A Ripley man broke into a mum’s home, abducted her 10-month old daughter from her cot and threatened to drown her.
Lewis Jeffers, 24, of Railway Terrace, forced his way into the home in Derby in the early hours of the morning while the woman and her three children were asleep, entered her bedroom and picked up the tot.
He then looked the mum straight in the face and told her he would drown the girl if she called the police before he left clutching the baby.
Police were scrambled to the area and, when an officer cornered Jeffers, he dropped the child on to the concrete floor.
Jailing Jeffers for four years at Derby Crown Court, Judge Robert Egbuna, said: “It is a mother’s worst nightmare that, when she is in her home with her three young children, an unpredictable character breaks in and takes her child.
“You uttered a very chilling thing to her and that was that you would drown her poor child and if she called the police she would not see her daughter again.” Amy Earnshaw, prosecuting, said the offence took place in the early hours on August 6 after Jeffers broke into the Sinfin house through a window.
“The complainant woke up after hearing the sound of movement downstairs and called the police,” she said.
“The defendant walked in to her room and over to the cot where he picked up her 10-month-old daughter.”
Mrs Earnshaw said Jeffers was found quickly by police and arrested. In his police interview, he answered “no comment” but later pleaded guilty to child abduction and a second charge of harassment in relation to the mother.
Defence solicitor, Justin Ablott, said Jeffers was currently being assessed for possible mental health issues although no condition has yet been diagnosed.
He said: “He is a father himself and he finds it impossible to rationalise why he behaved in the way that he did. He accepts that nothing that can be said on his behalf will mitigate the anguish the mother would have felt during the time she was separated from her child.”