Two teenagers in the UK who plotted to kidnap babies by offering free designer children’s clothes through a fake Facebook page have been sentenced to 12 months behind bars.
Holly Kelland, 18, and 17-year-old Codie Farrar, tried to dupe parents into giving away their contact details over the social networking site and tricked one mother into handing out her home address.
Murder mystery actress Farrar then visited the woman at her home, posing as a social worker, in September 2015, and asked to take the baby away for a half-hour ‘medical assessment’.
However, the mother became suspicious when she saw the would-be kidnapper holding the baby’s head incorrectly, and raised the alarm.
Both schoolfriends had already admitted conspiracy to kidnap three babies, identified only as U, S and W, and were at Derby Youth Court yesterday to be sentenced.
District Judge Jonathan Taaffe was told Kelland had been the architect of what was described as a “detailed” scheme by the girl’s own solicitor, and had then recruited her “misguided” fellow plotter.
Kelland had been faking a pregnancy and suffering from undiagnosed mental health issues during the time of the offences, according to her solicitor Elaine Stapleton.
She lied to her own mother about carrying a child, and had a fully-equipped nursery with a cot at her home, the court was told.
In a series of text message exchanges, discovered on devices seized by police after both girls’ arrest, Kelland had told her co-conspirator: “Don’t feel like baby chasing today.”
Later, she said: “Did you bin the SIM (card)?”
Sentencing, Judge Taaffe told them: “By its very nature this is a case of extreme seriousness. A plan was hatched to kidnap a baby and not followed through, and fortunately it was only the alertness of the mother (of U) that prevented the actual kidnap taking place.”
The judge added he had “reservations” about Kelland’s motive being down to a mental health issue.
He concluded: “I’d be failing in my public duty if a custodial sentence was not imposed.”
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