The six-year-old girl was taken from Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire, in March 2001 and assaulted. The perpetrator, who was 56 at the time, had deliberately set out to find a victim, driving 50 miles to an area where he was not known in an effort to avoid detection.
The little girl had been playing in the street in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire, on the evening of March 12 2001.
Arnold Baxter,72, a Rugby, Warwickshire resident, was caught after he was arrested for DUI on his birthday in September 2016. His DNA profile matched samples taken from the coat of the victim.
An artist’s impression of 56-year-old Arnold Baxter at the time
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.
The sample threw up a match to a minute patch of saliva that had been identified and stored on the victim’s coat almost 16 years earlier.
Baxter copped to the crime after being presented with the forensic evidence, pleading guilty to kidnap and sexual assault when he appeared in court in December. The defendant was jailed for nine years, with the judge in his case saying the crime was “every parent’s worst nightmare”.
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.
A picture of Baxter at the time of he committed the paedophile assault
Continuing, the victim’s mother said: “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 Child Protective Services 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.”