Babies: Triple guard for Karli

Karli Hawthorne, the newborn girl kidnapped hours after she was born, was under police guard in hospital last night with her relieved parents.

Three officers were posted in the maternity unit at Basildon Hospital, Essex, while Tanya and Karl Hawthorne made up for the 14 hours lost while their baby was missing.

Karli was snatched from her cot last Friday as her mother recovered from the birth. She was re-united with her parents early on Saturday following a huge police hunt which resulted in Karli's recovery and the arrest of Denise Giddings, 33, who will appear at Basildon magistrates' court in connection with the abduction today.

Security at the hospital remained tight all day. One male officer stood at the door to Willow Ward while a female colleague kept watch on the family. A third officer was posted at the entrance to the building, checking the identification of everyone entering the unit. Hospital administrators are reviewing all their security measures to ensure the safety of all newborn babies.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said: "I have spoken to the matron on the ward today and Karli and her mother are both fine. The baby is at her mother's bedside. All of the babies here are at their mothers' bedsides and are never let out of their mothers' sight."

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said that its officers were in the ward for the family's protection and had not been requested by the hospital.

Comment, page 13

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