Teen girls charged over toddler kidnapping
Published 16/04/2016 | 02:30
Two teenage girls have appeared in court charged with kidnapping a two-year-old with the intention of committing a sexual offence.
The girls, aged 13 and 14 and from Tyneside, were also charged with shoplifting dummies, baby milk and a bottle.
The little girl was taken from a Primark store in Newcastle's busy Northumberland Street on Wednesday afternoon.
Once the alarm was raised, officers trawled through CCTV from the council, shops, Newcastle University, bus companies, the Metro and their own cameras.
She was found an hour and 45 minutes later following a major search around three miles away in Gosforth Central Park in north Newcastle.
The girls, who cannot be identified, appeared before South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court, sitting as a youth court, for a hearing which lasted over 30 minutes.
They are both charged with kidnap "with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence".
They also face two counts of theft.
The defendants were flanked by a male and a female security guard in the glass-fronted dock during the hearing. The girls, wearing grey tracksuits, appeared to listen closely to the proceedings.
They spoke to quietly confirm their address and date of birth and to say they had understood the proceedings.
They were denied bail. No family members for the defendants or the alleged victim were in court.