A crazed cannabis user who threw a baby out of a window in Luton was today jailed for life.
Sean Ziemelis, 31, had gouged the baby’s eyes and tried to strangle it before dangling the terrified infant out of the first floor flat.
Neighbours, who had been woken in the early hours, gathered under the window of a flat in a house in Luton and shouted to him to stop.
Prosecutor James Lofthouse told Luton crown court that Ziemelis dangled the baby for two minutes before throwing the tot away from the group below. One man moved and miraculously caught the baby by its legs.
Miraculously the baby, who cannot be identified, suffered only superficial injuries: redness to eyes, swelling to the head and cuts to the cheek and eyelid.
Mr Lofthouse said there were concerns about Ziemelis’ behaviour after he had taken cannabis the previous night. He had been discovered with his genitals out on top of a dog in an alleway.
Then at 2am on August 1 last year the child’s mother found Ziemelis with his thumbs in the eyes of the baby. When she screamed for help he started to strangle the child.
Ziemelis produced a knife and when he was hit with a piece of wood by the grandmother of the infant he threw that woman across the room before punching the mother until she fell in and out of consciousness.
The prosecutor went on: “He picked up (the baby) and dangled it out of window of the first floor flat for a couple of minutes. A crowd had gathered because of the commotion. People were shouting not to hurt the baby.
“He threw the baby to the left, away from the people as if he did not want them to catch it, but the baby was caught.”
Ziemelis then bit the mother’s toe before throwing her out of the window. Her fall was broken because the onlookers had placed bins underneath the window. She suffered cuts, bruises and a loose tooth.
Members of the public climbed onto the bins and dragged Ziemelis out of the window. He was attacked with fists and bottles.
Ziemelis appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to attempted murder, two charges of causing actual bodily harm and one of common assault.
Psychiatrist Dr David Baird, from Brockfield House Mental Health Unit, told the judge: “My view is that should Mr Ziemelis smoke cannabis he would be at risk of causing serious harm to the public. Should he not use cannabis or other drugs the risk would be much lower.”
Dr Baird said once his treatment is finished at Brockfield House it could be managed in a prison. Ziemelis had twice been admitted to hospital previously under the Mental Health Act in 2006 and 2010.
Defending, David Smithet said: “He does not remember what happened, but accepts he will have a long sentence and receive treatment.”
Judge Richard Foster passed a life sentence with a minimum term of 12 years. He made a ‘hybrid order” which means he will continue to be treated under the Mental Health Act at Brockfield House.
The judge told him: “When that order comes to an end you will be returned to prison. You will only be released when parole board say you are safe. It might be you are never released from custody.”
He said he had “displayed psychotic symptoms and episodes due to cannabis misuse.”
The judge went on: “I do not need a professional to tell me you are dangerous. Anyone who could do that to a child is dangerous. The appropriate sentence is life imprisonment. Any other sentence would not be adequate to reflect what happened.”
Speaking after the sentence, Detective Constable Louise Granger, said: “This is one of the most shocking incidents that I have seen in the whole of my career, and incredibly traumatic for all those involved.
“Ziemelis is clearly a very dangerous individual and I’m glad that he has received such a severe sentence which reflects his horrendous actions from that evening.
“It is only thanks to the actions of a member of the public that the baby is still alive today.”