'Terrifying' child kidnap attempt man jailed

Benfield Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Alexander Benfield attacked a group of young girls in July

A man has been jailed for seven years after a "terrifying" child kidnap attempt.

Alexander Benfield, 25, of Lawrence Road, Cirencester, tried to snatch the eight-year-old girl as she walked home with friends in a Wiltshire village.

Benfield grabbed and dropped the child and also grabbed her friend's shoulder and bottom.

He was found guilty of attempted kidnap and actual bodily harm.

The girls were walking home from a village shop in Ashton Keynes in July when Benfield attacked them.

They managed to escape and ran home.

The attack was captured on CCTV which police said was "very important" in convicting Benfield.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The girls were attacked as they walked home from a village shop in Ashton Keynes

Det Con Cerys Powell, from Wiltshire Police, said she had "no doubt that Benfield's action would have been terrifying" for the young girls.

"I would like to praise the victim in this case who has shown a huge amount of courage in reliving her ordeal to give evidence in court," she added.

More on this story