Shocked Police Officer Found Crying Baby In Footwell of Van

PUBLISHED: 09:44 06 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 04 May 2010

A SHOCKED police officer discovered a crying baby in the foot well of a van stopped in Ely - the infant was in a safety seat but not strapped into the vehicle, magistrates heard. Ben Price was at the wheel of the Transit van; he had just picked up a frien

A SHOCKED police officer discovered a crying baby in the foot well of a van stopped in Ely - the infant was in a safety seat but not strapped into the vehicle, magistrates heard.

Ben Price was at the wheel of the Transit van; he had just picked up a friend and her two children, and was giving them a lift home.

"An officer heard a crying baby, but there was no baby in view," prosecutor Laura Mardell told city magistrates.

"He then found a small baby in a car seat in the foot well, on the passenger side. The driver apologised for his stupidity."

Police had stopped the van near the Lamb Hotel just before 5pm; a woman and another child were also in the vehicle.

At Ely courthouse on Thursday, 24-year-old Price, of Hale Fen, Littleport, admitted the dangerous carrying of a passenger; there were three seats in the van but he was carrying a fourth passenger in a dangerous manner.

"A friend of mine was stranded and needed to get home," he told the court. "I gave her a lift, I couldn't leave her in town with two kids, and I didn't know what to do."

Presiding magistrate Janet South told Price: "If you had had an accident, the consequences don't bear thinking of.

"We appreciate you were doing you friend a favour, but it was a dangerous favour, carrying a young child in the well of the van."

Giving Hale a one-year conditional discharge, Mrs South added: "It was a very foolish thing to do, don't do it again.

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