Man filmed swinging baby through the air is freed by court

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A man captured on video swinging a baby around like a rag doll walked free from court yesterday after being given a community rehabilitation order.

A man captured on video swinging a baby around like a rag doll walked free from court yesterday after being given a community rehabilitation order.

Jamie Ian Thompson, 28, was caught swinging a one-year-old girl around by her leg after a the girl's mother left a video camera running in the lounge.

Sitting at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Michael Stokes, QC, condemned Thompson's behaviour but spared him jail, taking into account his lawyer's excuse that Thompson, a post office security guard, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after falling victim to two robberies, the first in 1999, when a raider threatened to chop off his head with an axe. Since then, he had been the victim of a second robbery, this time at gunpoint.

After the sentence the child's mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said it was "far too lenient". "I feel let down," she said. "I did not think he would be let off so lightly. The only stress he has been under is the stress of finding an excuse to save his own neck."

The mother added that her daughter was now apprehensive around strangers. "She's still withdrawn," she said. "I hope she will get over it."

The video footage released by the mother to the press after the case shows Thompson, of Clifford Street, South Wigston, Leicestershire, walking into the room and yanking the child from a chair. Grabbing hold of her leg, he swings her around like a rag doll. Her chilling screams can be heard.

The baby's mother had left Thompson to look after the toddler for five minutes. He was not aware a camera had been hidden in the room. After swinging her about, he taunted the infant, saying: "Again?" The tearful girl shook her head, begging him not to, and she screamed in terror as he again grabbed her and swung her about his head.

Thompson's order means he will have to agree to be treated for his disorder.

Delivering his sentence, Judge Michael Stokes QC said: "What you did to this child was quite appalling. I am not fully satisfied that you acknowledge the gravity of what you did. The child was absolutely terrified and the damage you may have done to her is incalculable.

"But there's another important principle. Defendants who are under severe stress or a genuine mental condition or disorder at the time of the offence should not be sent to prison."