[A] man who dropped a three-year-old girl from a bridge into a river has been jailed.
Damien Smith (17/02/1978) of Le Gendre Street, Bolton has today (Monday 2 July 2018) been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to 14-years in prison after being found guilty of Section 18 assault.
At around 8.30pm on Friday 29 September 2017 police responded to Crompton Way in Astley Bridge in Bolton to reports that a 39-year-old man was stood on a bridge threatening to drop a child into the water below.
Specially trained negotiators attended and police officers waded into the water to rescue the child should she fall.
Despite best efforts from the officers and negotiators, Smith dropped the little girl from the bridge – which was more than 40 feet below – into shallow water.
An officer, who was already in the river, was able to reach her shortly after she entered the water and she was carried to safety. She was taken to hospital and treated for a broken arm and injuries to her back. Thankfully she has fully recovered from her injuries.
Smith threw himself from the bridge shortly after and sustained minor injuries.
When arrested, officers recall Smith smelling of drugs and alcohol and he told witnesses that the girl had been taken over by aliens.
He was detained under the mental health act but later deemed fit to stand trial in a criminal case.
Detective Sergeant Joanne Little from GMP’s Bolton borough said: “This was a heart breaking incident and I’m so thankful that the little girl was able to recover from her injuries. The worst case scenario does not bear thinking about.
“I would like to commend actions of the officers involved in the incident. Sometimes we can’t stop individuals from carrying out their threats, on this occasion the officers were left badly affected by what they witnessed, but they did the best they could for the little girl and she was taken to safety before any further harm could come to her.
“My heart breaks when I think of the trauma the little girl went through that evening.
“He will now spend the next 14 years in prison and the rest of his life considering his actions.”