Man tried to lure four-year-old girl away from mother in Leeds Primark store

Primark in Trinity Leeds
Primark in Trinity Leeds
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A man who touched a three-year-old  girl in a Primark  store in Leeds and returned two days later  to try and lure a four-year-old girl  away from her mother will be  detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Hamish Hackett, 21, went into Primark at Trinity Leeds shopping centre just before 6pm on July 6 2018 and targeted a three-year-old girl, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor, Ismael Uddin said Hackett was spotted on CCTV acting strangely and looking at children.

Mr Uddin said Hackett held out his arm and touched the three-year-old girl on her shoulder before he walked out of the store.

The court heard Hackett returned to the same Primark store two days later just before 1.30pm on July 8 and stood close to a four-year-old girl.

Mr Uddin said Hacket held out his hand to beckon her before the girl said "no, no, no."

Hackett ran away when he saw the girl's mother but was detained by a female security guard in the store.

The court heard Hackett, of Regent Street, Sheepscar, Leeds, was arrested.

Hackett, who has no previous convictions, later admitted two charges of abducting a child.

The court heard Hackett was assessed by two forensic psychiatrists who concluded he suffers from autism and psychosis and posed a danger to the public.

The court was told he had been diagnosed with autism as a child and that his mental health deteriorated after he started drinking when a relationship ended while he was a university student in Leeds.

Mitigating, John Batchelor said: "He is deeply ashamed and embarrassed. He wishes he could turn back time.

"He is trying to get help and he is trying to be a better individual in the future."

Judge Mushtaq Khokar sentenced Hackett to a hospital order and said he will be detained indefinitely under section three of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Judge Khokar said: "I'm satisfied that you were suffering from a mental disorder, namely autism and a certain form of psychosis."

After the hearing, Detective Inspector Richard Holmes, of Leeds District CID, said: “The very disturbing nature of the first incident involving Hackett caused us really serious concerns.

“We were carrying out extensive enquiries to identify and arrest him when he returned to the store two days later and committed the second offence and was detained by staff.

“We don’t know what his motivation was but people should be reassured that incidents of this type, although thankfully rare, will always attract the highest level of police response and investigation.

“It is important that we recognise the vigilance and public-spirited actions of staff at Primark who alerted police to the first offence and who detained Hackett after he returned to commit the second offence.

“They, along with the other witnesses who supported our investigation, should be suitably proud of themselves for their efforts to help keep people safe.”