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7 June 2016, 11:45
Two teenage girls have admitted kidnapping a toddler from a Primark store in Newcastle.
The pair, aged 13 and 14, appeared at a youth court in North Shields, North Tyneside, to admit abducting the girl from the Newcastle branch of the budget fashion chain on April 13th.
The two-year-old was reunited with her mother an hour and 45 minutes later after the girls were tracked by CCTV to a park three miles away in Gosforth.
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.
The girls spoke so quietly it was hard for the dozen reporters at the back of the brightly-lit courtroom to hear them give their dates of birth and state their guilty pleas.
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 case will be back before the youth court at North Shields on July 4th, when the prosecution will outline their case and the defence will put forward mitigation.
The judge told the girls they may yet be sentenced in the Crown Court.
They were remanded into the care of the local authority in the meantime.
UPDATED 15th April 2016
Two teenage girls will appear in court charged with kidnap and other offences after a three-year-old girl was taken from a shop in Newcastle city centre.
The girls, aged 13 and 14, are accused of abducting the toddler from a Primark on Northumberland Street on Wednesday evening.
The child was eventually found nearly three miles away in Gosforth, north Newcastle, by a police officer.
Northumbria Police said they have also charged the girls, who have not been named, with two counts of shoplifting.
The pair will appear at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court on Friday.
Police were alerted to the girl's disappearance at around 5pm on Wednesday, triggering a city-wide search.
The teenagers had allegedly left the store with the toddler, leaving her mother ``incredibly'' distressed.
Officers trawled through CCTV from Newcastle City Council, local shops, Newcastle University, bus companies, the Metro and their own cameras in search of the child.
After searching for more than an hour the girl was found by a police community support officer and reunited with her mother.
The teenagers were arrested in Gosforth Central Park.
Chief Inspector Dave Gould thanked those involved in the response.
``This has been an incredibly distressing time for the girl's family and specialist officers are working with and supporting the family."
``We mobilised all available local police resources to make sure the girl was found as quickly as possible and also included assistance from the public, and many of our partner agencies including Newcastle local authority and university as well as staff from retail premises, bus companies, train station and Metro system.''
Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, praised the police and the other organisations involved in quickly finding the girl, saying on Twitter that it was ``every parent's nightmare''.
A spokeswoman for Primark said they are ``co-operating with the police on the investigation''.