Nottingham child abductor sentenced for Victoria Centre snatch

A woman who took a young child from his mother in a busy Nottingham department store has been sent to a secure hospital indefinitely.

Maria Kilbourne, of Kilnbrook Avenue, in the city, was found guilty of child abduction by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday.

The child's mother caught 39-year-old Kilbourne, who had grabbed the child's pushchair, before left the store.

The abduction of the 18-month-old boy happened on 16 June 2011.

'Worst nightmare'

The mother had momentarily released her grip on the handles of the pushchair at the John Lewis store in the Victoria Centre, to take some goods being handed to her by a shop assistant when Kilbourne grabbed the baby, Nottinghamshire Police said.

A CCTV image of Kilbourne was issued by police within minutes of the incident and she was arrested later that day.

Her sentence means she cannot be released without an order from the home secretary.

Insp Neil Fountain, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Abduction of a child is every parent's worst nightmare and although the little boy was unharmed and back with his mother within a matter of seconds, it has been a very traumatic experience for her and her family.

"Kilbourne will receive the treatment and care that she evidently needs whilst no longer posing a risk to the public."

The mother, who cannot be identified, said she experienced "a sharp feeling of panic".

"You don't ever expect someone would do something like that," she said.

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