United Kingdom

Mother saw son, 4, snatched away by woman 'high on GHB' at Royal Albert Hall, court hears

A shocked mother saw her four-year-old son being snatched away by a woman who was 'high on GBH' at the Royal Albert Hall, a court has heard.

The mother was attending a children's concert at the famous London music venue with her young boy when he was carried away by Charlotte Robbins.

Jurors heard the mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, chased the 26-year-old through crowds of people as she tried to get her son back.

She eventually caught up with Robbins, who claimed she had taken drug GHB and possibly smoked crystal meth, a court heard.

Robbins, of Belsize Park, London, is on trial at Southwark Crown Court, accused of child abduction.

She admits picking up the child, but denies attempting to abduct the boy.

Robbins said the incident was a 'mistake' and she thought she was attempting to return the boy to his legal guardian.

The mother was attending a children's concert at the famous London music venue with her young boy when he was carried away by Charlotte Robbins (pictured)

Jury members heard how Robbins claimed she was high on GHB - also known as a liquid ecstasy - at the time of the incident on March 10 last year. 

The mother told jurors that as she searched for her son she almost lost him in the crowd.

But she told the court she spotted his distinctive red shoelaces as Robbins carried him away.

She caught up with Robbins and grabbed the woman and her son from behind, shouting for help, jurors heard.

Eventually a man removed the boy from Robbins' grip and returned him to his mother, the court was told.

Giving evidence, the mother said: 'My son was a bit restless, I just took him for a wander around the hall.

'The crowd was growing so I had taken him back to the stairs. I bumped into my daughter and asked where she was going.

'She's quite young. I stopped to find out where she was going. They were going to the bathroom.

'As I bent down she said: "I'm going to the bathroom, come with me mum". Then she said "she's taken him".

The mother told jurors she turned around and could no longer see her son.

She told the court: 'I saw his shoes, with bright red laces on his trainers, going into the auditorium.

'He was struggling as well, he's four, he was held pretty tightly. He was calling for me.

'I could feel him trying to get away, he was struggling to break loose.  I wasn't successful, she was holding on, I just couldn't get the arms separated.

'I said "Help she's got my child, help".

'She said something like he's "her child," "custody" and "down there". 

The woman told jurors that a stranger then grabbed her son from Robbins' arms and returned him to her.

Robbins claims she made an honest mistake and thought she was returning the child to his legal guardian.

Dominic Hockley, prosecuting, said: 'She accepts that she took the boy who at that stage was a four-year-old child.

'That she took from the lawful control of his mother. That isn't in dispute.

'We say that her actions weren't reasonable, she made no effort at all, at all, to establish the facts before grabbing the child from his mother.'

Mr Hockley added: 'No child, you may think, should be dragged from his mother by a stranger.

'Irrespective of whether she believed he might be, she should not be taking children unsupervised. That's more so in the way in which she did what she did.' 

Jury members heard how Robbins claimed she was high on GHB - also known as a liquid ecstasy - at the time of the incident at the Royal Albert Hall (pictured) on March 10 last year

'Even if she was right in what she says was her honest, genuine mistake, what she did was not reasonable in these circumstances.

'Her mistake was not reasonable because we say it came about because of her intoxication.

'Where a mistake results from voluntary intoxication by alcohol or drugs such a mistake cannot be thought of as reasonable.

'There is ample evidence that the defendant was intoxicated.'

Mr Hockley told the court that a member of staff who later spoke to Robbins said she was 'talking as if she was high'.

Another member of staff said she was 'unsteady on their feet,' her speaking was 'slurred' and her 'eyes couldn't focus when speaking,' jurors heard.

'An officer noticed something unusual, he immediately noticed the influence of drugs or drink,' added Mr Hockley.

'She told him that she had taken 'G'. 

'In interview she admitted that she had taken G, sometimes known as the date rape drug.

'She didn't think that she smoked crystal meth but she could have.'  

Robbins denies taking a child from a person having lawful control at the concert, under the Child Abduction Act 1984.

The trial continues. 

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