Distraught mother: "Man tried to snatch my baby girl"

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A DISTRAUGHT mother who believes her daughter was almost snatched off the street has spoken of her anguish.

Mother-of-five Farrah McHugh says her two-year-old daughter, Madison, was approached by a man in a silver estate car as she played near her home in Terrig Street, off Clwyd Street, Shotton, last Tuesday at 4.15pm

A neighbour heard the man ask Madison three times to get into his car before he sped off.

North Wales Police are also investigating a separate incident when a man in a silver car signalled to two girls to approach his vehicle as they walked near the junction of Hillside and St Marks, Connah’s Quay, at around 6.25pm last Monday.

Police say they are not linking the two incidents.

The alarming encounter involving little Madison was captured on CCTV from a nearby property. Miss McHugh, 28, said: “When I saw the CCTV footage, it made it all the more real.

“You don’t expect this to happen to one of yours.”

Madison was playing outside her home with sisters Ashley, 11, Nicola, nine, and six-year-old Paige.

Miss McHugh, who also has a one-year-old daughter, Phoebe, said: “The girls were playing outside the house while I was tidying up and making the tea.

“The next thing I knew a neighbour came to tell me that somebody had tried to take Madison.

“I phoned 999 immediately.”

The incident was captured by a CCTV camera fitted to a house on Clwyd Street belonging to the parents of witness Julie Tagg, 30.

Miss Tagg, a second-year journalism student at the University of Chester, said: “I was sitting in the garden when I heard a car pull up and a man said three times ‘do you want to get in the car?’.

“I wondered who he was talking to so I stood up and saw he was talking to Madison.

“When he ‘clocked’ me, he turned around and sped off. It was a horrible thing to see.”

Miss Tagg, of Ashfield Road, Shotton, who has a 10-year-old daughter, Alisha, did not get a good glimpse of the man but recalls he had dark brown hair and a dark coloured jumper.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “Police are treating the incident as suspicious.

“No attempt was made by the driver to touch the child and neither was there an attempt by the driver to get out of his vehicle.”

Det Insp Jason Devonport added: “I want to reassure residents that inquiries into this incident are well under way.

“Officers have been in the vicinity, conducting house to house inquiries and CCTV footage is also being studied as part of the investigation.

“I’m appealing to the driver himself to come forward and make contact with officers.”

On the incident in Connah’s Quay, DI Devonport said: “The girls did the right thing and did not approach the car, but made their way straight home.

“Our investigations into this incident are continuing and we are appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time to contact police.”

Anyone with information can call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

See full story in the Leader

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