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Girls who lured toddler from Primark to be sentenced

Published 15/07/2016

The sentencing will take place at Newcastle Crown court.
The sentencing will take place at Newcastle Crown court.

Two girls aged 13 and 14 who used sweets to entice a toddler away from her mother while she shopped in a Primark store will be sentenced today.

Their victim was the second child they intended to grab from the store, having tried unsuccessfully to trick another little girl's mother. In both cases they picked on black children.

It emerged that alarming internet searches about "rape" were found on a tablet computer.

They had walked off from the busy store in Northumberland Street, Newcastle, with the toddler and were found an hour and a half later, three miles away, after their descriptions were circulated in a major police operation.

The kidnapped child was reunited with her mother unharmed after the abductors were tracked by CCTV camera operators from the city centre, on to the Metro system and along Gosforth High Street, into a park.

They had also stolen dummies, baby milk and a bottle to use as part of their plan on April 13.

The juveniles will be dealt with by Mr Justice Globe sitting at Newcastle Crown Court after they both admitted kidnapping the child.

At a previous Youth Court hearing, District Judge Roger Elsey said he would send the case up to the Crown Court as his sentencing powers were not sufficient.

He said the girls would need more than 12 months intensive work with social services to reduce their risk of re-offending.

After the girls admitted the charges last month, the young victim's father said her mother will "never forget the guilt" of losing her.

He said: "Her mother was on the phone and our daughter was in her pram.

"They offered her sweets, she was hysterical and they got her out and started playing with her around the shop."

The defendants, who the media are prevented from identifying, have no criminal record and have never been arrested or cautioned.

They were known to social services and had gone missing before.

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From Belfast Telegraph