Man high on Spice grabbed girl outside Manchester Primark

Paul Thomson was so addled by the synthetic cannabis he pounced on the girl and held her in the air in front of her pregnant mother and other shoppers

Paul Thomson was so addled by the synthetic cannabis he pounced on the girl and held her in the air in front of her pregnant mother and other shoppers

A 53-year-old man high on Spice grabbed a girl of five and held her in a bear hug outside a Primark store because he thought she was going to hurt him, a court heard.

Paul Thomson was so addled by the synthetic cannabis he pounced on the girl and held her in the air in front of her pregnant mother and other shoppers.

Passersby wrestled the girl free and Thomson ran off but he was arrested afterwards by a nearby tram stop where he was found to be in possession of a snap bag of Spice.

He later claimed he carried out the attack because the stupefying drug - sold for around £5 a time - made him think the girl was about to assault him. 

The child's mother said: 'My daughter was shaken and scared and absolutely terrified.

'I was 28 weeks pregnant at the time and I was worried that it would cause problems with my pregnancy.'

At Manchester magistrates court, Thomson, from Oldham, admitted common assault and drug possession and was given 16 weeks jail suspended for a year. 

He shouted: 'I didn't want to hurt her or anything' as sentence was passed.

The incident occurred on July 26 after Thomson had been taking Spice in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens. 

He was seen flailing his arms wildly around the street outside nearby Primark - and darting in and out of crowds of shoppers.

Prosecuting Carl Miles told the court: 'The victim in this case is a child. The defendant didn't know the child or her mother.

Passersby wrestled to pull the girl, pictured being spoken to by police, free and Thomson ran off but he was arrested afterwards by a nearby tram stop

Passersby wrestled to pull the girl, pictured being spoken to by police, free and Thomson ran off but he was arrested afterwards by a nearby tram stop

'The child's mother was with a family friend nearing the entrance of the Primark store opposite the Metrolink stop and he daughter was with her and she had a book and a pen in her hand at the time.

'A male approached the girl and picked her up. Her mother described him as holding something to her daughter's neck but she could not see what it was. 

'What happened was quite terrifying for her daughter and for the mother as he was behaving very erratically at the time.

'She described her daughter as screaming and she was pulling at him trying to get her daughter back. Passers by intervened and they managed to get him to put her down.

'He was described by eyewitnesses as behaving wildly and not making sense and flailing his arms around wildly.

'One witness described the defendant as not making sense and moving about wildly and darting in and out of people before stopping and turning around like he had seen

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