A quick thinking Uber Eats delivery driver saved a young girl from a sexual predator after noticing his sinister behaviour in a McDonald’s restaurant.
Darren Jones-Bond, 33, “intimately kissed” a 12-year-old girl in the restaurant before taking her to Liverpool Albert Dock Youth Hostel and molesting her.
The pervert preyed on the child after spotting her sitting alone on a bench near St John’s Precinct, in Liverpool city centre, and took her to buy food.
At the hostel he plied her with alcohol, forced her onto a bed and sexually abused her.
But the Uber driver – who initially thought the girl must be Jones-Bond’s daughter – overheard the pervert.
Police were alerted and went to the hostel, where they found the girl on a bed, with her top on back to front and trousers unzipped.
Liverpool Crown Court heard aggressive Jones-Bond was arrested but brazenly claimed the girl had told him she was 24.
The twisted father, of Leyland Road, Southport – who has a daughter of his own – targeted his victim on Tuesday, February 11 this year.
The Uber driver saw the girl walk up to him at the restaurant in Blundell Street, in the Baltic Triangle, at around 11.30pm.
Martine Snowdon, prosecuting, said: “Initially he thought she must be his daughter, but then what he saw pass between them caused him concern.
“He saw the defendant kissing her intimately. He heard the defendant asking her what she was going to wear and telling her she smelt nice.
“She said she needed hair extensions and the defendant responded by saying that he would get her some.”
Police went to the McDonald’s and seized CCTV, from which they identified the girl, who had been reported missing by her parents before 9pm.
Officers tracked her to the hostel, where Jones-Bond answered the door of the room after a delay.
Ms Snowdon said: “The bedding on the main bed was messy and there were two empty cider bottles and an empty vodka bottle in the room.”
She said Jones-Bond was aggressive and placed in handcuffs and the girl also had to be restrained as she tried to run off.
When taken to a police station, the girl initially said she didn’t want to provide samples, because she didn’t want the man to get in trouble because he said he had a daughter and she didn’t want his child to think badly of him.
She recalled him saying he was 19, but when she said she was 12 and he was too old, he replied: “Age doesn’t matter.”
The girl described him kissing her in McDonald’s and said she thought they were going to book two rooms at the hostel.
She described him grabbing her arms and pushing her onto the bed, then touching her breasts and genital area.
The victim said she told him to get off but he wouldn’t listen.
She later said the incident “plays on her mind every day”, left her feeling vulnerable, upset and emotional, and she now fears going out on her own.
Jones-Bond, who sat with his head in his hands on a video link from HMP Leeds, admitted three counts of sexual assault of a child under 13.
He had denied any wrongdoing and was set to stand trial, but pleaded guilty before his victim gave evidence.
His 28 past convictions for 39 offences – mainly for violence and driving matters – include a racially aggravated public order matter, but no sexual offences.
Paul Lewis, defending, said his client’s guilty pleas had spared the victim from being cross-examined during a trial.
Judge Anil Murray said Jones-Bond, who had a “bad record”, could see his victim was “clearly vulnerable” and the Uber driver thought she looked about 13.
He jailed Jones-Bond for four years and nine months.
He told him to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order indefinitely.