Two teenage girls are to appear at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court charged with kidnapping a three-year-old girl from a Primark store in an alleged plot to sexually abuse the child. The suspects - who are aged 13 and 14 and cannot be named for legal reasons - are accused of taking the girl from the fashion chain's shop on Northumberland Street shortly before 5pm on 14 April.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said at the time: "It was quickly established that she [the child] had left the store with two teenage girls who she did not know." Her disappearance sparked a huge search and she was found at Gosforth Central Park in Newcastle an hour and 45 minutes later.
The suspects were arrested two days later and later charged with charged with kidnap "with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence" under the Sexual Offences Act. They are also accused of stealing dummies from Boots as well as milk and a bottle from a Sainsbury's. At an earlier hearing, the girls spoke only to confirm their identities and were remanded into care.