A man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday after he was convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl, in Teesside, Middlesbrough, England.

In the incident that took place on June 20, the Teesside Crown Court found that Joseph Davies, 23, abducted a schoolgirl who was in her uniform, by grabbing her from behind and carried her to an empty house. He then tried to keep the victim from screaming by placing a hand over her mouth, local newspaper Teesside Live reported. 

Davies also threatened her not to tell anything about him lest she wanted to be abducted again. He also inappropriately touched her before locking her in the back garden. When the victim pleaded with the accused to let her go home, Davies told her that she will be allowed to do so in a second but locked her in and left anyway.

At one point, the victim was also bound to a tap by a piece of ribbon, an act that Davies claimed was the young girl’s idea. The claim was rejected by the court.

Although it was not immediately clear if the victim in question was rescued by authorities or she managed to free herself and get back home, according to her mother, she was visibly upset when she returned. She was hysterically crying and clinging to her mother’s side, saying that she never wanted to step outside of the house again.

Davies denied any sexual motivation behind his crimes, despite confessing to charges such as kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault and offending with intent to commit a sexual offense. Before giving his ruling, Judge Stephen Ashurst said he did not accept Davies’ denial and also rejected his claims of suffering from amnesia that made him forget what his motivation behind the assault was.

"What you did was a sexually motivated abduction of a six-year-old girl. The evidence suggests that you were waiting for an opportunity to pounce. You refuse to acknowledge that there was any sexual motivation behind what you did. There is very little empathy. In other words, you don't really understand the impact of what you did. You knew perfectly well what you were doing, and the only mercy in this case was that the detention was not longer,” he said.

He added that it was “a matter of common sense" that Davies had planned to take the 10-year-old to the empty house – an experience that left “terrifying" and "enormous" impact on the happy, outgoing girl.

Davies’ lawyer, John Turner, also told the court that he could not defend his client’s actions except that he was seeking help for his behavior from drug, alcohol and mental health teams.

“It's difficult for me to put forward that he expresses any remorse, nor that he's taking any steps to address his problem. I can only speculate as to why Mr. Davies has chosen not to give any particular details about what occurred. An explanation is shame and realization of the enormity of what has occurred,” Turner said.

While investigating, the detectives found that Davies was seen hanging around Teesside before he kidnapped the victim. A forensic examining of his phone revealed that he had a sexual fetish for young girls, particularly in school uniform. His sentence mandated that Davies had to spend six years in prison before he could seek parole.

“Joseph Davies targeted a young, innocent girl. His custodial sentence will protect others from his dangerous and predatory behavior. This sentence brings to a closure the judicial process, but there will be long-lasting effects for the victim and her family. I hope that this sentence brings them a degree of closure and I hope that it helps them as they attempt to overcome what happened and move forward with their lives,” Detective Inspector Jon Tapper, one of the investigators on the case, said.

Prison A man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday after he was convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl. In this photo, a prison guard at HMP (Her Majesty's Prison) Pentonville stands behind a locked gate in London, May 19, 2003. Photo: Getty Images/ Ian Waldie