Delusional Sheffield man tried to abduct little girl from the Supertram

A delusional Sheffield man heard voices telling him to take a six-year-old girl from her mother on the Supertram because she was being abducted, a court heard.

Philip Lindley grabbed the little girl by the coat, after she boarded with her mother and two siblings at Castle Square, at 3.45pm, on March 8, said prosecutor Richard Thyne.

When her mother tried to stop him, Lindley grabbed her arm and asked where she was taking the girl.

She pulled herself free and pushed the emergency button.

Stagecoach Supertram

Lindley got off the tram, but was identified by CCTV and arrested on March 17, telling police he had seen the girl being dragged on to the tram and screaming: "Help me I am being taken."

"That was obviously a mistaken belief due to his paranoid schizophrenia, said Brigid Baillie, mitigating.

She said Lindley had been drinking, smoking spice and had stopped taking his medication.

"He had disengaged from mental health services at the time," she said. "He was evicted from supported housing on March 4."

She said he had been seeing a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) since 2014, but had been off his medication for six weeks.

Sheffield Crown Court heard he has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, dating back to 2008, with 22 previous convictions for drugs, violence and dishonesty.

He was jailed for harassment in 2014, but his offending stopped until 2019, when he received a 16 week suspended sentence, imposed in January, ths year.

"He has been locked up for 23 hours a day while on remand and has served the equivalent of a 13 month sentence," said Ms Baillie.

She said Lindley gets help from his mother, who he lives with, and the CPN, "who is the most important person in his support network.”

Lindley, 28, of Ironside Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to attempting to abduct a child and assault.

Judge Michael Slater said: "When he decides not to take his tablets, or goes out drinking or indulges in spice, that's when the risk arises."

He said Lindley was "delusional" at the time, but there was no "improper motive."

On Wednesday, the judge fined him £50 for breaching the suspended sentence, and imposed a two-year community order, with 25 rehabilitation days and a drug programme.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

Thank you to all who support local journalism with a digital or print subscription to The Star. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Subscribe here so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.