Couple jailed for snatching children

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A COUPLE have been jailed for snatching two of their children from council care when they went to see them on a contact visit.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday that Mohammed Mohammed and Fatima Wahab attended the Clifford Brooke Centre in Roundhay Road, Leeds, on December 22 last year where they were due to have a supervised visit.

But in a busy reception area when they saw the children, who were in interim care, the pair grabbed one each and fled on foot with them.

Ben Thomas, prosecuting, said a member of staff pursued them for a short distance but then lost them.

Police were informed and a check was made at the couple’s known address in Grantham Towers, Leeds but it appeared unoccupied and no personal property was found.

Two days later police traced the couple to an address in Leicester and the children were recovered.

Stuart Field, representing the couple, said Mohammed had formed the plan only a couple of days before and was obsessed with getting the children back. He had not told his wife until in the centre and had not planned to leave the country.

The couple, both aged 30 and from Sri Lanka, admitted child abduction. Mohammed was jailed for eight months, his wife for six months.

Judge Sally Cahill QC said such abduction was serious and a distressing experience for their children.