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Bury St Edmunds: Man grabbed schoolgirl by hand - court hears

PUBLISHED: 11:30 01 July 2014 | UPDATED: 11:30 01 July 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A mentally-ill man jumped over a bush into the grounds of a Suffolk primary school and grabbed a girl by her hand, a court has heard.

Steven Fidler, 36, told the girl she looked lost and said “I’ll take you where you need to be,” Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Worried staff at Hardwick Primary School in Steward Road, Bury St Edmunds, called the police and when Fidler was arrested shortly afterwards at nearby shops he was acting bizarrely and a mental health assessment was carried out by a nurse.

Fidler, of Caie Walk, Bury, was initially charged with trying to abduct a child but yesterday he pleaded guilty to a charge of using threatening behaviour in December and the attempted abduction charge was ordered to be left on the court file.

After reading medical reports Judge John Holt said he was satisfied Fidler was mentally ill and made a hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act. He also made a five year restraining order banning Fidler from going within 50 yards of any primary school.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said police received a 999 call from staff at Hardwick Primary at 11am on December 3 after Fidler jumped over the bush close to a group of children.

Fidler said “You look lost” to a girl and had grabbed her hand and told her he would take her to where she needed to be. The girl later told police: “I thought he was going to put me in a bag and steal me like robbers do.”

Fidler was also heard to say “Go away or I’ll kill you,” said Mr Vass.

After his arrest Fidler appeared “jumpy and irritable” and when he was taken to a police station he had laid down on the floor and then stood up several times. He also claimed to have murdered a friend by chopping him up with an axe.

Lindsay Cox, for Fidler, said his client had been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and was co-operating with treatment. He said the friend he had ‘murdered’ was in court to support him.

A fugitive’s battle to evade justice despite already spending two years behind bars in Ireland has been described as “farcical” by a Suffolk MP.

A man aged in his 80s has become the 20th person to be killed on Suffolk’s roads this year following an accident on the A11 at Barton Mills on Saturday.

Parts of Colchester town centre were sealed off on Friday after a van caught fire in the middle of a street.

A former Ipswich man has appeared in court charged with possessing a double-barrelled shotgun and two stun guns.

Colchester MP Will Quince has declared the development of an army training ground for 1,000 homes unwelcome and unnecessary, despite their inclusion in a blueprint for future growth.

The family of missing man Corrie McKeague believe a criminal investigation should take place if he is not found by police searching landfill for the RAF gunner.

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