Newcastle schoolgirls accused of 'kidnapping toddler from Primark with intent to commit sex offence'
Two teenage girls are to go on trial charged with kidnapping a two-year-old with the intention of committing a sexual offence.
The girls, aged 13 and 14 and from Tyneside, are also charged with shoplifting dummies, baby milk and a bottle. They also face a new alternative charge of kidnap.
The little girl was allegedly taken from a Primark store in Newcastle's busy Northumberland Street last month.
She was found in a park in the suburb of Gosforth an hour and 45 minutes later.
The girls, who cannot be identified, appeared at a 30-minute youth court hearing in North Tyneside.
They are both charged with kidnap "with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence" contrary to the Sexual Offences Act of 2003.
They also face two counts of theft from a shop - dummies from Boots and the milk and bottle from a Sainsbury's, all said to have been of an unknown value.
They will also face a separate charge of kidnap, this being without the sexual intent.
The older girl wore a hoodie for the hearing, while the younger one had a parka coat on.
They had two adult women with them in the brightly-lit courtroom and they sat in open court, outside the glass dock, on pink chairs.
Neither entered any pleas at the hearing and the case was adjourned until June 7 when the trial is listed to start at North Tyneside.
Their alleged victim cannot be identified by the media.
District Judge Roger Elsey told the defendants they were to be remanded into the care of the local authority.