Guilty verdict in Paige Chivers murder trial

A man has been convicted of murdering Blackpool schoolgirl Paige Chivers.

Robert Ewing, 60, was found guilty of murder by a jury at Preston Crown Court.

Paige Chivers

Paige Chivers

The 15-year-old went missing in August 2007 and her body has never been found.

The court heard Ewing took “an inappropriate sexual interest” in Paige and groomed her before killing her in his flat.

Ewing, of Kincraig Place, Bispham, was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

His co-defendant Gareth Dewhurst, of Duncan Avenue, was convicted of helping him dispose of the body and also of perverting the course of justice.

The 46-year-old was cleared of a sexual offence in relation to the case.

Det Supt Andy Webster, who led the investigation into Paige’s murder, said: “Paige Chivers was a vulnerable 15-year-old child who disappeared in August 2007.

“The court heard how Robert Ewing had carefully groomed Paige before murdering her at his flat in Bispham, Blackpool.

“The prosecution case has been largely circumstantial as Paige’s body has never been recovered. A fundamental part of the prosecution case was that Paige was last seen alive with Robert Ewing, alone in his flat at teatime on Friday August 24, 2007.

“After this point there were no other corroborated sightings of her. Her blood was later found in his flat.

“When she was reported missing he failed to assist the police and then repeatedly lied to them. He has repeatedly sought to implicate other vulnerable people in her murder.

“The jury accepted that his co-accused, Gareth Dewhurst disposed of Paige’s body and then sought to intimidate and harass witnesses. This included a family to whom he had confessed and who he subsequently sought to terrify.”