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Monday 29 May 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# Kidnapping
Police release footage of moment 5-month-old baby rescued from kidnapping in UK
35-year-old James Dempsey was jailed for 27 months today over the incident.

West Midlands Police / YouTube

POLICE HAVE RELEASED footage of the moment a baby was rescued after being kidnapped from his home in the UK. 

James Dempsey, from Eden Road in Solihull, snatched the five-month-old boy from an address in Sutton Coldfield on 3 April. 

The incident prompted West Midlands Police to issue an urgent appeal to help trace the baby. 

The force responded to sightings of Dempsey’s Vauxhall Astra in Olton and Sheldon. At 9.30pm the following day, traffic police intercepted the car on a roundabout near Birmingham Airport. 

Body-worn cameras captured the scene as officers carefully lifted the baby from the front passenger seat, placed him on a jacket and checked to ensure he wasn’t hurt. 

The baby’s mother Chantelle Forrester, who gave consent to release the footage, later thanked the 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,” she said. 

Court appearance

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. 

He was jailed for 27 months today. 

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. 

James Dempsey WM Mike Woods James Dempsey Mike Woods

West Midlands 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 police 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. 

“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,” West Midlands Police Chief Inspector Ian Ingram said. 

“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.” 

Ingram reiterated his praise for members of the public who responded to the police 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.”

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