A NEW father has spoken of his shock and horror after a man allegedly tried to steal his car – while he was sat inside feeding his newborn daughter.

Joseph Rennick was sat in his BMW X5 in the car park of the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, while his partner attended an appointment last Thursday, March 10.

But, while the 35-year-old was sat in the back of his car feeding this three week old daughter – who was born six weeks early - , it is alleged that a man attempted to steal the vehicle.

Speaking to the Argus about the incident, which took place in daylight at around 5.15pm, Mr Rennick said: “I took my partner to a 5pm appointment at the Gwent hospital, and I waited in the car park as we have a three week old baby that’s six weeks premature.

“I’m sitting in the car and the baby wakes for a feed so I get into the back of the car, sit her on my lap and start feeding her.

“The key was in the ignition, and my phone was on the centre console, and the driver side car door opened and some scumbag gets into my car.

“I screamed at him 'get out my ******* car I’ve got a baby here'. I screamed and screamed at him until he left.”

South Wales Argus: Joseph Rennick with his newborn baby, stood in front of his vehicle which was targetedJoseph Rennick with his newborn baby, stood in front of his vehicle which was targeted

According to Mr Rennick, the rear windows on his BMW are tinted, and as a result, he does not think that the man saw him before trying to enter the vehicle – and certainly did not see the youngster.

He said: “I was aware of a man walking up, at first I genuinely thought he’d gone up to the wrong car.

“I was so helpless having my daughter on my lap with a bottle in her mouth.

“But imagine if it was someone vulnerable, or someone that couldn’t defend themselves. I’m a 35-year-old male, but imagine if it was my partner, who only gave birth three weeks ago?”

What happened next?

After the incident, while Mr Rennick struggled to come to terms with what had just happened, his partner returned from her appointment.

Mr Rennick said: “I couldn’t speak at first, my partner thought there was something wrong with the baby.

“But, when I was able to explain what had happened, my partner was beside herself – as was I.

“I reported the incident to the security office within the hospital, and they took a full report.

“While they were concerned, they didn’t seem too surprised by it.

"They said that their security cameras face the hospital entrance where there’s a security hut, but they don’t cover the entire car park.”

How has the hospital responded?

Following the incident, the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which operates the hospital and, by extension, its car park, have condemned the actions of the person who targeted Mr Rennick and his vehicle.

The organisation has revealed that an investigation was carried out, but they were unable to locate the person within the hospital grounds.

South Wales Argus: The Royal Gwent hospital in NewportThe Royal Gwent hospital in Newport

While the health board did not respond to questions about the camera coverage of their car park, it confirmed that in the aftermath of this incident it is “installing additional security cameras”, and have since increased security patrols in this area.

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board told the Argus: “We are very disappointed that this incident has occurred on our hospital site - we take any threat to our patients’ safety very seriously.

“Mr Rennick’s ordeal was unacceptable, and we will not tolerate any such criminal activity on our premises.

“After the incident was reported to our on-site security team, the matter was fully investigated, however no such individual was located within the grounds of the Royal Gwent Hospital.

“We have since increased the presence of security staff in the area and are in the process of installing additional security cameras. We’d like to reassure our residents that our sites are safe places to visit.”