A 72-year-old man has been jailed after admitting abducting and indecently assaulting a child more than 15 years ago.
The six-year-old girl was taken from Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire, in March 2001 and assaulted .
Arnold Baxter, of Bath Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, was caught after he was arrested for drink-driving on his birthday in September 2016 and his DNA profile matched samples taken from the coat of the victim.
Baxter admitted driving to the village in a black Ford Mondeo with false registration plates, snatching the young girl and indecently assaulting her before dumping her in another village where she was found half an hour later by a passing motorist.
He pleaded guilty to kidnap and indecent assault and was sentenced to nine years at Stafford Crown Court on Wednesday.
Speaking after the sentencing, the victim’s mother said: “My daughter has spent these last 15 years of her life growing into the beautiful and successful person that she is today and will continue to be in the years to come.
“In spite of – or perhaps because of – her kind and generous nature, my daughter fully deserves to have this moment – to know that the man who is none of these things, a man who thinks it’s acceptable to kidnap, assault and abandon a vulnerable six-year old child, has finally been called to account for his actions and will now be punished for them.
“Mr Baxter has spent the last 15 years of his life continuing to go about his day-to-day business and taking advantage of the things he enjoys in life.
“I can only imagine that even the most mundane of pleasures must always have been tainted somewhat by the knowledge that one day his enjoyment of them must come to an end.”
Claire Nicholls, from the CPS, said: “For over 15 years Arnold Baxter thought that he had got away with his crime, however, today he has been brought to justice and will now have to face the consequences of his actions.
“Once the prosecution was able to demonstrate the DNA match of the defendant to the indecent assault, Baxter had no other option but to plead guilty to what he had done.”