Aberdeen woman in court over attempted baby theft

Sheriff Graeme Buchanan deferred sentencing on Joan Smith following her attempted theft of a baby last year. Image: Remark
Sheriff Graeme Buchanan deferred sentencing on Joan Smith following her attempted theft of a baby last year. Image: Remark
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A woman appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday following the attempted theft of a child.

Joan Smith, 44, tried to steal the infant from a pram on a bus but could not take the child away because he was strapped in.

Smith appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court court yesterday and pled guilty to attempting to steal the eight-month-old child on Holburn Road in Aberdeen on 11 November.

Fiscal depute Anne MacDonald said: “The child’s mother, aged 31, was on a bus. It was a bus trip she regularly made with the child in the pram. This was in the morning at around 9am.”

When the mother got on the bus, she noticed Smith was initially standing in the section kept for prams. Smith then moved away to give her room and sat down on a seat.

Just before the bus got on to the Holburn Street area, the child’s mother stood up to take the brake off the pram to prepare to get off at the next stop.

Shortly afterwards, Smith moved to the front of the pram and started to push into it.

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Ms MacDonald said: “The child’s mother said ‘Excuse me. Pease don’t do that’. And it was at this stage there was an exchange of words, with the panel stating, ‘Don’t you know I’ve lost my child?’ The child’s mother didn’t know what she meant.”

The court heard Smith walked off the bus then got back on the vehicle again. She walked straight up to the pram and the baby’s mother was not sure of what was going to happen next.

Ms MacDonald said: “The child’s mother then noticed that the panel placed both her hands on the infant’s arms and tried to lift the baby out of the pram. The pram straps prevented the child from being removed from the pram.

“The panel then walked off the bus and was heard to shout ‘the police would take your son away because that’s what they do’.”

The court heard Smith, who was described in paperwork as being a prisoner at HMP Grampian, left the scene and the bus driver drove off.

The child’s mother later reported the incident to the police and said she had been extremely frightened.

She told officers she strongly believed that the woman would have taken her baby if he had not been strapped in.

Sheriff Graeme Buchanan deferred sentence.

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