A statement from West Midlands Police:
A man who tried to snatch a young girl from a street as she walked in broad daylight has been sentenced to four and a half years in jail with an extended 5-year-long licence upon his release.
Edward Burns, aged 38, from Smethwick, was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court today after he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing of attempting to abduct the nine-year-old girl.
The court heard that Burns, spotted the girl on the afternoon in March this year as she walked along Belmont Road in Bearwood.
He went up to the child, pushed her to the floor and lay on top of her, before dragging the terrified child across the road by her coat hood into an alleyway.
Fortunately a woman passing heard the child’s screams and shouted at Burns to let her go. He then ran off into a flat where he lived nearby.
Officers went to the scene immediately and searched the area for a man matching the suspect’s description, before arresting Burns.
Detective Constable Luke Stephens said: “This was a terrifying incident for the child, who was extremely upset by the attack. We believe his intentions were sexual in nature. Luckily a woman saw what happened and heard the child’s screams and he let her go.
The child was very brave and gave us a detailed description of the man who attacked her, which led to the quick arrest of Burns. I would also like to thank the public spirited actions of the woman who intervened and helped the child.”