Man guilty of hiding teen fugitive

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A MAN has admitted harbouring a teenage fugitive who was described as being at “high risk of exploitation and moral ­corruption”.

The 14-year-old girl and her two teenage friends – who had absconded from a residential school – hid at Andrew Pender’s flat for two days.

Livingston Sheriff Court was told that the offence was only uncovered after one of the children surrendered herself to police as a missing person.

The girl named in the charge, who was alleged to have slept in the same bedroom as Pender, refused to co-operate with police and prosecutors.

Pender, 28, of Livingston West Lothian, pleaded guilty to knowingly harbouring or concealing a child at his home between September 18 and 20, 2011. The Crown accepted his denial of two similar charges involving girl pupils aged 13 and 14.

Co-accused Kevin Mooney, 28, also of Livingston, had not guilty pleas accepted.

Sheriff Martin Edington deferred sentence on Pender until November 29.