Aldi child-snatcher jailed after heroic seven-year-old saves younger brother
A child-snatcher has been jailed after attempting to abduct a three-year-old boy from Aldi. But for the toddler’s seven-year-old brother, he may have been successful in his attempt.
Sergejus Paskevicius, 60, from Heywood in Rochdale, was arrested and charged for child abduction in July last year.
CCTV footage had shown Paskevicius standing by the bagging area of the Heywood Aldi before trying to talk to a young child at around 5:45pm on July 23, 2022.
He then picked up the toddler and began to walk away from the store – something the boys’ mother described as “every parent’s worst nightmare” in court, Manchester Evening News reports.
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But the boy’s seven-year-old brother was thankfully “reaching up and pulling at his brother and pulling at the defendant’s arms,” allowing their mother to take them to safety. Paskevicius left, allegedly waving at the children.
“What should have been a normal day at the supermarket turned out to be our worst nightmare,” the mum told the court in a statement.
Speaking about the seven-year-old hero, his mother said: “My son can’t go and do normal things like go to the park, to the circus, or to the shops.
“The psychological damage caused has been difficult for me to come to terms with. My son refuses to go to sleep, he refuses to get out of the car. It has had a massive impact on our everyday lives.” She added that her seven-year-old son is now in therapy.
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Mitigating lawyer Robert Elias said Paskevicius may have “wanted some affection or a cuddle”, the Sun reported.
But Judge Tina Landale said when sentencing that if it was not for the older brother, “you would have taken him away, right out of the shop.”
She continued: “The fact that you are prepared to abduct a child in broad daylight in a supermarket is of the greatest concern. There is no explanation offered for your conduct, that means I am unable to assess the risk you pose and what your intention was.”
Paskevicius initially pleaded guilty to child abduction but then vacated his plea.
He was jailed for three years and two months at Manchester Crown Court (Minshull St.).
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