Man ‘thought it would be fun’ to drive with screaming child clinging to car
A man was driving with a small child screaming in terror on his hood, a court heard. He then tried to justify his actions to the police saying he “thought it would be fun”.
Nathan Finch, 31, put the four-year-old on the bonnet of his car and drove for two minutes while other children in his car begged him to stop. “The child was clearly terrified,” the prosecutor told Preston Magistrates’ Court.
LancsLive reports that on Sunday June 13 last year, Finch rounded up a number of children from White Coppice cricket club, Chorley. None of the children were wearing seat belts, the prosecutor told the court.
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A 16-year-old girl who was a passenger in the car filmed the incident and told Finch to stop what he was doing with the four-year-old. But, he told her “don’t tell me [what to do]and he continued for at least two minutes.
After the incident, the girl showed the footage she had taken to her mother who was the one who contacted the police. Finch was later arrested on suspicion of child cruelty.
“He says he thought it was fun,” the prosecution said. “He denies they were distressed and said he didn’t go over 5mph. He says he seriously regrets it and doesn’t remember anyone telling him to stop.”
Finch has three drunk driving convictions, the court was told, and since the incident has lost his license. The prosecutor called the offense “sadistic” and said it showed willful disregard for the welfare of the young victim.
“The child was clearly upset. He was screaming and crying. He was clearly terrified. There was severe emotional damage done, given the fair description of the witness,” she added.
Finch pleaded guilty to causing a child pain, abuse or neglect at an earlier hearing. On that occasion, District Judge Lloyd described the incident as “reckless, senseless and posing a risk to the child”.
Finch, representing himself, said he was sorry for the offense. A probation report said he struggled with alcohol abuse and engaged with treatment services to address the issue. The bench considered whether to send Finch to jail, but the president said he would follow the probation recommendation to issue a community order for 12 months.
Finch must complete 12 days of rehabilitation activities, a nine-month alcohol treatment requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £85 prosecution costs and a victim fine surcharge of £95.
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