Belfast Telegraph

Warning 'Northern Ireland woman' attempted to snatch Liverpool baby

The women were left extremely shaken by the terrifying incident and said that they wanted to warn others in the area (stock photo)
The women were left extremely shaken by the terrifying incident and said that they wanted to warn others in the area (stock photo)
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Police are on the lookout for a woman with a Northern Ireland accent who attempted to snatch a baby in Merseyside.

Young mum Kathryn James was distracted by the woman who told her she was an "Avon recruiter" as a female accomplice tried to grab her 10-month-old child from his pram.

Ms James and her friend Chelsea McManus were on their way to Arnot Saint Mary Primary School when they were approached by a black Vauxhall Astra car on Goodison Road in Walton shortly after 3pm yesterday.

Ms McManus told the Liverpool Echo that the vehicle pulled up beside them and a woman in the back of the car started to talk to them both from the window.

"She said they had just come over from Northern Ireland this morning and were looking for young mums with babies to start selling Avon in the area," she said.

"As she was talking, we noticed the woman in the front of the car had opened the door and was trying to pull the pram towards her to grab the baby."

The child's mother and her friend then pulled the pram back towards them and the car drove off, without the woman having touched the baby.

The women were, however, left extremely shaken by the terrifying incident and said that they wanted to warn others in the area.

"My friend and I were left really panicked by the whole thing, you never think people would be that obvious," said Ms McManus.

"It's really concerning that they are lurking around the primary schools.

"Thankfully, the school her kids go to put a lot of work into 'stranger danger' so most will know better."

A spokesman for Merseyside police described the female rear seat passenger as "a blonde woman who spoke with an Irish accent". She is not believed to be connected to the Avon company.

Detective Inspector Tracey Martin said they "take reports of suspicious incidents of this nature extremely seriously", adding that "information has been passed on to all local patrols and community officers".

"Our community officers have contacted local schools for reassurance and we are carrying out high visibility patrols in key areas at key times," she said.

"The woman in this case did exactly the right thing in reporting the matter promptly to police, and we would encourage anyone who witnessed this or any similar behaviour to contact us, and remain vigilant."

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