Muggers hit pregnant woman in tummy
A five-year-old girl wrote an empassioned handwritten letter to a judge, telling him how "terrified" she had been when two teenage muggers attacked her pregnant mother in a supermarket and "hit the baby in her tummy".
Nathaniel Moffett, 16, and Thaberi Francis, now 18 but 17 at the time of the attacks, carried out a number of violent robberies against victims including one on the heavily pregnant woman over the space of several weeks in Bristol.
They were locked up for five years and six years respectively yesterday after the letter from the little girl, who cannot be identified, was handed to Judge Simon Darwall-Smith, who also lifted the anonymity usually given to defendants aged under 18 to allow Moffett to be identified.
The letter, released by Avon and Somerset Police today, was written in the typically uneven handwriting of a small child in her first or second year at school and addressed "To Judge".
The girl wrote: "I was terrified wot happened at Morrisons.
"The boy punched my mum and hit the baby in her tummy. The other boy made sure nobody was looking. Now I don't like going shopping. I hope they don't hurt anymore people. Thank you."
The girl's mother was reportedly six-and-a-half months pregnant at the time of the attack.
Detective Constable Paul Hopes , said: "This series of robberies were committed by two young individuals who thought nothing of using a knife to threaten people in order to steal their property.
"Some of the offences involved physical violence which included punching a pregnant lady to the stomach in order to steal her purse in front of her five-year-old daughter.
"It is this girl who has actually written her own letter to the Judge to say how she feels about what happened. It is only by chance I feel that nobody has been seriously hurt.
"A street robbery is a traumatic, highly impactive crime for most victims. In this case this was made even worse by the use of weapons, in particular knives.
"Some victims, such as elderly people, never recover from the mental anguish or physical injury caused by these crimes.
"I can only hope that the sentence passed today brings some comfort to their victims."