Factory worker caught on baby monitor trying to kill a two-year-oldAugust 4, 2023
Factory worker, 29, jailed for 26 years after he was caught trying to kill a two-year-old when the child’s mother spotted the attack on a baby monitor
- Lewis Prince, 29, punched, strangled and smothered the two-year-old
- The child was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and has made a full recovery
A factory worker who was caught trying to kill a two-year-old when the child’s mother spotted the attack on a baby monitor, has been jailed for 26 years.
Lewis Prince, 29, punched, strangled and smothered the two-year-old but the cowardly thug tried to deny intending to commit murder, instead admitting only assault.
A jury took less than two hours to see through Prince’s lies and returned a guilty verdict in June this year. He returned to Preston Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced.
The harrowing incident was uncovered when the infant’s mother checked a camera app on her phone as she routinely would when leaving the home and witnessed the horrifying attack.
Prince, of Browning Road, Swinton, Greater Manchester, fled the scene but was arrested on the M61 motorway.
Lewis Prince, 29, who punched, strangled and smothered a two-year-old, has been jailed for 26 years
The father-of-two had been asked to watch the child at its Blackpool home but soon his anger boiled over into a sickening attack. At which point the child’s mum happened to log onto an app on her phone which allowed her to see video of their cot.
As she opened the app, the mother saw scenes so horrific she had to run back home as the child screamed helplessly.
During the trial, four harrowing, six-second recordings of the attack were played to court.
In the footage, he grabbed the baby’s neck, pinning the child down and repeatedly throwing them down as the tot attempted to get back up. At one stage, he even stood on the child.
In the struggle, Prince, himself a father, left the room to get an ice pack for the baby and returned with a bag of frozen peas which he pushed onto their face, causing more distress.
Sentencing, Judge Robert Altham noted this was ‘clearly not done out of concern but to cover up what he had done’. When the mum got home, she ran up the stairs and pushed Prince out of the way to get to her child.
But, in a desperate bid to cover his wrongdoing, Prince pinned her down, grabbed her arm and tried to stop her calling the police.
Prince denied hurting the child and demanded the mother showed him bruises. ‘I don’t need to,’ she said. ‘You already know what you’ve done.’
The woman was eventually able to run to a neighbour to call 999 and resisted his pleas to come with her. He instead drove away alone but was arrested before he could make it home.
A jury took less than two hours to see through Prince’s lies and returned a guilty verdict in June this year. Prince returned to Preston Crown Court (pictured) yesterday to be sentenced
The child was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. No medical treatment was required and thankfully they have since gone on to make a full recovery.
Prosecuting, Alex Langhorn said a paramedic who attended reported seeing bruises ‘as you would get at a boxing match, that’s the only time I’ve seen any bruising like that’.
Andrew Scott, defending, said there was little mitigation other than the fact it was not a pre-mediated attack. He said Prince had argued with his partner the previous evening and was dealing with the aftermath of that as well as longer-running problems.
He said: ‘He reflects on the problems he had, the breakdown of the relationship, the pressures he’d put himself under, that he was drinking heavily and heading towards dire financial straits. He was a young man who had brought himself to the brink of breakdown.
‘Something had to give. Unfortunately for him, unfortunately for [the baby], unfortunately for [the mum], it culminated in this.’
Judge Altham disagreed with the author of a pre-sentencing report and said Prince should be classified as a dangerous offender. He said a whole life sentence was not merited but said Prince should only be released upon a parole board decision after at least two thirds of his sentence.
He said: ‘For someone to be able to do this to a small child without any real motivation, it’s necessary for there to be a check on him before he is released to the public’.
The judge handed down a 30 year extended sentence which is made of a 26 year custodial element and a four year extended licence. He will only be eligible for parole after 20 years.
A restraining order blocking any communication with the child was issued indefinitely but no restraining order was issued in relation to the mother.
Dressed in jeans and a jumper at court yesterday, Prince also pleaded guilty to two new charges of having no insurance or licence when he drove away from the child’s home in December.
DS Isobel Garratt, of West CID, said: ‘Prince’s sickening attack could quite easily have resulted in the victim losing their life. Fortunately, [the child] has since made a full recovery but anyone who watched the harrowing footage of the assault will know that the outcome could quite easily have been different.
‘I cannot imagine what the victim’s mother went through having to watch the footage both at the time and then re-live it during the trial. I would like to take this chance to praise her for the bravery she has shown throughout this process. I know Prince’s abhorrent crime committed against her defenceless child continues to have a profound impact on her.
‘I welcome the sentence handed down today, which reflects the serious nature of Prince’s crime and the dangerousness he poses.
‘Finally I want to praise the professionalism of all my colleagues who worked on this case, from the officers who were first called to the scene, to the detectives, uniformed colleagues and police staff who worked on compiling the evidence that brought Prince before the courts and got justice for the victim and his loved ones.’
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