An eight-year-old boy was snatched and sexually abused while playing tennis with his younger brother, with his mum just yards away.
Shane Upton, 24, grabbed the boy in broad daylight as he skipped to a nearby toilet ‘without a care in the world’, Inner London Crown Court heard.
Upton kidnapped the youngster, who had been happily enjoying a tennis lesson with his four-year-old brother and their coach, while their mum was watching, in Burgess Park, south east London.
The boy had told his mum he needed the toilet during the 90 minute lesson and went to the nearby cafe, where Upton pounced on the afternoon of Monday June 17 this year.
A police helicopter was deployed in the search for the boy after the mum informed officers her son had not returned from the toilet for 15 minutes.
As officers frantically searched for him, Upton locked the door to the men’s toilets from the inside, and made the child engage in sexual activity in the cubicle.
He then dragged the boy out of the building and walked him around the park where he sexually assaulted him in a ‘den’ made of twigs, thorns and flowers.
Police officers eventually found Upton committing a sexual act on the boy in the bushes of the park, chasing and holding him down.
Upton bit and spat blood at the officers who punched and kicked him in a bid to prevent him from fleeing, a court heard.
He was found guilty yesterday of five charges, including kidnap and sexual assault on a child under 13 following a trial in his absence.
Adrian Amer, prosecuting, said: ‘If you could bear to imagine what it was like for him, if you can bear it, put yourselves in his position.
‘You saw him merrily skipping along to the loo, an eight-year old boy presumably not a care in the world, happily enjoyed his tennis lessons.
‘He was preyed upon. He was pounced upon. He was sexually assaulted. He was kidnapped and the prosecution say he was further sexually assaulted.’
Jurors watched CCTV footage of Upton kidnapping the child and aerial footage of his arrest.
Upton was found guilty of kidnap, committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence, two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and sexual assault of a child under 13 in Burgess Park.
Upton, of no fixed address, is due to sentenced at Inner London Crown Court in the New Year.