Thursday 27 October 2016

Teenage girls who kidnapped a toddler from a high street store had researched 'rape' online, court hears

Tom Wilkinson

Published 07/06/2016 | 13:08

Two teenage girls have admitted kidnapping a toddler from a Primark store in Newcastle.

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The pair, aged 13 and 14, appeared at a youth court in North Shields, North Tyneside, to admit abducting the two-year-old girl from the Newcastle branch of the fashion chain on April 13.

The toddler was successfully reunited with her mother after the girls were tracked by CCTV camera operators to a park three miles away in Gosforth around one hour and 45 minutes later.

They had been charged with kidnap with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence but the prosecution accepted a plea to the alternative charge of kidnap.

It can now be reported that the victim was the second child they had tried to grab from the store in Newcastle that day, having tried unsuccessfully to trick another little girl's mother.

In both cases they had targeted black children.

At an earlier pre-trial hearing in April it was revealed that a tablet computer was found by police containing searches for "rape", "people getting raped", "young people getting raped", "poor little thing getting kidnapped and raped".

The court also heard that there were searches for "African woman sexual activity.

District Judge Roger Elsey adjourned the case for reports to be made, and said the issue of "dangerousness" must be addressed.

Referring to the searches on the computer, he said: "There is some very concerning material on the tablet that was recovered.

"That is going to have to inform the assessment of dangerousness."

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

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, said the girls had been known to social services for "quite some time" and have gone missing from home on a number of occasions.

The judge said there would be a further hearing at 2pm on July 4th

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