A man who attempted to murder a toddler in Blackpool has been sentenced to 30 years following an investigation by Lancashire Police.
At 8.17 a.m. on 7th December 2022, Police were called following reports a toddler had been assaulted.
Police and paramedics attended the scene and the boy was taken to hospital with a number of injuries, including extensive bruising to his face and throat.
He was also witnessed strangling and smothering the young victim.
Expert medical evidence from the prosecution indicated that the toddler’s injuries were consistent with strangulation, and that the victim was in the penultimate stage of asphyxia.
Prince fled the address before officers arrived and was arrested in a vehicle whilst travelling towards Manchester.
He was interviewed by detectives and denied any wrongdoing.
Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Prince, of Browning Road, Swinton, was charged with attempted murder and assault by beating.
During the trial Prince accepted that he had lied in his police interview and he had in fact slapped the toddler to the face and squeezed his cheeks in an attempt to stop him from crying.
A jury at Preston Crown Court heard that the sickening and repeated assault by defendant Lewis Prince in which he slapped and punched the boy was captured in part on film.
The 29-year-old denied attempted murder, stating that he at no point strangled nor smothered the victim.
The jury rejected that notion and took around an hour to find Prince unanimously guilty. He had already pleaded guilty to an assault by beating charge, which related to an assault on a woman.
Sitting at Preston Crown Court yesterday (August 3), Judge Robert Altham, The Recorder of Preston, jailed Prince for 26 years. He also deemed Prince to be a dangerous offender and imposed a further four-year extended licence period.
DS Isobel Garratt, of West CID, 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 that 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 take this chance 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 dangerousness 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.’