May 2020

Girl, 5, snatched from her bed in ‘burglary that went wrong’

An intruder who snatched a five-year-old girl from her bed in a ‘burglary that went wrong’ has been jailed for almost six years.

Leejay Cater, 38, fled with the terrified youngster after climbing in through her bedroom window in Walsall, West Midlands, looking for drugs in the early hours of August 24 last year.

The girl was hoisted out and put onto a flat roof before Cater clambered out behind her shortly after 2am.

He then scooped her up and jumped the remaining eight feet down to ground level before taking her into a nearby alleyway.

Her mother was woken by her screams and rushed to a landing window, where she saw Cater holding the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Her dad then raced down the stairs after them

Cater, from Bloxwich, pleaded guilty to taking a child so as to remove her from a person having lawful control at Wolverhampton Crown Court – but said it had occurred during the course of a ‘burglary that went wrong’.

Judge Rhona Campbell jailed Cater for five years and nine months. She said the young girl was ‘confused’ following the incident and had initially thought her father had been playing a prank on her.

The court heard she is now too scared to have windows open and can no longer sleep alone or in the bedroom.

Judge Campbell added that the family is keen to move despite putting extra security measures in place and told Cater: ‘An entire family’s security and happiness has been wholly undermined by your actions.’