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Two held over 'baby snatch plot' at Great Ormond Street Hospital

A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of planning to abduct a premature baby from London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Police were called at around 2pm on Monday by staff who said a couple had attempted to gain access to a ward and take a child.

The pair are alleged to have arrived at the hospital with a picture of a baby in an incubator which they claimed was theirs, Scotland Yard said.

They said it was born at 21 weeks at the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, east London, on March 1, before being transferred to the neo-natal unit of Great Ormond Street, according to the Camden New Journal.

Staff called police when they realised the information provided did not match the hospital's records.

Officers attended and arrested a 31-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of conspiracy to commit child abduction.

They were taken to a central London police station and have been bailed to a date in mid-April.

Inspector Paul Clarke, of the Met Police, said: "The actions of the staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital in making all of the necessary checks and the quick response of police in arresting a couple prevented what could have been a very frightening and harrowing incident."

A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street said: "Thankfully this type of incident is exceptionally rare.

"We are pleased that staff at the hospital acted so swiftly and calmly to ensure the safety of all our patients."

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