14-year-old UK teen, Andrew Gosden took a train from Doncaster to London unaccompanied by an adult, and disappeared after exiting King’s Cross Station in September 2007. He has not been seen since.
About the Case
On the morning of September 14, 2007, 14-year-old Andrew Gosden put on his school uniform and headed out the door for school. He returned home a short time later after his parents went to work, changed out of his school clothes and into a black band T-shirt and jeans. He left home again at around 8:30 a.m. and was seen walking down Littlemoor Lane in Balby, Doncaster, England.
Andrew Gosden walked to an ATM at a local garage and withdrew just under £200 from his bank account. He then bought a one-way ticket to London at Doncaster Railway Station. The train departed around 9:30 a.m.
The booking clerk later told authorities he asked Andrew if he wanted a round trip ticket but Andrew insisted on a one-way ticket.
Andrew was carrying a black canvas bag containing his Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) console, which he played on the train to London. However, he had left the charger at home (The Sun). He was not carrying a cell phone with him at the time and he did not take the PSP charger with him.
27 days after he disappeared, CCTV footage was found showing Andrew Gosden exiting King’s Cross Station in London at 11:20 a.m. on the day he disappeared. This is the last confirmed sighting of Andrew.
There were a few unconfirmed sightings of him after thar. One was at a Pizza Hut on Oxford Street. Another in Covent Garden. Early reports said there was one of Andrew sleeping in a park in Southwark and one of Andrew getting off a train in Waterloo on September 19, five days after he vanished.
Where is Andrew Gosden?
On the day Andrew Gosden disappeared, his family assumed he went to school. When he was not at the dinner table that night, they assumed he was playing video games down in the converted cellar of their home. They called out that dinner was ready, but there was no reply.
The family searched Andrew’s bedroom where they found his McAuley Catholic High School blazer and tie folded over a chair. His shirt and trousers were found in the washing machine.
Andrew’s parents, Kevin and Glenys Gosden called around asking if anyone had seen Andrew. They learned he skipped school on September 14. Kevin and Glenys reported Andrew missing to police.
For some reason, police did not check CCTV cameras throughout the area in and around King’s Cross once it was discovered Andrew Gosden took a train there. Nor is it clear why it took 27 days to discover the King’s Cross footage. One report stated police initially focused on the family, even after witnesses placed Andrew on the train to London.
At the time Andrew disappeared, only one month of CCTV footage was saved before tapes were wiped clean. Therefore, any chance of finding Andrew on other footage was gone.
Another error in the lax investigation involved the Covent Garden sighting. Police did not speak with the woman who reported the sighting until six weeks after Andrew’s disappearance.
Andrew’s dad has written more than 100 letters of complaint to South Yorkshire Police about the alleged lack of action in the case, according to The Sun.
In November 2008, a man used the intercom at Leominster Police Station, Herefordshire, saying he had information about Andrew, but he disappeared before police could question him. The mysterious man failed to respond to police requests to make contact.
Andrew has a distinctive double ridge on the side of his right ear which could be used to identify him now. He was extremely intelligent, and his parents said Andrew was not being bullied at school.
In a similar case, 16-year-old Alexander Sloley disappeared 10 months after Andrew in July 2008. Alex, as his friends called him, was last seen leaving a friend’s home in Edmonton, about 8 miles northeast of London King’s Cross. Alex resided in Finsbury Park, London, which is only about 3 miles from King’s Cross.
10 Years Later
On the 10th anniversary of Andrew’s disappearance, police issued a fresh plea for information regarding Andrew’s case. This led to fresh leads and thousands of pounds for a charity appeal, but so far nothing has come from them.
Andrew’s parents and older sister continue searching for him. Since he disappeared, there have been over a dozen unconfirmed sightings.
The family set up a website to help find Andrew.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I have wanted to write about Andrew Gosden for quite a while. It’s one of those case I could spend endless hours trying to figure out. I realize there are numerous articles out there, but I wanted to give my thoughts on it. Andrew is the same age as my oldest child so I felt a bit connected to him from the first time I read about his disappearance.
Andrew Gosden went to London of his own accord because he bought a one-way ticket to London and refused to buy a round trip ticket. We know that much. However, he only took out £200 from his bank account, which I believe is all he had in his account. This was enough to get him to London and buy something to eat, leaving some money left over. I punched in how much a ticket would cost from Doncaster to King’s Cross and it is anywhere from about £30 – £75, roughly. It would have been a bit cheaper 10 years ago, I’m sure. So, he had plenty of money for a round trip ticket. He did not have enough money to live on if he was running away.
I am curious why Andrew withdrew all the money from his bank account, but did not take the money he had in his bedroom.
What reasons did Andrew have for going to London by himself? Was he meeting someone?
I thought about the chance that maybe he was going to purchase a video game from someone who he “met” from playing online. Or he was meeting someone for other reasons. Perhaps he thought this person was his age but in reality was much older, and maybe this person was a pedophile/trafficker who lied and said he would pay for Andrew’s train ticket home or drive him home. This seems the most likely scenario to me. I am not convinced he actually intended to run away from home. He took no other clothes (although he may have had some in his bag) with him or £100 that was in his bedroom.
I also thought maybe someone promised/offered to take him to a concert in London. So I looked up his favorite bands tour dates back then. Muse was in the States that night. I tried finding out if Slipknot was in London on September 14, but didn’t find anything specific. Starting in 2005, roughly, they were on a world tour but not sure when they were in London. They toured again in 2008. Andrew’s other favorite band, Funeral For a Friend was in the U.S. summer 2007 but I found no tour dates after that for that year.
However, I did find that 30 Seconds to Mars was in London on the night of September 14, 2007. This is a band that Andrew may have liked. They performed at O2 Academy Brixton that night as part of their A Beautiful Lie Tour.
I also found one article that stated a band Andrew liked, Sikth, was also playing in London on the 14th at O2 Academy Islington, near King’s Cross.
So maybe whoever he met online said he would take Andrew to a concert. Andrew shows up in London, and the person abducts and possibly murders him or the abduction was part of a sex trafficking ring. I think sex trafficking is very possible here.
The only problem I have with Andrew meeting someone online is the fact that there would be a digital trail of conversations, emails, whatever. Even if Andrew deleted them, police can still recover them with software.
So it is possible that Andrew just wanted to spend the day in London but met with foul play. London, like any large city, is full of human traffickers. One could have seen him at King’s Cross and followed him. He was an easy target – alone, young, and probably a bit naive. I would also think he was a bit nervous too because he was in London by himself.
London itself is a major global hub for human trafficking with a majority of victims coming from other countries such as Nigeria. However, human trafficking involving children has been a part of London for decades. King’s Cross Station itself has a history of child prostitution within its walls, although I do believe it’s not as bad as it once was. But what was it like 10 years ago?
What I want to know is whether or not someone was waiting for Andrew outside King’s Cross. You can see a person’s reflection in the window of the sliding door at King’s Cross as Andrew is exiting the building. But this person could be waiting on a loved one for all we know.
How is it that police found King’s Cross footage of Andrew exiting but none inside the station? If CCTV footage was erased after 30 days, and the police recovered this particular footage 27 days after the disappearance, they should have been able to get more footage. From what I found, there is a total of 15,516 CCTV cameras in the London Underground. Supposedly, the average Londoner gets caught on CCTV 40 times in one day. Andrew should have been seen on more than one camera in, out and around the station. Some trains have cameras on them but it’s unclear if the one Andrew took did.
I think the police investigation into this case has been a joke. Time wasted, police not immediately following up on a sighting, a long delay in looking for video surveillance footage – all of these things could have been avoided. NO EXCUSE. Perhaps, if they had stopped focusing on the family, police would have found more footage of Andrew in London. Maybe even with another individual. Maybe, Andrew would have been found.
Were the unconfirmed sightings actually him? We may never know, and I am not convinced they were. I don’t know which sighting was the 1st. I’m guessing Pizza Hut because he was probably hungry when he got off the train, so that makes sense. His parents have said that sighting was most likely him.
The Pizza Hut on Oxford Street is about a 50-minute walk from London King’s Cross. Seems a bit far to grab a bite to eat, but maybe he had eaten there before with his family or maybe he took public transportation.
Where was Andrew between sightings? Was he always alone at each sighting or with someone?
How was Andrew, who was only 14, allowed to buy a train ticket? I get that he was old enough to travel alone, but don’t the parents or another adult need to actually purchase the ticket for him? I couldn’t find anything on that. It seems crazy to me that he was allowed to purchase a ONE-way ticket without an adult present. If you’re reading this post and are from the UK, maybe you can fill me in on the age limits over there.
I did find something about the family speaking to a man who sat directly across from Andrew on the train as far as Peterborough. The man did say Andrew was playing on his PSP console.
I found it a little interesting that Andrew put his school shirt and trousers in the washing machine instead of his room or a hamper/laundry basket. Maybe that’s how the family handled the dirty clothes, I don’t know. But it tells me that he was planning on returning home from London because otherwise, he could have taken clothes with him when he first left the house, changed at the train station, and then ditched his school uniform.
I don’t believe Andrew is alive. I believe he met with foul play in London. I think if he was still alive, he would have contacted his family by now. People on the Internet suggested that whoever Andrew met in London could have been a family member as he did have some relatives living there. I do not believe this theory at all.