Woman arrested after two children missing for five days found in Essex

Police confirm arrest of 31-year-old, after a mother left a family assessment centre with two infants on Tuesday

A woman has been arrested after two children missing for five days from a centre for vulnerable mothers and children in London were found “safe and well” in Essex, police have said.

Jamie-Leigh Kelly, 31, left a family assessment centre in north-west London on Tuesday with her three-year-old daughter and newborn baby boy.

The children were found at an address in Harwich in Essex on Sunday and were taken into police protection, the Metropolitan police said in a statement. The infants received precautionary medical attention in hospital.

“A 31-year-old woman was arrested later on Sunday 24 September after attending an east London police station,” said the Metropolitan police. “She was also taken to hospital as a precaution.”

Det Supt Lewis Basford, who is overseeing the investigation, said: “We are very pleased – and of course relieved – to have found the two children after extensive inquiries over the past few days.

“They are safe and well and receiving precautionary medical attention.”

Police had previously arrested another woman, 63, at the address on suspicion of child abduction, assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice, a force spokesperson said.

Two other people charged in connection with the case are due to appear at Southend magistrates court on Monday, charged with two counts of child abduction – 52-year-old Ashley Hawkins and 30-year-old Jordan Hardy of Dagenham.

Officers were initially unable to locate their mother at the property, and had urged Kelly or those helping her to come forward.


Jem Bartholomew

The GuardianTramp