Baby snatcher avoids jail

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A jealous thug threw a brick through an ex-lover’s window and smashed her bedroom door in half before snatching her baby, a court heard.

Violent Tyler Harvey, 21, narrowly avoided jail today (Thursday October 29) when magistrates suspended his 18-week prison sentence.

Harvey, who previously spent a year in a young offenders’ institute, shattered an ex-girlfriend’s front window before breaking the door after believing she was seeing someone else.

The labourer, of East Grinstead then snatched the child from her arms before trying to make a run for it.

Despite the court hearing of his history of violent offences and admitting he had slapped the woman in the past, magistrates failed to send him to jail.

Chairing magistrate Michael Harris told Crawley Magistrates’ Court: “We have heard in graphic detail about this quite sustained attack where I think it’s quite clear from the victim’s statement she feared for the safety of her own family.

“We have heard about the attack from probation and [for the defence] Ms Roberts. Having heard all of that we are sentencing you to prison for a total of 18 weeks.

“However, that sentence has been suspended. You are not going to prison immediately.”

Casually dressed and unshaven Harvey, who had lines shaved into his eyebrows, accepted the punishment and when told of the court payments he must make he said: “I have done it before, yeah.”

Prosecutor Beata Murphy said: “She said they had split up because of his violence towards her.

“She banned the defendant from the house.

“The defendant thought the victim was seeing someone else and there was a number of exchanges on Facebook.”

He then sent messages saying, “Watch what happens next”, and, “I’m on my way round”, Ms Murphy said.

She added: “The victim called the police.

“He banged repeatedly on the door.

“He picked up a brick and threw it at the lounge window. Eventually the window shattered.

“This scared the victim. She ran to take shelter in the bedroom.

“He came upstairs. The victim was trying to hold the door shut and the defendant was trying to force the door open.

“He split the door in half and the victim retreated to the other side of the bedroom.

“The victim tried to take the child off the victim. The victim took the child back and ran into another bedroom.”

Harvey viciously snatched an iPhone 6 of the victim’s mother as she tried to call the police for help again before he tried to flee in a taxi, the court heard.

But the taxi driver heard the family’s screams and refused to take Harvey and he instead fled on foot, magistrates were told.

Harvey, who lives with his grandparents, evaded police and was not arrested until three days later on September 19.

The victim wrote in a statement: “I know longer feel safe in my own home.”

In mitigation, Rachel Roberts said: “There’s a great shame and remorse from him because we have heard the consequences of these offences were terrifying and he’s aware of that and he is sorry to his ex-partner.

“He needs to change his ways and he is very keen to do that your worships.”

Harvey, who previously admitted theft and using violence to secure entry to a premises, was ordered to pay £600 compensation for the damaged iPhone 6 and a further £80 for the damaged door.

Harvey, whose sentence was suspended for 18 months, was also ordered to carry out 130 hours of unpaid work

He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs, an £80 victim surcharge and a £180 criminal court charge.

Ms Roberts admitted it was a “slip” by previous defence counsel not to previously apply for anonymity of the child Harvey tried to snatch.

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