VIDEO: Kidnapped baby, rescued.
A man has been convicted of abducting a baby from his Birmingham home − as West Mids Police release “heart-warming video” showing the moment officers rescue the tot following a pursuit.
James Dempsey, from Eden Road in Solihull, snatched the boy from an address in Sutton Coldfield on 3 April and prompted West Mids Police to issue an urgent appeal to help trace the five-month old.
The force responded to sightings of Dempsey ’s Vauxhall Astra in Olton and Sheldon − and at 9.30pm the following day traffic cops intercepted the car on a roundabout in Bickenhill Lane near Birmingham Airport.
Body-worn cameras capture the touching scene as officers carefully lift the baby from the front passenger seat, place him on a jacket and check to ensure he’s not hurt…before wrapping him in a police fleece to keep him warm.
Mum Chantelle Forrester − who gave consent to release the footage − later thanked West Midlands Police for reuniting her with her baby boy.
“I’ll forever be grateful to the officers who brought my baby home. He was gone for about 36 hours but it felt like a lifetime.”
Dempsey appeared in court on 13 June having admitted child abduction, failing to stop for police, dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, theft and motoring offences.
The court heard how the 35-year-old − who is known to Ms Forrester − stayed at the Sutton Coldfield address overnight on 2-3 April but disappeared with the baby in the morning.
West Mids Police’s appeal was shared widely across social media and prompted two 999 calls that proved crucial in helping officers trace his Vauxhall Astra.
It led cops to spot the car near Birmingham Airport and, having collided with the driver’s door in an authorised ‘tactical contact’ manoeuvre, Dempsey was arrested from behind the wheel and the baby rescued.
West Mids Police Chief Inspector Ian Ingram said:
“Despite the commotion − with blue lights flashing and sirens blaring − the baby stayed remarkably calm throughout the ordeal and only cried when officers started cleaning him up.
“The video shows the human side of policing…caring for a little baby with compassion and tenderness just moments after a dynamic pursuit. It was such a relief we were able to reunite mum and son.”
And Chief Insp Ingram reiterated his praise for members of the public who responded to the force’s appeal for information at the time.
“It was a fantastic response to what was a very serious, urgent appeal for information. Our appeal was shared thousands of times and reached a huge number of people in the West Midlands and beyond.
“As a direct result of the appeal we received two crucial 999 calls that enabled us to direct police resources to the right area…and led to the child’s safe return.
“It’s a great example of the police and public working effectively together – and achieving a brilliant result. I’d like to thank everyone who shared our appeal and particularly to the alert members of the public who made those crucial 999 calls.”