THE FRANTIC attempts of Sarah Payne's two young brothers to catch her as she fled tearfully from a cornfield before she was kidnapped and killed were relived in court yesterday.
In moving video footage, a jury at Lewes Crown Court saw Lee, then aged 13, and Luke, 11, describe how they were seconds from stopping her leaving the field where they had been playing hide-and- seek.
That night the boys discussed the significance of a "scruffy" van driver who sped past Lee as he searched for his eight-year-old sister. Luke told his police interviewer they thought there was "a pervert going around in a white van picking up children and we started to worry a bit".
Sarah's parents, Sara, 32, and Michael, 33, from Hersham, Surrey, watched attentively as the videos, which had been recorded the day after their daughter went missing and which they had never seen before, were played.
The boys, wearing T-shirts and casual trousers, sat in the same large chair for separate interviews as they tried to piece together the events before Sarah was abducted and told of their attempts to find her. In one of the most poignant moments, Luke asked his police interviewer: "When do you reckon you are going to get Sarah back?"
On 1 July last year Sarah, her brothers, younger sister Charlotte, five, and their dog, Fifa, went to a field near their grandparents' home at East Preston, West Sussex, to play. Sarah was knocked over and hurt her head. In tears, she tried to go back to her grandparents' house.
The boys had been warned by their mother to look after the girls when they went to play. Luke later told police that he was 10 seconds away from stopping Sarah but had to turn back to help Charlotte, who had stung her knee on nettles. "I don't know why she [Sarah] walked so fast, she's normally a dawdler," he said.
Lee ran …