How I faked my own death, by paedophile accused

AN alleged paedophile faked his own death and lived undetected for eight years until he was finally arrested in West Yorkshire, a jury heard today.

Leslie Andrews, 54, went missing days after police told him that a complaint had been levelled at him.

The former cafe owner wanted people to believe he had drowned in the sea at Blackpool after he parked his car with the note inside and disappeared in May 2002.

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Andrews was not traced until last year when he was arrested in Wakefield.

He had assumed a new identity and had avoided visiting a doctor or dentist and using his National Insurance number in a bid not to be found by the authorities.

Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court, Andrews said there was not one reason why he left Blackpool but denied it was over the sexual allegations.

Earlier in May 2002, he had tried to take his own life on the same day on two separate occasions near to the Pontin’s holiday camp, he said.

These attempts involved trying to gas himself in his car, and trying to drown himself.

He told the jury they were genuine attempts but that he had changed his mind as he saw it as “fate”.

Cross-examining, Paul Cummings, said: “I suggest this is a fabrication and those events were not real and they were part of a deception by you to evade arrest.”

Andrews denied that was the case.

He said the first he knew of the allegations were when two police officers knocked on the door of his former flat in St Heliers Road, Blackpool, and said a complaint had been made.

The defendant said the nature of the complaint was not mentioned but he thought the worst and thought it might be a sexual matter.

He agreed that he may have in the past discussed with his former wife about faking his own death to solve his mounting debt problems.

Andrews told the court he owed money “here, there and everywhere” which added up to around £15,000.

He said there was not one specific reason why he chose to leave the resort but a combination of general problems.

Andrews agreed he had not wanted to be located by the authorities.

“It was because I did not succeed in what I had set up to do in the first place,” he said. “I just wanted a new life.”

He denies 15 counts of indecent assault against the girl between May 1997 and May 2002.

The trial continues tomorrow.