A man who attempted to abduct a child in Lynn has been handed a two-year community order.
Matthew Reid, 59, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of attempted kidnap, outraging public decency, theft and criminal damage.
He was also ordered to complete 60 days of rehabilitation activities.
However, following the proceedings, prosecutors defended the handling of the case after concerns were raised by the judge about the way it was dealt with.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was criticised for amending charges against Reid and accused of ignoring the risks he posed.
But CPS deputy chief crown prosecutor Angela Deal said: “Matthew Reid faced a serious charge of attempted child abduction which carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment at Crown Court.
“The case was reviewed according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors – the standard by which all cases are assessed – and we were satisfied there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”
She said given the allegation of an attempt to abduct a child from a public place, it was in the public interest to prosecute.
“When faced with the evidence against him, Mr Reid pleaded guilty to this charge and the court was provided with the full details of the offence,” she added.
“He also faced other charges unrelated to the attempted abduction.
“He admitted an offence of outraging public decency as well as theft of girls’ clothing, but denied a charge of intercourse with an animal.”
She said the defence offered a plea of criminal damage in relation to that offence which was accepted by the prosecution.
“We were satisfied that the guilty pleas showed the defendant accepted he had committed the offences and that the court had sufficient sentencing powers,” Ms Deal added.