St James Place

Baby kidnapping in 1941

By M.E L.

Brighton Baby Found After Kidnapping
Saturday, 27th September, 1941
Evening Argus

Within four hours of four months old John Long being reported missing from his pram, which was left unattended for a few minutes outside a shop in Upper St James's Street, Brighton yesterday afternoon, the child was found by a soldier on a doorstep in St James's Place three quarters of a mile away.

The finding of the child, son of Mrs Long of Islingword Street, followed a dramatic police appeal.

Shortly after being notified of the baby's absence, the police broadcast an appeal to the public giving details of the child and of a women with whom the police wished to communicate.

The baby was taken from a pram left outside the shop for a few minutes. The mother had gone inside to purchase a coat for the child and when she went to try the coat on the child it was found missing. The baby was later found by a soldier, quite unharmed and happy.

Two minutes before the baby disappeared, a women was seen talking to him. She was accompanied by a little boy aged about three.

The official description of the women says she has piercing eyes, is aged about 34, height 5ft 1in or 5ft 2ins, slim build, thin face, with straight black hair rolled into a net at the back. She was in black clothing and had an untidy appearance. She is stated to have spoken with a peculiar accent which it is believed may have been Welsh.

Captain W. J. Hutchinson Chief Constable of Brighton appeals to any person who can give any information which may assist in the search for the women to telephone Brighton police (Brighton 4141) or inform a Constable immediately.

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