A man who was caught trying to kill a crying toddler on a baby monitor has been jailed.
Lewis Prince denied he was trying to kill the two-year-old, but the jury saw through his lies and found him guilty of attempted murder in less than two hours.
The toddler’s mum had asked Prince to watch her son and left the house on December 7 last year.
She was checking the baby monitor phone app as she did every morning – to witness the horrifying attack on her son.
Prince, 29, was filmed slapping, punching, strangling and smothering his young victim – and his mum turned and ran back home to try and save her boy.
She pushed Prince out of the way to try and save her child, but he pinned her down, grabbed her arm and tried to stop her calling the police, Lancs Live reports.
She was finally able to escape and run to a neighbour’s house to call 999.
The two-year-old was raced to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he was found with numerous injuries and bruising to his face and throat. His injuries were consistent with strangulation and he was in the penultimate stage of asphyxia.
Prince ran away before officers arrived, but he was found in a car driving towards Manchester and arrested.
At first he denied any wrongdoing, but during the trial Prince admitted he’d lied in his police interview and had in fact slapped the toddler and squeezed his face to try and stop him crying.
Prince, of Browning Road in Swinton, appeared at Preston crown court today (August 3) where he was sentenced for attempted murder, as well as a charge of assault by beating which he’d already pleaded guilty to.
Judge Robert Altham jailed Prince for 26 years, with a further four years on licence.
He must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole, and an indefinite restraining order blocking communication with the child was put in place.
The judge 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.’
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Isobel Garratt of Lancashire Constabulary said: ‘Prince’s sickening attack could quite easily have resulted in the victim losing his life.
‘Fortunately, he has since made a full recovery but anyone who watched the harrowing footage of the assault will know 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 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 danger 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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