CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Update: Police rule out role of second couple in attempt to snatch baby from hospital

One couple have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to abduct child

09 March, 2017 — By William McLennan

POLICE have ruled out earlier reports that they are searching for a second couple in relation to a suspected attempt to kidnap a premature baby from Great Ormond Street Hospital.

A man and a woman were arrested at the Bloomsbury hospital on Monday afternoon, after allegedly presenting a picture of a baby in an incubator, which police claim was an internet printout.

The arrested pair were alleged to have been seen in the company of a second couple at another London hospital last week. But Scotland Yard today (Thursday) have said they are not searching for anybody else in relation to the alleged offence.

As revealed exclusively in the New Journal, police said that a man and a woman entered Great Ormond Street Hospital on Monday and told staff their child had been transferred to their neonatal unit, having been born at 21 weeks at the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, on March 1.

Hospital staff checked with the Royal London and discovered it had no record of a premature birth matching that description, police said.

Officers called to the hospital arrested a 31-year-old man and 26-year-old woman on suspicion of conspiracy to abduct a child.

Inspector Paul Clarke said: “The actions of the staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital in making all of the necessary checks and the quick response of police in arresting a couple prevented what could have been a very frightening and harrowing incident.”

A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street Hospital said: “Thankfully, this type of incident is exceptionally rare. We are pleased that staff at the hospital acted so swiftly and calmly to ensure the safety of all our patients.”

The couple have been released on bail, with the condition that they should not enter a hospital unless they are suffering a medical emergency.

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances.

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