A sex offender who leapt into a young mother’s car and forced her to drive him and his family to a court with her two-year-old son in the back has been jailed for two and a half years.
The terrified woman’s child was strapped into a rear car seat during the 40-minute ordeal in which Owen Lawrence tried to kiss the mother and licked her face.
Bolton Crown Court heard how the 36-year-old woman had arrived at a school in Whitefield, Greater Manchester to drop off her older son, aged five, at 8.50am on February 6 when she was approached by Lawrence, who asked her for a cigarette.
David Clarke, prosecuting, said the woman’s passenger car door was opened and Lawrence, aged 33, of no fixed address, suddenly shouted 'come on' and another man and Lawrence’s parents climbed into the back of the car.
Lawrence demanded the woman drive to the court in Bolton and forced her to stop at a petrol station, threatening to hurt the child if she alerted anyone.
The mother drove to Bolton, at one point flashing her headlights at a police car in an unsuccessful bid to attract attention.
She even thought about crashing the car.
Lawrence, who had been drinking, grabbed her and licked her face as he got out of the car to go to court.
He told her to collect him in 30 minutes and threatened her, saying he knew which school her son went to.
Less than two hours later, Lawrence was drinking in the Dragonfly pub in Bolton when he sexually assaulted a woman.
Just after 1.20pm, police spotted Lawrence, aged 32, crouching in the doorway of a pub in Great Moor Street and arrested him.
At a previous hearing, Lawrence, who is already on the sex offenders’ register after a previous sexual assault on a pregnant woman who had her three-year-old child with her at the time, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and sexual assault.
The court heard that Lawrence, whose father died while he was in custody, was remorseful.
Recorder Timothy Stead said he had almost decided Lawrence was a danger to the public and considered an extended prison sentence.
'You have come close and you might not receive similar clemency on a later occasion if you were to offend again in this fashion,' he said.
Lawrence is now banned from contacting his victims, approaching any unknown woman with a child and getting into any vehicle without the driver’s permission.