Two teenage girls charged with kidnap 'with intention of committing sex offence' in Newcastle

The child was found at a park three miles away after a city wide search by police

The pair allegedly took the child from a Primark in Newcastle city centre
The pair allegedly took the child from a Primark in Newcastle city centre

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, who was previously reported as three, was taken from a Primark store in Newcastle city centre’s busy Northumberland Street at around 5pm on Wednesday afternoon.

Northumbria Police launched an immediate city-wide search to find the girl, scouring CCTV footage from the store, the Metro, local bus companies and their own cameras.

She was found an hour and 45 minutes later in Gosforth Central Park, around three miles away.

The girls, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court and spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and that they understood what was happening.

They are both charged with kidnap "with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence" contrary to the Sexual Offences Act of 2003.

They also face two counts of theft from a shop - dummies from Boots and the milk and bottle from a Sainsbury's, all said to have been of an unknown value.

The defendants were flanked by a male and a female security guard in the glass-fronted dock at the hearing which lasted over 30 minutes.

Neither the families of the alleged victim or the defendants were in court for the hearing.

They were denied bail and ordered to be tagged and remanded into local authority care, to live and sleep at an address, from 7pm to 7am.

District Judge Roger Elsey told them: "You appreciate that you are charged with very serious offences.

"I understand that you are not admitting these offences and you are not convicted of them."

He told them they must not discuss the case on social media.

The girls will appear before North Tyneside Youth Court on May 13.

In the meantime they must not enter Newcastle city centre.

Additional reporting by PA

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