Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The 13 and 14-year-old girls were tracked via CCTV to a park three miles away from the Newcastle store in April.
13:00, UK,Tuesday 07 June 2016
Primark nothumberland street Newcastle
Two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, have admitted kidnapping a toddler from a Primark store in Newcastle.
Appearing at a youth court in North Shields, the pair admitted taking the girl from the budget fashion store on 13 April.
They were tracked by CCTV camera operators through the city centre, on to the metro system, along Gosforth High Street and into a park. 
The two-year-old was eventually reunited with her mother an hour and 45 minutes later. 
The teenagers were initially charged with kidnap "with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence".
But that was "discontinued" at Tuesday's hearing, and the girls admitted an alternative charge of kidnap.
They also admitted shoplifting dummies, a baby's bottle and baby milk. 
At an earlier hearing in April, it was disclosed that a tablet computer had been found containing searches for "rape", "people getting raped", "young people getting raped" and "poor little thing getting kidnapped and raped".
A source told the Press Association there was not enough evidence to proceed with the kidnap charge with a sexual element.
The little girl was the second child the teenagers had tried to grab from the store that day, after being unsuccessful in their first attempt. 
Both of the children were black.
Lee Poppett, prosecuting, told the previous hearing: "There (are) several links to 'African woman sexual activity' and the young child in this case is black." 
Mr Poppett said the girls had been known to social services for "quite some time" and had gone missing from home on a number of occasions.
Neither of the girls - who cannot be named for legal reasons - has a criminal record.
They had never been arrested or cautioned. 
Both spoke so quietly in court that it was difficult for reporters to hear what they said.
District Judge Roger Elsey noted the content of the computer searches: "There is some very concerning material on the tablet that was recovered.
"That is going to have to inform the assessment of dangerousness."
There will be another hearing on 4 July, when the prosecution will outline its case and the defence will put forward mitigation.
The judge told the girls they may yet be sentenced in Crown Court. 
In the meantime, they were remanded into the care of the local authority.