British teens sentenced to three years for kidnapping toddler from Primark store

The pair were tracked by CCTV cameras through Newcastle city centre

Newcastle, toddler, Primark, detention, teenagers, kidnapping, sentenced

File photo of a Primark in London | Image: Nick Ansell / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Two teenage girls in Britain have been sentenced to be detained for three years and three months for kidnapping a toddler in a Primark store.

The teens, aged 13 and 14, had admitted snatching the two-year-old girl from her mother in a Primark on Northumberland Street in Newcastle in April.

Although the toddler was found safe and well an hour and 45 minutes later, the Newcastle Crown Court judge found that she had been at risk of physical or sexual violence, and/or exploitation.

Referring to internet searches found on a tablet belonging to the younger defendant, Mr Justice Globe said: "The internet history shows hundreds of searches in relation to pornographic topics which include children having sex, rape, slavery and abduction."

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were initially sentenced to three years and four months - but the judge took a month off after hearing they have been under curfew since admitting the kidnap last month.

A charge relating to sexual intent was dropped at a previous hearing.

The court heard how the girls had been playing with the toddler for 15 minutes in a manner her mother thought was "sweet" before enticing her away with sweets.

Mr Justice Globe, who was junior prosecution counsel in the trial of James Bulger's killers, was shown CCTV of the brightly lit shop and the girls approaching shoppers.

They were tracked by CCTV camera operators through the city centre, on to the metro system, along a high street and into a park - three miles from the Primark store.

The two-year-old was eventually reunited with her mother an hour and 45 minutes later after a description was circulated.

The girls had already approached two other children in Primark, almost tricking the mother of one of them when they tried to lead the child away.

They also admitted stealing a dummy, baby milk and a bottle.