounce back from relegation.
The defender, who played the whole of his career at Blackpool, said the team are lacking a 'hardcore' of players.
Blackpool manager Lee Clark says the club must "bounce back and learn lessons" after being relegated to League One yesterday.Read the full story ›
Twice daily flights between the Isle of Man and Blackpool are being reinstated today after the sudden closure of Blackpool Airport last October.
We have remained committed to seeing this historic and vital air link to Blackpool reopen, and we are hugely satisfied to once again be able to offer this route to our customers.