A DRUG addict who jumped into a mum’s car and threatened her four-year-old daughter with a syringe has been jailed for 10 years.
Scott Brown, 33, got into the terrified woman’s car as she was waiting at a busy junction in Cleckheaton and held a syringe full of blood to her daughter’s face, telling her to ‘just drive’.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been driving her daughter to school along Hunsworth Lane when Brown, released from prison just a week earlier, pounced in as she hit a traffic jam.
At Bradford Crown Court last Thursday prosecutor Elyas Patel said: “He told her, ‘I have got a needle. I don’t want to hurt your daughter. I just want you to drive’.”
The commotion was spotted by two female drivers who stopped their cars and went over to the victim’s car to try to help. She told them Brown had a needle and she had to drive, so they said they would follow her.
The victim drove the car to Snelsins Road, where Brown told her and her daughter to get out, then he drove off in her car.
Police spotted him in Lincolnshire and he was arrested after a police dog chase. He initially denied the kidnap but later said he felt bad and did not realise there was a child in the car.
He also admitted an earlier burglary in Richmond Street, Cleckheaton, where he disturbed the terrified homeowner asleep on the sofa.
He said he had come to Cleckheaton for drugs but was abandoned by a friend. He had panicked and just wanted to get hold of a car to get home.
The court heard Brown had just finished a four-year prison term for burglary a week before the kidnapping and had a 20 year record for dishonesty and burglary.
Married father Brown, of Rede Avenue, Fleetwood, Lancashire, admitted burglary, robbery and kidnap.
Mr Patel said: “It goes without saying that his victim remains very troubled by her experience. It has turned her life upside down. She has panic attacks, nightmares, insomnia and flashbacks. She had to sell her car, she lost an incredible amount of weight. Her daughter had nightmares for some weeks afterwards.”
Mitigating, Neil Murphy said Brown had physical and mental health problems but was not dangerous.
He said: “He feels remorse, regret and sorrow for his disgraceful behaviour. He says he would have never harmed the child or the complainant.”
He said Brown had suffered abuse as a child and had a longstanding drug problem. He added: “Brown is truly ashamed of his behaviour.”
Recorder Jeremy Barnett said the effect of the offences on Brown’s victims was ‘devastating’. He said: “I hope you will take from this a warning that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
He praised Heidi Tomlinson and Suzanne Bradley for going to help the mother, and awarded them £100 each.
After the hearing the mother said she had not expected Brown to receive such a long sentence but she was pleased with it.
She added: “I would like to thank the women who helped me – they didn’t have to do what they did. They were very brave.”