Mum fights off man who tried to snatch baby girl from pram during park walk

A man who tried to abduct a child was fought off with bare fists by her mother.

Halfway through his trial Mohamed Jarboui confessed to trying to lift the two-year-old from her pram.

Unable to grab the girl due to her mother’s efforts, the 51-year-old attempted to carry child and pram from the Basingstoke, Hampshire park.

Jarboui originally denied trying to abduct the child – claiming he was just ‘playing’ with her – but mid-way through his trial changed his plea to guilty.

At Winchester Crown Court, Hants, he asked Recorder Adam Feest QC for an indication of what his maximum sentence would be if he were to change his plea before admitting to attempted abduction.

The crime happened just after 3.30pm on February 4 this year at Eastrop Park, Basingstoke.

The child’s 27-year-old mother told a court she had started feeling ‘sick’ as the man, originally from Libya, kept harassing her before the attempted abduction with ‘nobody around’ in the park.

The mother of the child, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said: “I was shaking, I was sweating, I couldn’t breathe, I felt sick to my stomach.”

At Winchester Crown Court, prosecutor Edward Elton said Jarboui was caught three days later after police scoured CCTV.

The court heard how the mother noticed the man several times as she walked through Basingstoke before he came over, knelt down and made ‘cooing noises’ to the child, who has ‘significant health issues’.

She said: “He came up the right hand side of the pram and kneeled down at my daughter and started making all these cooing, babbling noises.

“He had his left hand on the latch… that’s when the sick feeling started.

“He touched her face and I said ‘please don’t touch her’ because obviously my daughter is of a high risk.

“He said sorry and I thought he was going from that point.”

She saw Jarboui grab the handles of the pram briefly before loosening his grip.

“I started to have a really sick feeling,” the mum said.

“I started to look around and I was thinking there’s no one around me, the businesses are all shut.”

He returned, spoke Arabic to the child, then grabbed the child’s arm as he tried to abduct her, the court heard.

The woman, from Basingstoke, said: “He stood over the pram and he stopped us, he started grabbing my daughter’s right arm.

“I told him to stop dragging her like that and the next minute he put his hands under her arm pits.

“I just hit him, I think I had my left hand on the left hand side of the pram… I screamed at him saying ‘let go of my daughter’.

“He just dropped her, she was still in the pram, he couldn’t get her out, then he came up to her right hand side… pushing me with his hip to get me away.

“He was working out different ways to get her out of the pram and then when he couldn’t he just tried taking the whole pram and me with it.

“I was going through all these emotions… I was shaking, I was sweating, I couldn’t breathe, I felt sick to my stomach.”

Mr Elton said Jarboui claimed he wasn’t trying to take the child.

“He said he had been interacting with the child in what was a perfectly acceptable way in his culture,” the lawyer said.

“(He said) he had no intention of taking the child away from her mother… he said he was playing with the child in a normal way.”

The mother, who called her husband after the incident, told police when she first saw Jarboui he ‘seemed very proud of himself… like he was getting himself ready for something’.

He was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment but, due to the time he had already served in custody, Jarboui was to be released immediately without serving any further time.