Man, 51, 'snatched two-year-old girl from her pram' in Hampshire park

Man, 51, ‘snatched two-year-old girl from her pram’ in Hampshire park before girl’s mother ‘fought him off with her bare hands’, court hears

  • A two-year-old’s mother said she had to fight off a stranger ‘with her bare hands’
  • Mohamed Jarboui, 51, is accused of attempted child abduction on February 4
  • The child’s mother said she felt ‘sick’ as the Libyan allegedly harassed her
  • Jarboui, from Basingstoke, denies attempted child abduction 
  • Mohamed Jarboui (pictured), 51, has been accused of trying to abduct a toddler

    Mohamed Jarboui (pictured), 51, has been accused of trying to abduct a toddler

    A 51-year-old man tried to snatch a toddler from her pram while her mother walked her in the park, a court has heard.

    The child’s 27-year-old mother had to fight off the stranger ‘with her bare hands’ after he allegedly tried to run off with toddler’s pram in Eastrop Park, Basingstoke. 

    Mohamed Jarboui has been accused of trying to pick the girl up under her armpits before grabbing at her buggy. 

    The child’s mother said she started feeling ‘sick’ as the Libyan allegedly harassed her before she claims he tried to abduct her child. She said she was terrified because ‘there was nobody around’ in the park.

    Jurors were told the toddler has ‘significant health issues’ and Jarboui tried to pick the girl up under her armpits but failed to rip her out as she was strapped in.

    The alleged attempted abduction happened just after 3.30pm on February 4 and the mother of the child, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said: ‘I was shaking, I was sweating, I couldn’t breathe, I felt sick to my stomach.’

    At Winchester Crown Court, Hants, prosecutor Edward Elton said Jarboui was caught three days later after police scoured CCTV. He said Jarboui claimed he was ‘playing’ with the child.

    The child's 27-year-old mother had to fight off the stranger 'with her bare hands' after he allegedly tried to run off with toddler's pram in Eastrop Park (pictured), Basingstoke

    The child’s 27-year-old mother had to fight off the stranger ‘with her bare hands’ after he allegedly tried to run off with toddler’s pram in Eastrop Park (pictured), Basingstoke

    The court heard how the mother noticed Jarboui several times as she walked through Basingstoke before he walked over, knelt down and made ‘cooing noises’ to the child.

    She said: ‘He came up the right hand side of the pram and kneeled down at my daughter and started making all these cooing, babbling noises.

    ‘He had his left hand on the latch… that’s when the sick feeling started.

    ‘He touched her face and I said “please don’t touch her” because obviously my daughter is of a high risk. He said sorry and I thought he was going from that point.’

    She saw Jarboui grab the handles of the pram before he left them alone, the court heard.

    She said: ‘I started to have a really sick feeling. I started to look around and I was thinking there’s no one around me, the businesses are all shut.’

    He returned, spoke Arabic to the child, then grabbed the child’s arm as he tried to abduct her, it was heard.

    At Winchester Crown Court (pictured), prosecutor Edward Elton said Jarboui was caught three days later after police scoured CCTV. He said Jarboui claimed he was 'playing' with the child

    At Winchester Crown Court (pictured), prosecutor Edward Elton said Jarboui was caught three days later after police scoured CCTV. He said Jarboui claimed he was ‘playing’ with the child

    The woman, from Basingstoke, said: ‘He stood over the pram and he stopped us. He started grabbing my daughter’s right arm. I told him to stop dragging her like that and the next minute he put his hands under her arm pits.

    ‘I just hit him, I think I had my left hand on the left hand side of the pram… I screamed at him saying “let go of my daughter”.

    ‘He just dropped her, she was still in the pram, he couldn’t get her out, then he came up to her right hand side… pushing me with his hip to get me away.

    ‘He was working out different ways to get her out of the pram and then when he couldn’t he just tried taking the whole pram and me with it.

    ‘I was going through all these emotions… I was shaking, I was sweating, I couldn’t breathe, I felt sick to my stomach.’

    Mr Elton said Jarboui claimed he wasn’t trying to take the child.

    Mr Elton said: ‘He said he had been interacting with the child in what was a perfectly acceptable way in his culture.

    ‘[He said] he had no intention of taking the child away from her mother… he said he was playing with the child in a normal way.’

    The mother, who called her husband after the incident, told police when she first saw Jarboui he ‘seemed very proud of himself… like he was getting himself ready for something’.

    Jarboui, from Basingstoke, denies attempted child abduction.

    The trial continues.  

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