THE victim of a horrifying carjacking that took place in Orford has spoken out after the Crown Prosecution Service made the decision not to proceed with the criminal court case.

Lucy Bedford was dragged out of her car and assaulted by a 36-year-old man, before he took off in her vehicle down Greenwood Crescent on the morning of January 23, 2023.

Police officers were called to the scene at around 8.45am, following reports of a robbery on Cherwell Close.

At the time of the incident a spokesperson for Cheshire Police said: “The caller reported that an unknown man had pulled a woman out of her car, a turquoise Hyundai Bayon, and driven off in the vehicle.”

The mum-of-three’s car was then driven along Greenwood Crescent before the man collided with two other parked vehicles on the street, a black BMW and a red Nissan - no injuries were reported at the scene.

Warrington Guardian: Debris scattered the road following the incidentDebris scattered the road following the incident (Image: Warrington Guardian)
And Lucy’s car had to be written off due to the damage sustained within the crash.

Police arrested the 36-year-old man on suspicion of taking a vehicle without consent and assault and he was immediately detained for a period of time under the Mental Health Act.

However more than a year on from the incident, CPS informed Lucy that the criminal matter would not continue to the courts, due to factors involving the suspect’s mental health during the time of the incident and prosecution ‘not being within the public interest’.

Speaking on the decision, Lucy said: “I just feel let down and nobody has taken my side of the case seriously.

“I have suffered with PTSD from the incident. I don’t like going out on my own anymore. I am constantly trying to be aware of my surroundings if I am in a car.”

The 35-year-old, who lives in Orford, spoke of how the carjacking impacted her mental health meaning she had to up her dose of anxiety medication.

She detailed that the suspect lives nearby to her home address where she lives with her partner and three children - this being another source of her anxiety – and despite him being detained under the Mental Health Act, he has since been released.

“Normally my children play on the front, but I have been concerned about them playing there since it happened.

“If he has done it once it could happen again,” she added.

Despite Lucy entering the appeal process and the case being reviewed by a lawyer, the CPS confirmed that the suspect would not be prosecuted for the crime. The CPS did offer another opportunity to raise a further appeal, but Lucy did not continue with this as she stated she felt based on the response that the outcome would be the same.

Lucy’s mum, Amanda Bedford, also spoke of her distress at the decision ruled by the CPS not to proceed with the case.

Warrington Guardian: The carjacking took place on Greenwood CrescentThe carjacking took place on Greenwood Crescent (Image: Supplied)

“I do not think that mental health can justify beating her up and stealing her car.

“She has suffered with really bad PTSD with it all,” she said.

Addressing the decision to discontinue the case, district crown prosecutor Neil Gunn, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “The CPS understands and recognises the impact, upset and trauma this incident has caused the victim in this case.

“Her car was forcefully taken from her before colliding with other vehicles a short distance away causing significant damage.

“The file of evidence was reviewed by a lawyer in accordance with The Code for Crown Prosecutors.

“There are two stages to be considered as part of the Full Code Test, those being the evidential stage followed by the public interest stage.

“Both parts of the test must be met. Whilst there was sufficient evidence, we must further consider whether a prosecution is in the public interest.”

Mr Gunn explained that it was clear the suspect was ‘mentally unwell’ and was immediately detained under the Mental Health Act.

“This would not in itself prevent a prosecution; but having reviewed all the material available, including the medical evidence from the various professionals and a consultant forensic psychiatrist, it was deemed to be inappropriate on this occasion and a prosecution was not in the public interest.

“Consideration was also given to the CPS guidance on dealing with those with a Mental Health condition; and in the light of the best evidence available as to any ongoing risk of re-offending, safeguarding the public and/or those providing care to such persons.

“The CPS decision-making is detailed and thorough; and the reasoning and rationale has been explained to the victim in this case via the Victims Right to Review.”