BY YANN TEAR
Two men who stole a mother’s car which had her three young children inside have been jailed.
At an earlier hearing, Reggie Stovell, 19, of Harbledown Road, Fulham, was found guilty of child abduction, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without an appropriate licence, and driving a motor vehicle without insurance, and was sentenced to a total of nine months’ imprisonment.
Badri Hussein, 19, of Masbro Road, West Kensington, was also handed a nine-month jail term, having earlier been found guilty of child abduction, allowing himself to be carried in a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, and possession of cannabis.
Both were sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday.
The court heard that at around 4.30pm on Wednesday, February 20, the mother of the children, a woman in her 20s, was driving her grey Range Rover northbound along Harwood Road, Fulham.
She had her three children, aged three, five and seven, in the car, and they were all asleep.
The mother parked the car on a pavement outside a row of shops in Harwood Road to quickly buy something and, not wanting to disturb them sleeping, left them in the car.
The vehicle had a keyless entry system, and the engine was left running with all the doors closed. The mother was still in possession of the keys as she left. She returned after a few minutes to notice that her car – with the children inside – was missing.
Distraught, she called 999 and police responded immediately.
Around 5pm, a member of the public called police to report that a Range Rover had been found abandoned in the middle of Kelvedon Road, Fulham and that young children were crying inside.
Officers took the mother to her children and they were reunited.
An investigation was launched to find those responsible. On April 11, officers executed a warrant at Stovell’s home address in Harbledown Road.
During a search a mobile phone was located. Officers examined it and found a video recording of a vehicle being driven dangerously by two males, who were laughing and joking as three young children were thrown from side to side in the back.
Both Stovell and Hussein were identified by officers.
On April 18, a warrant was executed at Hussein’s address in Masbro Road, and he was arrested.
They were both subsequently charged and remanded into custody.
Detective Sergeant Kieran Curry, of Central West CID, said: “The mother in this incident faced every parent’s worst nightmare when she tried to run a simple errand and found her children and vehicle had disappeared without a trace.
“Thankfully, they were safely reunited and the children suffered no harm, but the incident was no less traumatic.
“The actions of Stovell and Hussein that day were incomprehensible in their dangerousness and lack of concern not just for the children but for other road users and pedestrians.’’
“I’d like to thank every officer involved in this case, from the investigative team, to those response officers who quickly worked to find the children and the vehicle after the incident occurred.”