North Runcton mum’s horror as child falls from stolen car

Three-year-old girl flung onto the road as thief steals Land Rover Discovery

A West Norfolk mother has spoken of her horror at seeing her three-year-old daughter flung from the back of a Land Rover after it was stolen.

Poppy Fuller was sitting on the open tailgate of the vehicle on Saturday afternoon when a thief jumped into the driver's seat and drove away.

'I was running behind and screaming at her to jump,' said Belinda Weaver, of North Runcton, near King's Lynn.

The Land Rover Discovery lurched as the thief missed a gear and Poppy flew out of the back and landed in the road - inches away from oncoming traffic.

'It was awful. The traffic behind had stopped, but there was still oncoming traffic and she was in the middle of the road,' said Miss Weaver, 47.

She had been with her four children in a lay-by near Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, where she had met her parents who were on their way to their Gloucester home from Milton Keynes.

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'My eldest daughter Lilymay had been with them over Easter and had left some stuff there, so we met-up to swap it over. Mum made a flask of coffee and was sitting on the tailgate with Poppy. She got up for a second and the car started moving.

'We couldn't see the thief and thought for a minute that the car was moving itself. Poppy was reaching out to me - it's the worst thing. I was running by the side but couldn't keep up,' said Miss Weaver.

'He was trying to get away and I was screaming at Poppy. He seemed to miss a gear and the car jumped and Poppy was thrown out of the back. I scooped her up from the road.'

Two drivers saw what had happened and gave chase, but the Land Rover, which belongs to Miss Weaver's parents, disappeared and has yet to be recovered.

'One man was on the phone to the police while he was following it so he could tell them where it was going,' said Miss Weaver.

Poppy suffered cuts and bruises and was treated by paramedics at the scene, but was back at her nursery school on Monday with her twin sister Rosie.

'She is OK but she won't talk about it. We just don't know what might happen later on,' said Miss Weaver.

'You just don't think that something like that is going to happen - we live such sheltered, quiet lives and then this happens,' she said.

Although Poppy has coped well with what happened, her older brother and sister saw it all happen and have found it a bit more difficult.

Monty, 5, and Lilymay, 11, witnessed the entire episode, along with Rosie and all three have been affected.

'Monty went back to school and his teacher has been really good. He told the whole class about what happened but Lilymay doens't want to talk about it at all,' said Miss Weaver.

Her partner, Mark Fuller, drove from their North Runcton home to collect Miss Weaver's parents and take them home after the incident before returning to West Norfolk.

Northamptonshire police are appealing for information and have described the car thief as white, aged in his late teens to early 20s, 6ft tall and of medium build with short dark spiky hair. He was wearing blue jeans, white tee-shirt and white trainers.

Information can be given on 03000 111 222 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.